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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:45 PM

Julian Assange wants to run for office

Source: Salon


The Wikileaks founder plans to form a party and run for the Australian Senate next year

BY NATASHA LENNARD

According to Australian news sources, Julian Assange plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate in 2013 under the banner of the “WikilLeaks Party.” News site The Age reported that Assange has said plans for registering the party were “significantly advanced” and that “a number of very worthy people admired by the Australian public” have expressed interest in standing on the WikiLeaks ticket.

Unsurprisingly, Assange said the party platform would push for greater government transparency and against creeping intrusions on individual privacy. “Polls inside Australia show that Assange could conceivably stand a chance of winning in either New South Wales or Victoria,” The Age noted.

Meanwhile, Assange himself who hopes to run for a Senate seat remains confined within the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder faces extradition to Sweden over rape allegations but has been granted political asylum by Ecuador — he has not been able to leave his London hideout for fear of interception by the British authorities who have vowed to deliver the controversial figure to Sweden. The Age noted that Assange’s circumstance would not necessarily hinder his Senate run: “If Mr Assange were elected but he was unable to return to Australia to take up his position, a nominee would occupy a Senate seat.”

-30-

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2012/12/12/julian_assange_wants_to_run_for_office/

21 replies, 2947 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Julian Assange wants to run for office (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
brooklynite Dec 2012 #1
freshwest Dec 2012 #12
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #14
freshwest Dec 2012 #16
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #18
freshwest Dec 2012 #21
JustABozoOnThisBus Dec 2012 #2
freshwest Dec 2012 #4
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #3
freshwest Dec 2012 #5
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #9
freshwest Dec 2012 #11
treestar Dec 2012 #6
freshwest Dec 2012 #10
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #13
freshwest Dec 2012 #15
dembotoz Dec 2012 #7
pinto Dec 2012 #8
Peace Patriot Dec 2012 #17
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #19
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #20

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:47 PM

1. Hard to do Constituent Services when you're stuck in an Embassy in Lonson...

...or in South America.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:49 PM

12. The article says he has a lot of support among those who spend a lot of time online.

Could he represent his constituency through live stream and emails or is that too fanciful?

It doesn't free him of his geographical dilemma.

The article I posted below from another DU says he could run for office from his room in London.

If he pulls this off, it'll be remarkable.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:54 PM

14. He can apparently run from where he is, but if he won and couldn't show his face Down Under

somebody else would be appointed to fill the seat

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:37 PM

16. Are you sure he couldn't do it all online? Say the oath of office on a computer cam and all...

No matter how many things I can imagine, I don't think this is going to work for him. Well, it was interesting for an evening.


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Response to freshwest (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:16 AM

18. ... The place of a senator shall become vacant if for two consecutive months of any session

of the Parliament he, without the permission of the Senate, fails to attend the Senate ... http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution/par2cha1

I suppose it's abstractly possible that he could obtain the continuing permission of the Senate to fail to attend, but in reality I expect it's a political loser: who wants a senator who's holed up 10K mi away, subject to arrest for jumping bail in order to avoid extradition for rape?

Then there's the somewhat touchy bit about swearing allegiance to the Queen


Every senator ... shall before taking his seat make and subscribe before the Governor-General, or some person authorised by him, an oath or affirmation of allegiance ... set forth in the schedule ... http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution/par4cha1


namely

... I ... do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law ... http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution/schedule


Since Assange is currently hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to escape the effect of the judgments of Her Royal Majesty's courts, that would send him to Sweden for prosecution for rape, it seems rather dubious that Assange can solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare his allegiance to the Queen and her laws, so it seems unlikely that the Governor-General will make it easy for Assange to appear before him, or before his designee, to make the oath or affirmation, especially as

... A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen's pleasure ... http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution/par1cha1


Moreover, both the alleged rape and the bail jumping bail could disqualify him in another manner:

Any person who ... has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer ... shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator ... http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution/par4cha1

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:33 PM

21. OW! That's gonna leave a mark! Yes, he is disqualified thrice there. Swearing allegiance to the

Queen and her heirs... Wow, that is something. Naturally it comes easily to the people in office there as they're used to it. Julian is in a bad place in Australian political circles since he is in trouble with their royal ruler right now. She only rules only as a formality and it doesn't mean much, but legally this would disqualify him.

