And now we come to the WikiLeaks party, which I have to admit, I’ve sort of been dreading. It has a lot of lefty cred, so I should theoretically like it, but then you have the recent utter meltdown over preferences, which was all a bit embarrassing and painful. And then we have the Julian Assange aspect, which is complicated on a lot of levels and I really don’t know how to address at all.
The problem is, frankly, that I live in Melbourne, and am in the same general age bracket as Assange, so I have a number of friends and acquaintances who knew him at university and socially when he lived here. And they really don’t like him. As far as I can tell, this opinion is unanimous, though the reasons for it vary. For me this is problematic, because while I am entirely happy to approach a political party with bias and an expectation of obnoxiousness and / or stupidity, I don’t like to start off by assuming ill of individuals. But I can’t pretend that, despite never having met the Assange, I am strongly inclined to dislike him, and this does prejudice me against the WikiLeaks Party. I suspect I’m going to like what WikiLeaks stands for, but I don’t want to see Assange in our Parliament.
(I also can’t pretend that I’m not just a little bit terrified about making that sort of statement on the internet, because whatever Assange himself may be like, he certainly has some very scary supporters online.)
The fairest thing I can do here, I think, is to declare my bias up-front, and avoid talking about Assange further unless any of the policies make it impossible not to. I am also not going to make any comment on the Swedish allegations and request for extradition, because they are not in the purview of this blog. (And incidentally, should this blog magically turn into the sort of blog that gets a lot of commenters, I’m going to delete any comments that go in that direction. They are not relevant to this topic. Also, I haven’t seen any conversations about the allegations and extradition request which haven’t become very nasty in a very short space of time.)
I have nothing against WikiLeaks itself, incidentally – there is more to WikiLeaks than Julian Assange, and I think it’s rather sad that WikiLeaks has become so much about a single person, not just because it ignores the contributions of so many other people, but also because when you tie a political party to a single figure, the behaviour and reputation of that figure can very easily be seen as a reflection of that organisation in its entirety. No matter who that person is, I think this is unfortunate and misleading.
Goodness me, that was serious, wasn’t it? I shall now return to my wonted frivolity, as we move on to look at the Group Voting Ticket – a group voting ticket that is quite a pleasing one in Victoria, but which had a few issues in other states…