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Julian Assange Runs For Office In Australia

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the will-of-the-people dept.

Australia 192

mpawlo writes "Mr Julian Assange of Wikileaks fame, has, according to The Age, confirmed his intention to run for the Australian Senate in 2013. He will also form a Wikileaks political party. From the article: 'Mr Assange said plans to register an Australian WikiLeaks party were ''significantly advanced''. He indicated he would be a Senate candidate, and added that "a number of very worthy people admired by the Australian public" have indicated their availability to stand for election on a party ticket. Mr Assange said he is able to fulfill the requirements to register as an overseas elector in either New South Wales or Victoria and that he will shortly take a "strategic decision" about which state he would be a Senate candidate for.'"

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I like it! (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#42270785)

I hope that JA has the fortune that the Pirate Party has had in Germany.

Viel Erfolg!

Re:I like it! (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 2 years ago | (#42270885)

Re:I like it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270913)

Ahem... you do realise that this could be regarded as sarcasm given the recent scandals around several higher figures in the Piratenpartei and their Parteitagsdebacle? The pirates are already on their way out... it's really doubtful they are still having much support in the general public.
And who wants to elect a criminal suspect into a position of power? An alleged rapist much less...

Re:I like it! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270979)

Alleged != Guilty - Not that it matters in the court of public opinion, as you just clearly illustrated ;)

Re:I like it! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271381)

Alleged != Guilty - Not that it matters in the court of public opinion, as you just clearly illustrated ;)

He's hiding in an embassy because he is afraid of Sweden's criminal justice system. From the World Justice Project report ranking [worldjusticeproject.org] where Sweden ranks #2 overall in the world and #5 for criminal justice:

Sweden ranks first worldwide in four of eight dimensions--absence of corruption, fundamental rights, open government, and regulatory enforcement--and places in the top 10 in all dimensions. Sweden's administrative agencies and courts are rated among the most effective and transparent in the world. The country generally observes fundamental rights. Sweden's lowest score is in the area of civil justice, mainly because of perceived delays in court processes.

If Julian Assange was fleeing from the courts of Russia, China, Venezuela, or even the United States, I could understand. But fleeing from Sweden is a major red flag. He'll get a fair trial in Sweden. I wonder if that's what he's afraid of.

Re:I like it! (3, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42271705)

I wonder if that's what he's afraid of.

He's probably afraid of the curiously broad Swedish definition of "rape".

Re:I like it! (1)

phayes (202222) | about 2 years ago | (#42271455)

He ran away from the UK authorities who let him out of custody betraying his sworn statements that he would not do so.

His justifications for betraying his word so are murky as hell (he mustn't allow himself to be extradited to answer questions as it'd be easier for the USA to extradite him from Sweden is patently false in addition to the fact that no charges have even been filed in the USA).

He let himself be used by fascists in the Kremlin.

etc, etc, etc.

The public's lack of faith in him is his own fault.

Re:I like it! (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about 2 years ago | (#42271751)

Maybe he knows something we don't...

RAPIST RUNS FOR OFFICE !! WHAT'S SO WEIRD ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270795)

Not much, really !!

Re:RAPIST RUNS FOR OFFICE !! WHAT'S SO WEIRD ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270977)

Not much, really !!

We're talking about the Australian Senate; not the US Senate for one.

Secondly, he is accused of raping a woman. US politicians are into homosexuality.

Although, when it comes down to it, all politicians rape the public in one form or another.

mr assange (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270799)

isn't he still holed up in an embassy in London?

Re:mr assange (-1, Troll)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42270969)

Try using Google to find out...

Best of luck (4, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 2 years ago | (#42270803)

The minute he steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he'll be arrested and bundled onto the next plane to Sweden.

Re:Best of luck (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#42270847)

We'll see. He's surprised us so far. All he needs to do is to continue to cater to anyone that wants to thumb their nose at Europe/US and he'll be fine.

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Re:Best of luck (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 2 years ago | (#42271537)

All he needs to do is to continue to cater to anyone that wants to thumb their nose at Europe/US and he'll be fine.

Hardly "fine". He's voluntarily locked himself into a small building with no possibility of travelling elsewhere. Apart from the occasional announcement like this one, and internet access he may as well be in jail. At least then (provided he's not rendered to the USA) he'll know when he's free to get out.