This is part of the nature of Wikileaks and Anonymous followers I tired of listening to recently. Assange has been sanctified and any criticism is blasphemy now. There is a lot of what I'd call faith-based belief going on here. I don't believe in the Rapture, not in theology or politics, or some mystical force of the internet to save us from the hard work of forming a majority to change things for the better. I am not just a materialist, which is an expression of human values and belief how it will be managed. And beneath that is what Nature and physics decree with a logic and power which mankind cannot change, only respond or adapt. JMHO.

This has been like chasing ghosts here and may simply be a diversion to keep us off of what is happening in the material world which will do more harm to us all than what is being said and done to Assange. Although I don't see that what is being done to him is anywhere near what has happened to Manning. Who appears to be a bit confused, but intelligent and believes in what he did and willing to pay the price of what one might call civil disobedience to respond to a higher calling than what he signed on to do.

I see Assange, despite language in the article describing his personality in glowing terms, which may be altogether true, as a business man which is not that high a calling. Perhaps it is unfair to judge his profits and the lifestyle afforded by the many millions donated to Wikileaks as worthy cause. But I'm not into hero worship despite labeled an Obama cheerleader or ass-kisser here.

Obama stands for ideals and most of the empathy we have felt for him here is a reaction to the relentless dehumanization and degrading opinion of the right; also, he reflects more of the lives many of us have lived, or have aspired to live, than a Romney or a Ryan. I now see Assange as an opportunist and it hurts much more to see these mechinations because transparency is essential, and I feel abused by these groups. And we have yet to understand the full truth about our nation, the world and our own complicity in the events we decry, and I think many millions of people are being deceived from all corners.

Well, I'll just ramble along somewhere else, haha.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:48 PM

2. Good, that'll divert some Koch money out of the U.S.

... er, are corporations "people" if they're on the underside of the globe?

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:09 PM

4. I'll bet they've already been in contact with this Australian spokeswoman:

It appears Australia has it's very own little Matilda Koch-Romney.

World's richest woman lauds $2-a-day wages

Easy for her to say. Gina Rinehart, chairman of Hancock Prospecting and listed as the world's richest woman, has put her silver foot in her mouth again, lauding African miners' willingness to work for $2 a day...

An Australian mining heiress who courted controversy last month for suggesting her countrymen were just too lazy to be rich is at it again.

Gina Rinehart, thought to be the world's richest woman, chastised miners for being “too expensive,” saying, “Africans want to work. Its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day.”

In a 10-minute recording posted on YouTube to the Sydney Mining Club, Rinehart lambasted the domestic mining industry, saying it couldn’t compete in a global marketplace. “Not with Australian prices,” she said. She also railed against the country’s carbon tax and regulatory “red tape.”

But Rinehart’s most inflammatory statement by far was the comparison between Australian miners and those who work in developing African nations. “Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future,” she said.

Rinehart’s remarks drew a sharp rebuke from Australia’s Prime Minister, and it is doubtful that even those African mineworkers would agree with Rinehart’s endorsement of a sub-two-dollar daily wage. Violence flared at a South African platinum mine three weeks ago after workers demanded what media outlet AFP characterized as a near-tripling of their monthly wages to roughly $1,500 (12,500 South African rand).

This isn’t Rinehart’s first jab at Australia’s working class. In a recent article, she wrote, “If you're jealous of those with more money... spend less time drinking, or smoking and socialising and more time working.” That remark touched off its own media firestorm, with politicians and pundits alike pointing out that Rinehart acquired the source of her wealth simply by being born into the right family.


http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/06/13706124-worlds-richest-woman-lauds-2-a-day-wages?lite

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1116&pid=21870

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:51 PM

3. It sounds like Mr Assange will finally have to register to vote

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:11 PM

5. Aren't All Australians not only registered, but required to vote on their election holiday?

Which is something we should adopt here...




