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Australia Politics

Wikileaks Party Making Questionable Deals In Attempt To Win Senate Seat 162

Posted by Soulskill
from the strange-bedfellows dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Brisbane Times notes that 'Julian Assange's Wikileaks Party has come under fire for directing its preferences to the Shooters and Fishers Party and the white nationalist Australia First Party ahead of both major parties and the Greens in the NSW Senate race. Australia First's policies include reducing and limiting immigration and "abolishing multiculturalism." The chairman of Australia First, Jim Saleam, is a former neo-Nazi who was convicted in the late 1980s of organizing a shotgun attack on the home of an Australian representative of the African National Congress. WikiLeaks candidates in NSW include human rights activist Kellie Tranter.' The Wikileaks Party blamed the outcome on administrative problems. This is drawing further criticism."
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Wikileaks Party Making Questionable Deals In Attempt To Win Senate Seat

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  • by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:33PM (#44625193)

    Yeah political influence has done Assange well in his little room at the Ecuadorian Embassy. I can see them trying anything to get political influence anywhere, so this doesn't surprise me one bit.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      You missed the point entirely. As expected the smear campaign against Assange and Wikileaks is continuing. Rape, association with right wing extremists... It will be interesting to see what comes next.

      You have fallen for it completely. The Wikileaks party is far bigger than Assange. He is just one of seven candidates, not even the leader. Who told you what to think, a fox?

  • Again and Again (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:34PM (#44625211) Homepage

    Once again Julian Assange shows that his primary focus is the elevation of Julian Assange.

    • Re:Again and Again (Score:5, Insightful)

      by batkiwi (137781) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:03PM (#44625913)

      What does this have to do with Assange directly?He is only one of 7 wikileaks candidtates, and he is running in Queensland.

      This story is about preferences in New South Wales. The wikileaks candidates in NSW are Kellie Tranter and Alison Broinowski.

      • What does this have to do with Assange directly?He is only one of 7 wikileaks candidtates, and he is running in Queensland.

        I think that is nutty. Queensland is the home of fringe political parties, and right wing voters. Assange has ties in Victoria and would surely find more voters among the tech and academic industries here.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          The problem being that the wikileaks targeted voters are not single issue voters and hence wikileaks is very unlikely to gain many. Single issue voting is mind bogglingly stupidly destructive. Pay attention to the bulk of the policy directions, pay attention to the track record of the politician and either vote out the worst or try to vote in the best, OVERALL. Never, ever single issue vote that is exactly what turns the majority of conservative voters into victims, rather than contributing citizens. Wikil

      • Re:Again and Again (Score:4, Informative)

        by Liam Pomfret (1737150) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:37PM (#44626125)

        What does this have to do with Assange directly?He is only one of 7 wikileaks candidtates, and he is running in Queensland.

        Incorrect. Assange is running in Victoria. The Wikileaks Party isn't fielding any candidates in Queensland whatsoever.

        • by batkiwi (137781)

          Damnit you're right. I got muddled by the brisbane times link.

          Either way it's not NSW though!

  • by Yynatago (734843) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:54PM (#44625391) Journal
    No surprise here. All the minor parties are doing the same thing. The Australian sex party is preferencing Pauline Hanson's Australia First Party ahead of Greens.
    • You'd think that Julian Assange's party would be a natural fit with the Sex party.

      • by xQx (5744) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:13PM (#44625535)

        They are actually. The Sex Party, The Pirate Party and The Wikileaks Party have very similar pro-civil-rights views.
        But they don't preference each other as 1,2 & 3.

        Preferencing stopped being about shared values a long time ago. It still is a *little* about shared values, but this year the primary opposition party (LNP) has preferenced their mortal enemy, the ALP, above all other parties.

        Preferencing strategy goes like this: If a party higher than me on the ticket gets votes but doesn't win, I get their votes.
        Preferencing negotiations go like this: "I'll put you down as "2" on my ticket, if you put me down as "2" on yours."

        So, preferencing for minor parties in reality works like this:

        Approach all the parties that you think will be popular, but not popular enough to actually win, and try to get as high as possible in their preferences.
        Try not to sell your soul in the process, or align with any parties that will cause you to loose face.

        The Wikileaks Party, who are new to politics forgot the last bit, and is now in damage control.

