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Australia Government Politics

Julian Assange Runs For Office In Australia 192

Posted by samzenpus
from the will-of-the-people dept.
mpawlo writes "Mr Julian Assange of Wikileaks fame, has, according to The Age, confirmed his intention to run for the Australian Senate in 2013. He will also form a Wikileaks political party. From the article: 'Mr Assange said plans to register an Australian WikiLeaks party were ''significantly advanced''. He indicated he would be a Senate candidate, and added that "a number of very worthy people admired by the Australian public" have indicated their availability to stand for election on a party ticket. Mr Assange said he is able to fulfill the requirements to register as an overseas elector in either New South Wales or Victoria and that he will shortly take a "strategic decision" about which state he would be a Senate candidate for.'"
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Julian Assange Runs For Office In Australia

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  • I hope that JA has the fortune that the Pirate Party has had in Germany.

    Viel Erfolg!

  • Best of luck (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @06:40AM (#42270803) Homepage

    The minute he steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he'll be arrested and bundled onto the next plane to Sweden.

    • by acidfast7 (551610)

      We'll see. He's surprised us so far. All he needs to do is to continue to cater to anyone that wants to thumb their nose at Europe/US and he'll be fine.

      "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

      • by petes_PoV (912422)

        All he needs to do is to continue to cater to anyone that wants to thumb their nose at Europe/US and he'll be fine.

        Hardly "fine". He's voluntarily locked himself into a small building with no possibility of travelling elsewhere. Apart from the occasional announcement like this one, and internet access he may as well be in jail. At least then (provided he's not rendered to the USA) he'll know when he's free to get out.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BlueStrat (756137)

      The minute he steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he'll be arrested and bundled onto the next plane to Sweden.

      Where he'll stay just long enough for Swedish authorities to cover their collective asses before he's turned over to the US for lyn^W^W^W*W*Wtrial.

      I'm amazed that the Australian government is apparently fine with being made the US' bitch, by virtue of the US treating an Australian citizen this way. Same for the Australian people. I mean, I wouldn't expect Australians to start burning down the US Embassy or anything, but I would certainly expect protests. Maybe they simply haven't made the foreign news servi

      • Where he'll stay just long enough for Swedish authorities to cover their collective asses before he's turned over to the US for lyn^W^W^W*W*Wtrial.

        I don't know Swedish law. German law is quite clear: If you are extradited from country X to Germany, (1) you can only be taken to court for whatever claims were made against you in the extradition request, and (2) you have the right to be returned to country X. So if this was between the UK and Germany and not UK and Sweden, he could be extradited to Germany, maybe put to jail for some time, and then he would have the absolute right to be returned to the UK when he leaves jail.

      • by bug1 (96678)

        Australia has always had trouble standing up for itself, it used to hide behind Britain, now it hides behind US.

        Yes there have been protests, but both major political parties are very similar on "national security", and neither have shown him any respect, despite significant popular support amongst voters.

        There used to be a minor center party (Australian Democrats) with a slogan "Keep the bastards honest" which did pretty good for a while, but lost the ground in the center to the major parties. If wikileaks

        • by NoMaster (142776)

          Or it might be because Australians in general consider Julian Assange to be the Steve Irwin of computer hackers (i.e. a wanker).

          That was certainly the opinion of him back in the day, despite what the telemovie said.

    • Yes I'm sure these worthy people he's talking about haven't spoken to those who posted his bail!
    • by jcr (53032)

      Probably not, if he wins.

      If he becomes an elected official, the Australian government will be under a great deal of pressure to issue him an official passport and place him under diplomatic immunity. Then it becomes a question of whether the UK government is willing to severely damage its relationship with a commonwealth country for the sake of doing the CIA a favor.

      -jcr

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        If he becomes an elected official, the Australian government will be under a great deal of pressure to issue him an official passport and place him under diplomatic immunity.

        It doesn't work that way. Diplomatic immunity is granted on entry to a country, not afterwards.

        • by Xest (935314)

          It's not quite as straightforward as that though. If Australia declares him a diplomat then Sweden's option if they refuse to recognise immunity is to declare him persona non grata and allow him to be recalled to Australia.

          So whilst they can't retroactively apply it in the UK, they can go through formal process in Sweden instead, so that when the UK ships him to Sweden, Sweden's choice is either to accept diplomatic immunity for him as a valid diplomat, or choose not to recognise it and hence declare him pe

    • by Lisias (447563)

      The minute he steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he'll be arrested and bundled onto the next plane to Sweden.