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Response to freshwest (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:45 PM

9. I think you can get most of the info by following links from here:

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:11 PM

11. That was interesting. The arguments against sound like the GOP!

For the reasons given in supporting it, I also want that here. In the Vietnam War years, people took things more seriously, especially young men. Since their lives depended on it with the draft, they saw they had to get involved to turn things around.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:20 PM

6. I wonder if there is a residency requirement

He has not lived in Australia for the recent past.

And one might have to be a resident to take the seat.

Hilarious. It might be the Onion. Why does he want to run for office in a nation persecuting him? (it will turn him over to the US pronto, no?)

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Response to treestar (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:07 PM

10. Reportedly he planned in March to run for office in Australia:

Julian Assange eyeing Senate: Wikileaks tweet

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julian-assange-eyeing-senate-wikileaks-tweet/story-fn59niix-1226302502397

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate, despite being under house arrest in Britain, the whistleblower group has tweeted.

Wikileaks announced its intentions today, saying the organisation also planned to field a candidate to run against Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her seat of Lalor at the next election.

"We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained. Julian has decided to run," the Wikileaks website tweeted.

http://twitter.com/wikileaks

Assange4Senate: Here is an article looking at how Julian can run for the Aust Senate from house arrest in the UK

http://wlcentral.org/node/2401

2012-01-02 A 'Wikileaks' party and #JA4Senate in the Australian polity: Can Parliament be 'occupied'?

More at cal04's thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002434271

I suspect it would provide him immunity. AFAIK, governments don't turn over their elected officials to other countries, no matter what the complaint is, they have immunity.

I thought this would be the perfect vehicle for him to go on his way. I didn't understand why he went to Europe. He could have lived with his family and conducted his enterprise online.

Then after getting in trouble with the British legal system, he holed up in the embassy which was a bad move. I think he'd be safer at home and this matter would be resolved.

No matter what treaties have been signed with Australia, USA or Sweden, as an official, ihe won't be shipped off. Have we ever heard of a politican being handed over while in office to another country?

HIs best bet is home. We've got worse serving the Congress. And they have immunity, like Cheney and Issa and the whole gang. It'd be an act of war to ship him off, IMHO.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:32 PM

13. I suppose if Assange got back to Australia, and if he managed to get himself elected to office,

then political forces might affect whether or not he could be extradited to Sweden

But he's not in Australia: he's a fugitive in Quito's embassy in London, in violation of his bail conditions

The UK courts are unlikely to look fondly on him, after he jumped bail, so a likely outcome, once he steps out of the embassy, is that (in some order) he will be (1) convicted and jailed in the UK for violation of the Bail Act and (2) extradited to Sweden to face prosecution there

If he managea to get himself elected to a seat in Australia, nothing really changes: it's quite plausible that his lawyers will try to argue as you suggest -- namely, that as an elected official he should be allowed to go about his business unmolested -- but no such rule will be found in international law, for the Swedish extradition case will predate any possible electoral success, and no one will maintain credibly that the Swedish allegations are based on acts under official color as the elected representative of some Australian constituency


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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:57 PM

15. I think you have a point there, because of the time line. One of the elements of immunity as an

Australian elected official, would be that he had done what he did under authority. Let's leave the rape allegation aside for a moment. It couldn't be construed as an official act, thank goodness.

Assange and Ecuador say he's in the embassy for fear of being brought to account for espionage against the USA. If he had been elected prior to these events, he may have staked out a certain portion of the electorate that wanted to reveal the cables he says he did, in their names.

Since he didn't campaign for office before he got in trouble, I'd say his announcement is publicity he needs to keep in the public eye. He could be elected in absentia, but it won't resolve any of his legal problems.

The timeline is wrong. He's screwed.

As far as the rape allegations, I don't know what to say. If there was ever a perfect way to destroy a person's credibility, this is it. I don't think any of them acted responsibly, although I can't begrudge what people do in private. But it was stupid.

If it was an intrigue as some suggest, one of those women could have played La Femme Nikita to his supposedly romantic yearnings. Or whatever.

I wonder how much longer this saga will go on...

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:21 PM

7. would assume australia is part of extradition real world

my poor little mind does not see what he would gain.....





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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:42 PM

8. LOL. The original source for this piece is a good read.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:36 AM

17. It couldn't be a better time to bring the transparency issue directly into political discourse.

A U.S. military judge just censored defendant testimony about torture in Guantanamo.