    • by Liam Pomfret (1737150) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:40PM (#44626145)

      No surprise here. All the minor parties are doing the same thing.

      Some parties are. Not all of them. The Pirate Party in particular opted out of those deals, and allocated preferences according to a vote of the membership. The party has also published its preferencing process online, which you can read at http://pirateparty.org.au/2013/08/18/preferencing-statement-for-federal-election-2013/ [pirateparty.org.au]

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @06:54PM (#44625395) Homepage Journal

    I am an Australian voter and I can't imagine a wikileaks voter following a how to vote card. If they have somebody handing them out in East Brunswick I might pick one up for the lulz, but thats all.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:22PM (#44625625) Homepage Journal

    Amateur politicians doing amateur things is not as dangerous as a global police state.

    I'd gladly read a story every day about what a knucklehead Julian Assange is, if I could be certain that an out-of-control surveillance apparatus is not upskirting every conversation everybody has, even those of the most private, personal nature.

    Fuck Julian Assange. He's nothing, nobody. He's not 1/100th as significant as the least of the leakers.

    Today, we have a story about a long-time blogger - a serious person, doing seriously good work - is closing down a widely-read web site because she can no longer expect privacy in communications, in the United States of America. We had the founders and operators of an encrypted mail system, Lavabit, close their business and not be able to even say why under threat of prosecution.

    Who knew that Aaron Schwartz was so far ahead of his time, now that important online businesses are following his lead.

    If you can not be private, you cannot, in any sense, be free.

    Let's see what Primo Levi has to say on the matter:

    One way of beginning to understand privacy is by looking at what happens to people in extreme situations where it is absent. Recalling his time in Auschwitz, Primo Levi observed that "solitude in a Camp is more precious and rare than bread." Solitude is one state of privacy, and even amidst the overwhelming death, starvation, and horror of the camps, Levi knew he missed it.... Levi spent much of his life finding words for his camp experience. How, he wonders aloud in Survival in Auschwitz, do you describe "the demolition of a man," an offense for which "our language lacks words."...

    One function of privacy is to provide a safe space away from terror or other assaultive experiences. When you remove a person's ability to sequester herself, or intimate information about herself, you make her extremely vulnerable....

    The totalitarian state watches everyone, but keeps its own plans secret. Privacy is seen as dangerous because it enhances resistance. Constantly spying and then confronting people with what are often petty transgressions is a way of maintaining social control and unnerving and disempowering opposition....

    And even when one shakes real pursuers, it is often hard to rid oneself of the feeling of being watched -- which is why surveillance is an extremely powerful way to control people. The mind's tendency to still feel observed when alone... can be inhibiting. ... Feeling watched, but not knowing for sure, nor knowing if, when, or how the hostile surveyor may strike, people often become fearful, constricted, and distracted.

    [h/t Groklaw]

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130818120421175 [groklaw.net]

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      Fuck Julian Assange. He's nothing, nobody. He's not 1/100th as significant as the least of the leakers.

      What the fuck are you talking about? He had the guts to publish valuable information on the US government's wrongdoings through his organization, and is now likely being persecuted by the US (and UK in cahoots) government for doing so. His situation is extremely significant in my opinion. His and Bradley Manning's actions may even have inspired Edward Snowden and if it hadn't been for them we would be n

      • by Pav (4298)
        Where's my mod points when I need 'em
      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        My point is that Assange is not the focus. He's not what's important in this story.

        There is a danger in making the messenger into the message, because the focus can end up on human flaws instead of government criminality.

        Compared to the scope of the story, the actual information of the brave leakers, Assange is pretty insignificant in the long run, IMO.

  • Below the line (Score:5, Informative)

    by batkiwi (137781) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:58PM (#44625877)

    Anyone who is actually voting for wikileaks will likely be well informed and voting below the line anyways.

    For those not familiar with australian voting, we have preferential instant runoff first past the pole voting.

    You can either vote "above the line," where you select ONE party, and that party decides how your preferences fall if they don't win a seat, or you can vote "below the line," where you number individual candidates "1, 2, 3.....".

    • Anyone who is actually voting for wikileaks will likely be well informed and voting below the line anyways.

      But what does it tell the voter who reads above the line and discovers some very uncomfortable truths about the alliances you have made. Is he voting Wikileaks or he is voting Fascist? Which is the real you?

