A small political party, active in many democratic countries. Since I'm a merkin, I'll just go through our version of the party.

On the American political scale, the Natural Law party's platform seems to match up on the standard 'third-party' template - socially liberal, economically conservative, with few notable exceptions (defense, maybe, and a strong aversion to genetically modifed products). But going through the platform, you'll see terms bandied about that you usually don't see in (verbally bland) political platforms - a bit of talk about Transcendental Meditation®. Then you start to dig into this party's roots...

The Natural Law party hails from Fairfield, Iowa, and the campus of the Maharishi University of Management. The Maharishi University is, AFAIK, a joint arts/business school and an abbey for students of TM, led by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They try to follow 'natural law', which is defined as 'the intelligence and infinite organizing power that silently maintains and guides the evolution of everything in the universe'. They believe that meditation 'increases brain-wave coherence', and that a small portion of the population meditating will cause significant drops in the crime rate and other 'societal stresses'. I'm told that the Maharishi has blessed profit-making, so that Fairfield has the highest BMW-to-person ratio of any Iowa town.

Their nominee for the U.S. Presidency is Dr. John Hagelin, a man with fairly impressive scientific credentials - he's a quantum physicist, a onetime staffer of the Stanford Linear Acelerator and CERN, and a small contributor to the leading Grand Unified Theory. He's soft-spoken, articulate, and seems to exude peace, probably explaining why he does so well in the more personal primaries like Iowa - some people will like the non-alpha male characteristics. He gained 125,000 votes in the 1996 Presidential race, and got in the news later by requesting $33 million from Congress to fund a very large group of TM students to go to Kosovo, meditate, and thus end the conflict there in a right hurry.

The United States. We don't have many political parties, but at least the ones we have are interesting.

A registered British political party.

Stance: Undefinable in any traditional political sense. The political expression of the teachings of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the apparently ancient knowledge of Vedic Science.

Aims:Bringing fulfilment to the life of the nation through government based on natural law.

Key policies: The practice of Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying will spread peace and harmony throughout the land.

Significance: Less than zero as the Natural Law Party is no longer active as a political party in the UK.

Website: http://www.natural-law-party.org.uk/

Comment: Born April 1992, died January 2001. Rest in peace.

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