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back to article Assange's WikiLeaks Party running-mate departs in blaze of glory

Arguments over how the Australian political party founded by Julian AssangeTM, the WikiLeaks Party, directs votes in the Australian Senate have prompted the resignation of high-profile candidate and Assange's running mate in Victoria, Leslie Cannold, who announced today: "To keep being a candidate feels like I'm breaking faith …

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Anonymous Coward

Obviously she feels differently to Alison Broinowski (former public servant) who I heard interviewed, on BBC Radio 4 PM programme, at the start of the week extolling the virtues of the party.

Did anyone who heard Assange's father speaking of his son, think of the Life of Brian quote "He's not the messiah, he's a naughty boy"?

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Funny that

Someone trying to build an alternative power center, outside of an approved and open process ?

Gosh, I wonder why I see Assange fit absolutely perfectly in that role.

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Re: Funny that

"Someone trying to build an alternative power center, outside of an approved and open process ?

Gosh, I wonder why I see Assange fit absolutely perfectly in that role."

That is why Domscheit-Berg left Wikileaks to form an alternative site, and it is why Cryptome's head describes Wikileaks as a criminal enterprise. Someone wants control of it, and I am beginning to see that it is more than money that someone wants; the attempt at a philosophical treatise in politics leads me to believe that someone wants, if not wurl dominayshun, then at least to dominate a sizeable chunk of it.

This man is ambitious, and he is a very naughty boy, 17 x in an Australian court, absconding twice, one of them was bail jumping. Yet all the while people's eyes still glaze over as they speak of him as the new one, Neo no less. Hah.

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Happy

Even Funnier

How come there have been Press handouts?

Rather this should have come via a series of leaks should it not?

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Sounds like a repeat of Wikileaks

Assange simply can't work with people, because he's a paranoid control freak. It's his secret conspiracy way, or the highway.

(See: Daniel Domscheit-Berg "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website" and the accounts of how Assange fucked the cooperation with The Telegraph and New York Times)

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Poor Julian

Matthews complains of disinterest by Assange: "National Council meetings have been held at least weekly for several months. Until last Friday, Julian had attended precisely one meeting."

Surely this is a bit unfair. If Julian Assange has made the effort to attend even one of the meetings in Australia in the last few months - then he's clearly made serious, even herculean, efforts to attend. It must have taken him a while to dig the required tunnel...

I wonder how he dealt with it being all hot at the centre of the earth, or if he used the tunnel they must have built for the remake of 'Total Recall'?

Seriously, it seems a bit odd to complain about building power groups within parties. Surely phoning activists up to try and persuade them to vote with you at meetings is standard practise, rather than a subversion of internal democracy? So long as you have debate and votes at meetings, and then carry out the agreed policy. Unless you're not really taking your party all that seriously, and are just having fun playing at grown-up politics.

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Re: Poor Julian

It sounds like the problem is that the actual council of the party, which is supposed to direct things, was making decisions which were ignored by people on the ground. It would be like the Cabinet making a decision to do X, and the Civil Service deciding to do Y anyway ... oh.

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Re: Poor Julian

Surely phoning activists up to try and persuade them to vote with you at meetings is standard practise, rather than a subversion of internal democracy?

It probably is standard practice. But just because it's the common practice doesn't mean it's consistent with truly democratic principles. In an ideal democracy, all individuals have the same ability to influence decisions. By having smaller discussions and making decisions outside of a public forum, you're depriving others of the right to influence those decisions, creating a block which has more knowledge and more power than the rest of the group.

So long as you have debate and votes at meetings, and then carry out the agreed policy.

But if your group has already had its debate privately, and resolved to vote in a particular way regardless of the public debate, the debate and votes at the meeting become meaningless forms that are being followed solely to create the appearance of an open democracy. Besides, the allegations seem to imply that the agreed policy was specifically not carried out.

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Re: Poor Julian

Steve Knox,

Obviously there are bigger problems if a democratic decision is come to, and then gets ignored. And that suggests something more underhanded than normal, 'honest', politics.

But I'm not sure I can agree with you on the idea that all decisions should be come to at open meetings. If you had infinite time for the meetings to happen, if everyone was equally intelligent and well informed, if everyone was of roughly equal ability as speakers, and if the options are reasonably limited - only then will you get reasonable democratic results that way. However you're more likely to end up with either paralysis, or rule by the most persuasive speakers. See Athenian democracy for an example.

There needs to be a reasonable balance between transparency and effectiveness. Someone's got to sit down and do the research and policy leg-work. Also if you've got a party of a few hundred people, with a few hundred different opinions you're never going to get anywhere. Which is why all parties become coalitions of groups.

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Re: Poor Julian

But I'm not sure I can agree with you on the idea that all decisions should be come to at open meetings. If you had infinite time for the meetings to happen, if everyone was equally intelligent and well informed, if everyone was of roughly equal ability as speakers, and if the options are reasonably limited - only then will you get reasonable democratic results that way. However you're more likely to end up with either paralysis, or rule by the most persuasive speakers. See Athenian democracy for an example.