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      No one voting for Wikileaks can possibly be considered informed. Retarded perhaps, informed, not so much.

  • Can someone explain what is so Objectionable about the Hunters and Fishers party that it needed to be grouped with an obviously racist white nationalist organization? I'm not really finding any thing all that objectionable about the hunters and fishers.
    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:36PM (#44626121) Homepage Journal

      They are the Australian gun lobby (like the US NRA sort of) and not regarded very well. I always put them last along with the "fathers who don't want to pay child support" and the anti immigration groups.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        They are the Australian gun lobby (like the US NRA sort of) and not regarded very well. I always put them last along with the "fathers who don't want to pay child support" and the anti immigration groups.

        Not quite.

        Whilst being pro-gun, they aren't as gung ho and batshit insane as the US NRA. Their policy lines are more based on sport than self defence. Personally I put Shooters and Fishers above Lib/Nat (I vote below the line).

        As a third party, they help prevent one party from ruling by fiat.

        But I agree with you about the anti-immigration groups although Shooters and Fishers shouldn't really be lumped in with them.

    • They're to the political right, and the submitter obviously leans left.

      If you read the article, it seems the people Wikileaks are "coming under fire" from are the Greens (who are pretty much the Australian left-wing these days), because they wanted Wikileaks preferences and didn't get them.

  • Every underdog movement since the 1st century AD has made alliances with parties and groups they otherwise despise. If this were not a fair tactic, the overdog would never get displaced. Being outraged at this is thew mark of a total naive and frankly, a historically illiterate. It is important to read about history or at least watch some shows on TV or something so you don't end up looking like a dope when you speak.

    This is just how change happens.

  • Oh really? Are they making questionable, backroom deals, playing dirty politics, and generally PLAYING THE GAME as its PLAYED EVERYWHERE by EVERYONE since civilization was created? Oh, the humanity! Maybe they dress like a pack of rabid south african body builders wearing creepy breathing masks and plotting revenge on the world so we can get the full effect of their evil.
  • I voted for them Yesterday, (i.e. filled in my postal vote). Numbered all boxes below the line 1 to 110. Wikileaks, then the Pirate Party....
  • By directing preferences away from the Greens, Wikileaks improves its chances. Only marginally, but I suppose the rationale for the decision was that "every little bit helps."

    The surprise here is that they didn't come clean on it, given the irony that creates. ...and yes, Wikileaks is only assumed to be a left-wing party, which is an error. Libertarianism is right-wing.

  • by dwywit (1109409) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @10:38PM (#44626821)

    The VOTER decides the preferences, i.e. it's the voter who writes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on, not the parties. All the parties do is print how-to-vote cards that get handed out near the polling stations. It's always been the voter who decides preferences, so if you the voter can't be arsed doing a little research and making your own decisions, and are happy to fill out your ballot according to your party's how-to-vote card, then you deserve the consequences.

    Admittedly the senate ballot paper is a pain to fill out completely (numbering every box rather than put a "1" above the line, as most major parties would have you do), but fer crissakes, it's only once every few years, and worth a little research and mental arithmetic.

    That reminds me - I should find out if the MHR ballot is optional preferential - that's the best system - you can vote 1 for your preferred candidate, then further numbering is optional.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Most people vote above the line for the senate and hence do in fact let the party they picked choose for them. I want to say they shouldn't, but given how much thought the average voter puts into their vote letting the party they think they like the most choose is probably actually better.

      But, this is how you win senate seats in Australia - if you're a tiny party then you want to keep those preferences in with the minor parties for as long as possible. I remember the table cloth ballot paper in the NSW elec

    • by dwywit (1109409)

      Aw, crap. Federal MHR ballots are not optional preferential - you've got to number EVERY box or it's an informal vote. It's going to be interesting - I'm in the electorate of Fisher http://www.aec.gov.au/election/qld/fisher.htm [aec.gov.au] - 10 MHR candidates (including Peter Slipper), and 82 senate candidates. I'm going to download the CSV and try to work out my numbering before I get to the polling booth.

      • by lachlan76 (770870)
        You can, however, mark both above and below the line, the former being used if you get the latter wrong.
  • becomes corrupted after entering politics.
    In other news: fire is hot and water is wet.

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