      Not if he manages to be elected as a senator.

      Smart move. The Australian government will be *forced* to defend him. You just can't afford to have your senators arrested around the world.

      • by phayes (202222)

        Only in the minds of the self deluded like Assange. Diplomatic immunity cannot be granted retroactively.

  • by filmorris (2466940) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @06:43AM (#42270811)
    's/Office/His Ass/'
  • How does a man meaningfully participate in the Australian Senate when he is permanently outside of the country? Richard
    • Makes me wonder if being a federal senator gives him some status which enables him to avoid arrest in the UK.

      • I believe that the answer to this is no. Ditto,a country cannot make him a diplomat and get him diplomatic immunity from the UK authorities while he remains in the UK.

        In the UK (I think in general) diplomatic status is recognised _before_ the person enters the country and, if the UK does recognise that status before entry, the only sanction the UK has is to tell (force) the person to leave the country again.

        But should the person try and sneak into the country they would not have any diplomatic status and wo

        • I wouldn't dismiss this outright. Constitutionally, this would need to be tested in court.

          See, Australia is a Commonwealth Realm, with the Queen as head of state. A senator of the Australian parliament is therefore an elected representative of the Queen and thus may, theoretically have the same rights and privileges as a British member of parliament. Something that might never codified in the transition from colony of the British Empire to independent country. Assange in this stunt would thus be hoping to b

          • There's parliamentary privilege that he would, presumably, acquire, but I don't believe there are any special privileges for MPs that would make any difference in this case.

            Tim.

        • I believe the way it works, is that someone is credentialed to be a diplomat by a government, and then those credentials are accepted, signed, and affixed with an official seal by the leader of a foreign government to which they are to have diplomatic relations.

          Very unlikely that the Queen's government will accept any paperwork for Mr. Assange at this point.

        • by Kagato (116051)

          He's not in the country technically. It's really a question of how it would all work out given he'd be representing a Commonwealth Realm. I'm sure there are some lawyers that would love to argue this, just as much as the crown wishes he'd gone to Germany instead of the UK.

    • by robmv (855035)

      Pigs (in Animal Farm sense) have exceptions specially made for them. In Venezuela, we have governor elections this Sunday, some candidates from the government (Chavismo) are not from the state they are candidates, they don't live there, but the elections ruling body moved them and their families out of time (electoral roll was closed) because it is controlled by the same party

    • by mjwx (966435)

      How does a man meaningfully participate in the Australian Senate

      I would have just stopped there.

  • Color me puzzled...

    How does he intend to campaign from the Ecuadorian embassy in London?

    And more to the point, isn't he persona non grata [abc.net.au] in his own country? As in, subject to being expelled to the US should he go there?

    • He can run as long as he hasn't been convicted and gone to jail. If he runs and wins and is unable to take his seat, he can nominate a replacement, though possibly just from his party.
    • by Xest (935314)

      If that were true then Australia would be in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12.2 which states:

      "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

      Any nation officially declaring one of their own citizens persona non grata would be in deep shit over this. Note however that this is not the same as extraditing someone though, they could certainly extradite him to the US if they have an extradition treaty that allows it and if all pre-requ

      • by Kergan (780543)

        I was meaning it in a casual sense, yeah. As in, he's welcome to return, get arrested on the spot and board the next plane to the US.

        Thanks for the more precise legal meaning and perspective, though. +1 interesting. :-)

  • by pbjones (315127) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @06:51AM (#42270853)

    How does he get to his seat in the Australian Senate? It's a joke, a publicity stunt.

    • How does he get to his seat in the Australian Senate?

      The mechanics of getting him out of there aren't too bad. I can think of at least four plans that would at least get him to international waters, and people who do this kind of thing professionally can think of better plans than mine.

      The real issue is whether Ecuador wants to deal with the fallout from having helped him do that. They may prefer to take a wait-and-see approach. Lieberman is leaving in a few days, Manning's trial is going to be over by M

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will he be issued a diplomatic passport if he does become a senator?
    If so, he might be able to use the diplomatic immunity ticket to step out?

    • Will he be issued a diplomatic passport if he does become a senator?

      I don't think foreign politicians, included elected politicians, have any special legal state anywhere outside their own country. It's diplomates, embassy employees etc.

