Sunday, September 15, 2013

Julian Assange Lost Big Time. Look Out, Australia!

WHEN asked to explain why he was running for a seat in the Australian Senate while holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Julian Assange quoted Plato: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” 

Plato was “a bit of a fascist,” he said, but had a point.

Imagine the chagrin Mr. Assange must feel now, given that not only did he fail to win a place in the Senate in the recent election, but he was less successful than Ricky Muir from the Motoring Enthusiasts Party. Mr. Muir, who won just 0.5 percent of the vote, is most famous for having posted a video on YouTube of himself having a kangaroo feces fight with friends. 
It's no secret that I'm not a Julian Assange fan, and if I were an Australian I surely would have worked insanely hard to keep him from winning, but given my track record for not voting for people I think are such huge jokes there's no chance of them EVER getting elected, only to see them WIN (See Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Rick Snyder, town council member Buzz (Buzzy) Lightfoot), I wouldn't have been surprised if that big-headed Wikileaks blowhard had actually won.

I don't know Australian politics, of course, but if they're anything like us they have their own Bachmanns and Pauls and the aforementioned Reagans and Bushes.  Nobody is immune from political nutiness.  

But I bring this up here because I really, seriously want to go on record as being able to write the following:

Julian Assange lost a senate race in Victoria, Australia, coming in so embarrassingly low even his most loyal backers at The Guardian will have a hard time coming up with some lame-assed excuse having to do with secret government dealings, or world-wide intervention, or even Swedish prisses--whatever excuse there might be for causing the little mighty-might to fall.

And also. . .I really need to add this "spoof video", courtesy of Assange's lead defender, The Guardian (or, as they like to be known, the guardian), where the serious candidate for senate in Victoria, Australia, dons a mullet wig and lip synchs about why he has to go after those bastards in Australia.

It might be a good time to note here, too,  that Assange, running for office in Australia, is in London (that's in England) where he's being protected by the Ecuadorian government (that's in Central America) from the Swedish government (that's in Sweden), where he's wanted for questioning about some kind of trumped-up sex scandal designed just to embarrass the poor guy and take away his dignity and his livelihood.

Photo here because the guardian will no doubt take down the video, now that their guy Assange LOST.
 But to add insult to injury (is that possible with Julian Assange?) the Ecuadorians didn't quite get how fun this was.  They told Assange to stop making fun of Australian politicians while he's enjoying their hospitality.
Tensions between Assange and his Ecuadorean hosts were heightened during the Snowden affair, with diplomats saying that they felt that the WikiLeaks founder was trying to steal the limelight.
According to Agence France-Presse, Correa said: "The rules of asylum in principle forbid meddling in the politics of the country that grants asylum. But as a matter of courtesy, we are not going to bar Julian Assange from exercising his right to be a candidate. Just so long as he doesn't make fun of Australian politicians or people."
And to make matters even worse, Julian's Wikileaks running mate, Ethicist Leslie Cannold, originally so in touch with Assange she felt she had to write about why she, a feminist, would be running alongside him, resigned, along with six other Wikileaks members.  If Julian, for some reason (Sweden) couldn't fulfill his duties when (not if) he was elected, Leslie would have taken his place.  But it seems there was some secret hanky panky going on at Wikileak party headquarters (yes, I said secret), that went something like this:
In the resignation statement on Wednesday, Ms Cannold hit out at the failure to lodge Senate preference forms in WA and NSW in line with the National Council's instructions.
She said despite resistance, party members who wanted the problem reviewed prevailed.
But those who fought for the review ‘‘felt tired and disillusioned’’ and were then hit with a ‘‘bombshell’’.
‘‘A member of the party rang two key volunteers in succession and requested that they join with him in going outside the party's formal structures,’’ Ms Cannold said.
‘‘In these phone calls, the Council was denigrated and a proposal made to each volunteer in succession that they join with select candidates and Council members in taking direction from other than the National Council.
‘‘The consequence of the proposal was that the National Council and two of the campaign coordinators - also National Council members who have been actively involved in pushing for the preference review - would be bypassed.’’
She said a campaign staffer also received a phone call that contradicted the public statement issued by the WikiLeaks Party on Wednesday that the review of preferences would be immediate and independent.
Instead, the review would be delayed until after the election and would not be independent, Ms Cannold said.
‘‘This is the final straw,’’ she said.
‘‘As long as I believed there was a chance that democracy, transparency and accountability could prevail in the party I was willing to stay on and fight for it. But where a party member makes a bid to subvert the party's own processes, asking others to join in a secret, alternative power centre that subverts the properly constituted one, nothing makes sense anymore.
‘‘This is an unacceptable mode of operation for any organisation but even more so for an organisation explicitly committed to democracy, transparency and accountability.’’
So now Julian Assange has LOST his bid for a senate seat in Victoria.  I predict Australia won't be hearing the last of him.  In fact, if I were Australia I would be locking up the goodies and throwing away the keys.  If you know what I mean.

NOTE:  Selected for MBRU on Crooks and Liars. Thanks!

(Cross-posted at dagblog, as always.)

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