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  • Blog, Internet - Written by on Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:09 - 16 Comments

    Assange forms Wikileaks party for Senate bid

    blog It’s been in the works for a while, but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has finally come right out and confirmed that he’s definitely forming an Australian Wikileaks political party with the intention of backing his bid to run for the Senate in 2013. The Age reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

    “Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange has confirmed his intention to run as a Senate candidate in the 2013 federal election and will announce the formation of a WikiLeaks political party early next year.”

    Of course, there’s a lot of assumptions at play here, the largest one, presumably, being that Assange will be able to escape the current diplomatic entanglement he finds himself in for long enough to return to Australia for the elections and then to join the Senate if he was elected (being elected not an easy task in itself). One also might question why Assange doesn’t just join the Pirate Party of Australia, which already has an established organisation with similar ideals to his own.

    But we have to say, personally your writer is hoping that Assange is successful in being elected, if for no other reason than we’d love to see the presumably daily battles in the Senate between the Wikileaks founder and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. Plus, we’re sure Assange could collaborate with Greens Senator Scott Ludlam on reining in the worst excesses (hello, National Security Inquiry) of the Attorney-General’s Department. Yes, please.

    Update: Antony Green at the ABC says Assange has “next to no chance” of being elected:

    “He will be competing with Labor and the Greens for a seat in whichever state he contests, especially against the Greens. Assange would first need to get enough first preferences, say 4-5%, to give him a chance of getting ahead of a Labor or Green candidate, and then need to get both Labor and Green preferences. I would expect Labor and the Greens to swap preferences ahead of Assange.”

    Image credit: Surian Soosay, Creative Commons

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    1. Brett
      Posted 13/12/2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink |

      Plus, we’re Assange could collaborate…

      need a sure in there I think ;)

    2. Woolfe
      Posted 13/12/2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink |

      Personally I think the guy is a dick, and I wouldn’t vote for him unless the Green option was terrible.

      PS my opinion on Assange’s character does not equate to me thinking he should be sent to the US for trial or anything. I am personally of the belief that what has happened to him(whilst somewhat of his own making) is a travesty of anything even vaguely related to justice and law. Aussie, Swedish or US.

      • PeterA
        Posted 13/12/2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink |

        It’s a senate seat. Your whole state vote for you, it isn’t a smaller region.

        The “green option” that he has to be better than is every greens Senator that comes from the state he chooses to run in.

        I am very interested in what will happen, I *doubt* he will get it, but at the same time I estimate his chances as well above your average no-name candidate that puts his hand up.

    3. midspace
      Posted 13/12/2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink |

      I can only wish Assange the best of luck. We need more people with strong sense of ethics and loud voices in politics regardless of their stance.

      I’d be interesting if Delimiter could get an interview with Assange on the subject of his platform on current issues, and why he didn’t join the Pirate Party of Australia. (not like he’s going anywhere)

    4. Stephen H
      Posted 13/12/2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink |

      Good luck breaking the duopoly.

      • skywake
        Posted 13/12/2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink |

        What duopoly in the Senate? There’s always the two main parties, a third party and a pile of extras. If Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding can get senate seats and One Nation could get a few seats… it wouldn’t be crazy to think wikileaks could.

        Then again there hasn’t been much success for these non-Green progressives. The Sex Party failed to get anywhere and I doubt the Pirate Party will get very far. Assange is going after the same vote.

        BTW my bet is that he’ll go with Victoria.

    5. Trevor
      Posted 14/12/2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink |

      I personally think he’s a nerd, and as such a little arrogant and socially awkward. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t make an excellent politician – his ideals are certainly in the right place. When you consider what he has put on the line and suffered for his ideals, you might be forgiven for wishing all our political representatives could go a tenth as far…

      As for joining the ‘pirate party’, if I was in politics I wouldn’t join them either – not because there’s anything wrong with their platform, but their image is a huge issue. Techs, geeks and youth may well understand them, but to the average voter they are a joke party with a single intention (to allow wholesale IP piracy – the clue is in the name, you see). The Pirate Party needs a relaunch under a more sensible name if they want to have any hope of gaining real traction in Australia’s political landscape.

      Besides, Assange is now a super brand all of his own – he is recognisable internationally (even if his public character has been so badly smeared by certain governments and press conglomerates that significant proportions of the population in Australia and the US actively despise him). Unfortunately Assange’s greatest challenge will be fighting those negative public perceptions, but as they’re held by people who make snap judgements against people based on the poisonous rhetoric they read or hear from their right-wing commentators of choice, he’s unlikely to get very far with that. The question is whether he has enough votes from the rest of us to overcome right-wing prejudice.

      • Sam Kearns
        Posted 14/12/2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink |

        The Pirate Party name follows a long tradition of human rights activists co-opting a derogatory term originally used against them.

        A better argument for the Pirate name though is to think of the possible alternatives. The Knowledge Party? The Intellectual Freedom Party? The Free Culture Party? The Empowerment Party? The Party Against US Hegemony? Any of these come across as extremely vague, elitist, naive, desperately sincere or just carry the same “freetard” baggage that the pirate name does.

        (yes, I’m a member…)

    6. constance
      Posted 14/12/2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink |

      i am not even an australian but feels strongly to support or vote for him. way to go mendax!

    7. Matt
      Posted 14/12/2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink |

      He is extremely intelligent, a icon for freedom of speech and recognizes the importance of human rights. Why complain? And why is everyone opinionated about his personality? If you read the cables of wikileaks, you would be amazed at how we are all been fed lies through our media. So the medias representation of him is sabotaged. He is our last hope for not been led into slavery/ww3.

    8. TechinBris
      Posted 19/12/2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink |

      Well considering the choice we are currently given for the Senate, he certainly couldn’t do much worse. So why not give him a go? He might actually surprise us, as none that are there now do.
      Same ol’ same ol’. Same crap. Same lies. Same bullshit.
      Open dialogue and open information for rationalizing the best methodology forward? How novel. I think it might actually work!

    9. freetard
      Posted 19/12/2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink |

      Lets hope he doesn’t suffer from “Garrettism”

    10. freetard
      Posted 19/12/2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

      as in Peter “Garrettism”

      • TechinBris
        Posted 20/12/2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink |

        Ask Renai, as he is in his electorate. he should know all about it. i know he so happy about that, not.

    11. George
      Posted 07/02/2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink |

      I’ll vote for the bloke, mainly to protect him from hysterical individuals calling to be killed, or arrested, or extradited. Not many had paused to think first. And he only play the game (political or judicial ) others started. JULIAN ASSANGE FOR SENATE !

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