      • by Shimbo (100005)

        I don't think foreign politicians, included elected politicians, have any special legal state anywhere outside their own country. It's diplomates, embassy employees etc.

        You can be granted a diplomatic passport, and it's a matter of custom and keeping good relations not to mess with visiting VIPs. It doesn't confer diplomatic immunity, as Senator Pinochet discovered.

  • He has very little chance of actually being elected. In both those two states it is routine for up to a hundred people to stand, and so people just tend to vote "above the line" (select a party, and then the party allocates preferences as published prior to the election). None of the major parties are going to give high preferences to this new party, and of the minors, only the Greens have any real clout. Depending on politics, the Greens might preference the Labor Party ahead of the Wikileaks party, which'

    • by bug1 (96678)

      "None of the major parties are going to give high preferences to this new party"

      Do you remember the ALP (center left) preferencing Family First, a right wing christian fundamentalist party before the greens. Parties do really weird things with preferences.

      Its very naive to think you can predict who will win the last senate seat, DLP won a senate seat with a 1.9% primary vote.

    • Au contraire - he has quite a reasonable chance of getting elected to the Victorian senate.

      2004 Stephen Fielding (Family First) 1.9%
      2010 John Madigan (DLP) 2.33%

      Never underestimate the preference deals of minor parties to stifle Labor and the Greens.

  • So when Assange bombs out, and loses his deposit, whose money will he waste this time?

    Note to clueless rich libertarians backing this douchebag: madness is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

  • Assange goes down under again!
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @08:15AM (#42271245)
    He could be Australia's answer to Bill Clinton
  • by Maimun (631984) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @08:43AM (#42271413)
    Some reality check first. It is completely unthinkable to have a major country that has no state secrets and whose information is completely free and open for anyone interested. By "major country" I mean one that has geopolitical standing and ambitions. A country that is completely open, information-wise, if such exists, is an irrelevant entity -- a satellite in the orbit of one of the major players.

    Sorry if you don't like the reality. Reality has the interesting property to exist regardless of whether we like it, or even whether we believe in it. The reality is that the political world is not, and cannot be, a single entity ruled by mutual trust and eternal love. The political world is divided into hostile blocks. Even if our block falls down (due to, among other reasons, too much assangeness), the blocks will not disappear, they will reshape. China has enough vitality as far as I can tell. Surely the chikoms would not mind all US secrets being published openly. Surely they can fill in the geopolitical void left by the US (hypothetically speaking).

    Of course, there is a flip side to that. The government secret agencies tend to do nasty things behind the veil of secrecy and in that sense it is a good thing to have civil control over them. However, that does not alter one bit the fact that it is impossible to be a successful geopolitical player that reveals **all** her secrets.

    J. Assange took an active part in a war. He may not realise that but he did. Now he whines that the party he damaged is trying to destroy him :) Welcome to the real world, idiot! Every major player will do the same. Try hurting Russia or China or Turkey or Israel and see what happens. The sissies from the Western shelter have become accustomed to the idea you can hurt the state with impunity. Well, that's only possible in a small part of the world. Only inside the shelter that protects from the brutal reality. And is possible only to a certain degree. If too much assangeness happens, either the state will find means of protecting itself from the cancer, or will be overrun by a hostile party that allows no assangeness :)

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If too much assangeness happens, either the state will find means of protecting itself from the cancer, or will be overrun by a hostile party that allows no assangeness :)

      We are in a time of transition. For the first time, technology has made governments and corporations and news media not irrelevant, but inferior to their lack. We can do better without them because for the first time we have the ability to share information as well as they do — indeed, better. The only "benefit" of centralized news media over every human effectively being an investigative reporter is that it is more vulnerable to government influence. This is part of the same battle as that over the a

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      The parties he damaged are guilty of war crimes and violating human rights. The only option for anyone with evidence of such crimes is to say quiet and become complicit or to leak and face the consequences if caught.

  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @09:19AM (#42271623)

    Now I'm not an attorney but wouldn't getting elected to the Australian parliament make him immune from extradition to the US? It would probably provide him with diplomatic immunity as well, allowing him save passage into Australia. Clearly Assange's worry is the US government, not the Swedish government.

  • This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. If he gets elected make sure he ends up on the security council and plenty of committees that have top secret clearance. That way he can be hung as a traitor when he reveals all the state secrets to the detriment of the country he is supposed to be protecting.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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