Here you're talking practicality rather than principle. My point was specifically about an ideal democracy, not a real-world one. In a real-world democracy, yes, some people will be better informed or more persuasive -- those are the people who will likely be "running the show", either in open meetings or in the subgroups. And that's not a problem, provided it's all done above-board and accepted by the majority of the party. Again, that's not what seems to have happened here.

Finally on this point, I think we do have a much better ability to all be well-informed and participate in the discussions, thanks to technology like the internet. We don't have to have physical meetings or create and mail huge stacks of paper documents. One would think the Wikileaks party, being built by an organization used to using internet technologies for collaboration and dissemination of information, would have taken full advantage of these opportunities, but again, that doesn't seem to be the case.

There needs to be a reasonable balance between transparency and effectiveness. Someone's got to sit down and do the research and policy leg-work. Also if you've got a party of a few hundred people, with a few hundred different opinions you're never going to get anywhere. Which is why all parties become coalitions of groups.

For the most part, I agree with this. But those groups don't have to be secret or exclusive, which is apparently what happened here. They can be open functional groups rather than power blocs. The key pieces which needs to be as open and democratic are possible are the governance structure and the assignment of authority/responsibility. Once those become closed, corruption is almost guaranteed.

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Facepalm

St Jules doesn't like to share.....

I can't help laughing at the outrage expressed by the upset councilors, didn't they know about Julie's track record before they signed up to be his puppets? St Jules doesn't share his sheeple, he expects them all to do his bidding regardless of the front he creates to give a facade of democracy. So we see the council that are supposedly in charge being sidelined by A$$nut going direct and ignoring them, and they really didn't see that coming? Hilarious!

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Re: St Jules doesn't like to share.....

A lot of people confuse Assange with Wikileaks - mostly because Assange does his best to cause exactly that confusion (e.g. charging Assange for not being able to keep his dick in his pants is an attack on Wikileaks!).

Personally I think Wikileaks is good and useful, but Assange is a clown.

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Re: St Jules doesn't like to share.....

"I can't help laughing at the outrage expressed by the upset councilors, didn't they know about Julie's track record before they signed up to be his puppets?"

(I see thou hast been voted down by zitted ones.)

Well indeed; when you see that something is going wrong in an organisation, it is a truism in occupational psychology that you must look higher up the food chain to find the problem's source. In this case it is clear that the replicated problem in this organisation comes from the head of the unregulated Wikileaks. Oh yes.

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Re: St Jules doesn't like to share.....

"Personally I think Wikileaks is good and useful, but Assange is a clown."

Cryptome is fine, and I have actually given them information. Nothing spectacular, but I would not trust Wikileaks with the steam off my shit.

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Anonymous Coward

"I can no longer do this because I no longer believe it is true"

Definitely not suited for politics, then.

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Holmes

I think we see the classical confrontation between left/progressive and liberal/libertarian. I don't think Assange is a progressive perse. The distinction between left and right is what keeps the current stranglehold of the powerstructure going. And that powerstructure is threatened by Wikileaks.

Maybe Assange should be more communicative to run a party, but nonetheless I think he will have good reasons to have made the decision that led to this issue. Those reasons deserve attention as well. Although I'm an environmentalist myself, even member of the Animal Party here in NL, I can see that hunting rights are not just something to take away from people. It's about freedom and non-interference by the establishment.

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Anonymous Coward

I think what we see is a classic difference between a major party and a minor party.

The major parties are full of people who can work together, and are willing to submit to consensus decisions, and have structures and systems in place to weed out the unacceptable.

In contrast to the minor parties and independents, which are made up of people who can't agree with majority decisions, and can't get nominated in a major party.

And I say this as a person who has supported minor parties over the last 30 years.

So I think this is sad (I'm totally not in favour of either major party this time), but predicable.

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"The distinction between left and right is what keeps the current stranglehold of the powerstructure going."

The terms left and right wing are a hangover from the French revolution; the left wing sat to the left of the speaker/chairman, the right wing to the right; it being that the left wing were responsible for the execution of many thousands for kooky, dreamed up crimes, and it being that all revolutions are followed by grim, bloody periods, I prefer gradualism. It has been taught for decades in UK universities and it causes much less pain than the dangerous and frankly stupid liberation of human beings from the regulations and codes of conduct that prevent them from slaughtering, abusing, torturing and humiliation of their peers.

Moreover, the terms left and right in fact have no meaning. There is need of a different linguistic currency in political debates, one that obviates the problems that stem from such dangerous clichés, which ultimate result in ordinary conserving parties being labelled as, well I'll allow someone else to invoke Godwin, not that it means very much.

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Anonymous Coward

If you would support the wikileaks party, perhaps try looking at the pirate party australia, instead.

http://2013electionwatch.com.au/analysis/wikileaks-party-vs-pirate-party

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