Weird

Wacky Ways People Were Voted Into Power Throughout History  

Tricia Psarreas-Murray
852 votes 332 voters 120.8k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the weirdest ways people were voted into office that surprise you the most.

People tend to get super serious during political discussions because politics are a pretty serious matter - most of the time. Amidst the world of powerful people doing powerful things is an arena full of stories about funny election results, zany ways election ties were settled, and the many weird ways people got elected in the first place. The political figures in these stories may have done important things once they were officially in power, but their journeys to elected office are far more entertaining than what they did with their position once they held it. 
 
Some of these political stars earned their “Seriously?!” positions by not quite winning their seats of power. Unlike the days when politicians could just pull out their pistols or swords to settle their disputes - a practice that was almost universally outlawed in the 18th century - modern stalemates are usually settled by games of chance. Depending on the location, tie-breakers are typically broken with a flip of a coin, a name pulled out of a box, a roll of the dice, a pick of a card, or any other game that relies on luck rather than skill.
 
Of course, those who gained their power through actual wins had a fair amount of luck on their sides, too. While it would be nice to say the rest of these victories were well-earned, this list of weird election results tells a slightly different story - and honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried.
1
Henry II Holds a Corpse Captive in the Start of a Long Rise to Power
Henry II Holds a Corpse Captiv... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Wacky Ways People Were Voted Into Power Throughout History
Photo: The British Library/flickr/No known copyright restrictions

In 1002, Duke Henry of Bavaria made what could very well be the most drastic attempt to gain a political seat in the history of forever. After the death of Emperor Otto III, Henry stole his corpse and kidnapped the archbishop who was moving the emperor’s remains. He kept them hostage and refused to free them until the archbishop promised to help Henry win the crown.

Soon after, the body thief became the crowned King of Germany and eventually moved on to become the Holy Roman Emperor. Unstoppable even in death, he was later canonized as Saint Henry, which really has to be one of the craziest paths to sainthood.

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2
Town That Never Had A Mayor Elects Dog
Town That Never Had A Mayor El... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Wacky Ways People Were Voted Into Power Throughout History
Photo: ABC/via abcnews.go.com
Cormorant, Minnesota has never had a mayor. The town is relatively small and never found the position necessary. But in 2014, townspeople decided to hold an election for their first-ever mayor. Duke, a 7-year-old Great Pyrenees won in a landslide. Duke, who is a dog, defeated Richard Sherbrook, a longtime resident. Even Sherbrook voted for the dog, who said that it'd be "pretty cool" to have a dog for mayor. Duke won 9 out of a whopping 12 votes. And there you have it. Dogs can be mayors.
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3
Official Raving Loony Party Candidate Finally Gets Elected in England
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Video: YouTube

When a political party promises to protect unicorns, legalize broccoli, and never enforce their policies, a win from said party is sure to bring in some funny election results. That was the case for Alan “Howling Laud” Hope, the first Official Raving Loony Party candidate to be elected into office.

In 1987, Hope ran unopposed for a seat in Devon, England’s Ashburton Town Council. His fellow Loonies were initially upset because their rules stated that any politician who won an election must be thrown out of the party. Fortunately, the party remembered their rule about not enforcing their promises, ultimately allowing Hope to keep his office and win higher political seats in future elections.

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4
Cardinals Trapped During the Papal Election That Wouldn't End
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Video: YouTube

When Pope Clement IV died in 1268, the cardinal electors spent two years at a complete standstill, incapable of putting aside political differences to cast the required vote of unanimity. The understandably impatient people of Viterbo reportedly trapped the indecisive cardinals in their locked chambers, removed the roof, and only delivered bread and water. After a year of captivity and the death of three cardinals, the remaining men finally conceded, unanimously agreeing that they just needed to cast a vote. Pope Gregory X was chosen in 1271 and three years later he formed the papal conclave to prevent impossibly tedious papal elections in the future.

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