Julian Assange’s Political Party Implodes After Deals with Far Right Groups
Under the system of proportional representation used for the Australian Senate, voters in each state can either rank specific candidates or let their first choice party do so. Considering that there are often over 50 people on the ballot, voters to tend just defer to their party. The result is frenzied negotiations between small parties and large parties to maximize their representation and avoid wasted votes.
The Wikileaks Party’s national council thought it had agreed to a plan where the party would be making deals to work closely with the Australian Green Party and other left of center candidate. Then they discovered that Assange instead had made deals with a far right wing party as well as one that is militantly pro gun. The result was a number of party members quit, including Leslie Cannold, Assange’s number two in the party, and David Mathews, one of his close friends from college, leaving the party divided two weeks before the election.
In an article published in the Guardian on Wednesday, Mathews uses tough language to describe the personality of Assange, who he still admires, will vote for and considers a friend. He describes Assange as “not … suited to a party with democratic national council oversight” and someone who “really ought not to have set up a party with internal democracy.”
This was mild criticism compared to Cannold, who proclaimed in a statement “to keep being a candidate feels like I’m breaking faith with the Australian people.” Although she didn’t mention Assange by name, but denigrated the party, stating that its backroom maneuverings were an “unacceptable mode of operation for any organization but even more so for an organization explicitly committed to democracy, transparency and accountability.”
Assange shrugged it off.