Our whole government is this way--from the "forgetting" of massive known crimes by the Bush Junta principles and no doubt cover up of many, likely even worse, unknown crimes, to WHO is conducting summary executions via drones of "suspected" terrorists and non-involved persons ("collateral damage") in our name and with our tax money--the secrecy is pervasive and immensely destructive of democracy. And that is not even to mention the money corruption--the corporate lobbyists writing our laws, the billions in secret campaign funds, the army of private corporate 'contractors' in Washington sucking the lifeblood out of government coffers, and on and on.

Time to air it all out and detach our government from the bloodsuckers. Australian governments, from John Majors and the Bushwhacks, to now, have been very collusive with the U.S. government and its corporate rulers and war profiteers. Australia--which apparently still has transparent vote counting (an essential of democracy that we have been robbed of)--is a good place to start this discussion and the renewal of democracy that it could be the preliminary to.

I hope that Assange succeeds in winning an Australian senate seat. I don't for a minute believe that he is a rapist or abuser of any kind. These allegations smell to high heaven--and he furthermore has repeatedly made himself available to Swedish authorities to answer their questions and they have repeatedly refused to question him! In fact, the first prosecutor thought that the allegations were so flimsy he dropped the case and told Assange he could leave the country. Then another prosecutor took over in an obviously political revival of these charges because only by doing so could they get Assange into custody. It's very clear that they don't give a crap about these absurd allegations and their only goal is to get Assange into their clutches so that they can turn him over to the U.S. for burial in some dungeon like Bradley Manning.

Assange is a threat to the secrets of every U.S.-collusive government on earth. Collusion on torturing prisoners. Collusion on execution without trial. Collusion on slaughtering a hundred thousand innocent people in the first weeks of bombing alone, in Iraq, and the on-going carnage in Afghanistan, and the disastrous mayhem in Libya and Syria. Collusion on drone spying and drone assassinations. Collusion on transglobal bankster looting. Collusion on the rich getting richer while the poor are kicked off the island. Collusion on the corrupt, murderous, failed "war on drugs"--failed as to its stated purpose but not failed as to brutally driving FIVE MILLION peasant farmers from their lands in Colombia, as prep for U.S.-dominated "free trade for the rich." Collusion on outsourcing jobs from countries with unions to countries where workers have no rights at all. Collusion on the corporate-caused death of the very planet we live on. Collusion that goes all the way back to the Vietnam War.

And the collusion has just gotten thicker and worse and more secretive over the decades. And Australian politicians, war profiteers and monopolistic corporate greedbags have been right there in the middle of all this murder and greed--playing along, supporting it, getting little scraps from the Masters' table in return. Accountability could start in a number of places--it is well under way in South America--but, aside from England, Australia is a prime venue to start the Great Cleansing and there is no better person to start it, in the English-speaking world, than Julian Assange. He has been smeared, slandered, hunted and robbed, in order to shut him up. He has a lot to tell Australians and the rest of us about the evils of secret government not the least of which is their egregious hypocrisy about "free speech."

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:28 AM

19. Assange's policy platforms cannot be revealed: spokesperson

Posted by: Ellen Feely & Michael James | 13 December, 2012 - 9:51 AM

A spokesperson for Julian Assange's Wikileaks Australian Citizens Alliance claims information about the Australian Senate hopeful's policy platforms cannot be revealed ...

http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/breaking-news-blog/assanges-policy-platforms-cannot-be-revealed-spokesperson/20121213-2bayt.html

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:33 AM

20. What chance does Assange have of being elected?

By ABC's Antony Green

... Do I think Assange can be elected? No. 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 per cent, 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. I think it highly unlikely he would receive Coalition preferences, or the preferences of any of the smaller conservative and populist parties.

If he did fluke election, could he take his seat? Probably not, as if he steps outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London to take his seat, he would be arrested and extradited to Sweden. At some point after July 1, 2014, his seat would be declared vacant by reason of absence and the relevant state parliament would be permitted to fill his vacancy, with the qualification that the person must be a member of Assange's party ...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-13/green-what-chance-does-assange-have-for-senate-seat/4425990

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