The Natural Law Party is a political party based around the ideology and philosophy of transcendental meditation. While it is primarily one of the minor American political parties, it has representation in dozens of nations around the world. Using the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the transcendental meditation movement in the 20th century, the party focuses on the politics of change as well as certain religious values associated with the movement. Although this party unsuccessfully ran many political campaigns throughout the United States, it has gained limited success in the Maharishi's home country of India.
Founded in 1992, the Natural Law Party took root in Fairfield, Iowa. It was initially established separately from the official transcendental meditation movement, but quickly gained a reputation for coordinating between many believers of the practice and its political ambitions. Through a system of paid and volunteer members, it garnered the thousands of signatures nationwide to become a federally-recognized political party the same year, qualifying for federal campaign funds. Many of the early candidates were previously associated with the Republican Party.
In the US, the Natural Law Party gained its largest success in the late 1990s with the presidential candidate John Hagelin. He was able to gain ballot access in 48 states and received 0.12 percent of the nationwide vote in 1996. During the next cycle, it attempted to merge with the Reform Party, another small political party. When this attempt failed, it was basically disbanded on the nationwide scale in 2004.
In other countries, the Natural Law Party has made more headway in political fields. The party gained a single seat in the National Assembly of India in 1998. In the United Kingdom, numerous candidates were nominated for office throughout the late 1990s. Although none gained membership in Parliament, the Natural Law Party successfully raised millions of pounds in financing. Other nations such as Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Australia and Canada also had strong political parties during this period, but they failed to gain government seats as well.
There are many platforms which the Natural Law Party adopts, which it intends to use on a nationwide and possibly worldwide level. Among the most notable is its plan to establish yogic flyers, individuals who succeed at extensive meditation techniques that the party claims will reduce crime and poverty. It also wants to lower taxes and establish meditation in schools. In addition, it plans on banning the process of genetic engineering and moving towards an organic infrastructure for farming and food production.