Re:Best of luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270851)

The minute he steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he'll be arrested and bundled onto the next plane to Sweden.

Scratch Sweden, it's Gitmo Bay, baby!

Re:Best of luck (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42270975)

Sweden first. They have to pretend to follow procedure.

Re:Best of luck (1)

Nostromo21 (1947840) | about 2 years ago | (#42271493)

Not if he gets elected - diplomatic immunity :)

Re:Best of luck (1)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#42271509)

He's not being elected to serve as a diplomat. Just being a member of the Australian parliament doesn't give him immunity, it is a bit more involved than that. For diplomatic immunity, he'll have to be accepted by the UK as an Australian diplomat there, and for that to happen, he'll have to be appointed as such by Australia first. Something's telling me neither of these is happening even if he wins a seat.

Re:Best of luck (1, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#42270921)

The minute he steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he'll be arrested and bundled onto the next plane to Sweden.

Where he'll stay just long enough for Swedish authorities to cover their collective asses before he's turned over to the US for lyn^W^W^W*W*Wtrial.

I'm amazed that the Australian government is apparently fine with being made the US' bitch, by virtue of the US treating an Australian citizen this way. Same for the Australian people. I mean, I wouldn't expect Australians to start burning down the US Embassy or anything, but I would certainly expect protests. Maybe they simply haven't made the foreign news services?

Fun historical factoid: Did you know that at one time the US government actually bothered to at least pretend to uphold and be bound by the Rule of Law?

Strat

Re:Best of luck (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#42271095)

Where he'll stay just long enough for Swedish authorities to cover their collective asses before he's turned over to the US for lyn^W^W^W*W*Wtrial.

I don't know Swedish law. German law is quite clear: If you are extradited from country X to Germany, (1) you can only be taken to court for whatever claims were made against you in the extradition request, and (2) you have the right to be returned to country X. So if this was between the UK and Germany and not UK and Sweden, he could be extradited to Germany, maybe put to jail for some time, and then he would have the absolute right to be returned to the UK when he leaves jail.

Re:Best of luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271233)

I don't think the right to be returned to the country of origin is absolute in Sweden. If the USA comes up with a legitimate claim, the Swedish authorities can change their mind and turn him over to them instead.

He's not been charged. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271293)

This is why this claim of "We can't charge him unless he's on Swedish soil" is made up. They don't make a claim against him, only "wanted for questioning". That means that there is no claim against him in Sweden (or UK). That means that there is no reason to refuse the USA's demand for his head, even if they have to accept the rest of his body with it.

Re:Best of luck (2)

bug1 (96678) | about 2 years ago | (#42271099)

Australia has always had trouble standing up for itself, it used to hide behind Britain, now it hides behind US.

Yes there have been protests, but both major political parties are very similar on "national security", and neither have shown him any respect, despite significant popular support amongst voters.

There used to be a minor center party (Australian Democrats) with a slogan "Keep the bastards honest" which did pretty good for a while, but lost the ground in the center to the major parties. If wikileaks can revive that niche they could win votes from the major parties rather than taking votes from the Greens.

Some big politcal names will write him off straight away, but they embarrassingly just dont understand what hes about, or the demographic that supports him.

He is a chance for a big protest vote, his undoing may be the need to compromise to get things done in politics.

Re:Best of luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271195)

I'm amazed that the Australian government is apparently fine with being made the US' bitch, by virtue of the US treating an Australian citizen this way. Same for the Australian people. I mean, I wouldn't expect Australians to start burning down the US Embassy or anything, but I would certainly expect protests. Maybe they simply haven't made the foreign news services?

Amusing little America bashing theory you've got there. Only one tiny little problem with it. The U.S. isn't involved with Mr. Assange's current difficulties except in his mind, your mind, and the minds of countless other conspiritards.

Fun factoid: You're a dumbass.

Re:Best of luck (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#42271391)

I'm amazed that the Australian government is apparently fine with being made the US' bitch, by virtue of the US treating an Australian citizen this way. Same for the Australian people. I mean, I wouldn't expect Australians to start burning down the US Embassy or anything, but I would certainly expect protests. Maybe they simply haven't made the foreign news services?

Amusing little America bashing theory you've got there. Only one tiny little problem with it. The U.S. isn't involved with Mr. Assange's current difficulties except in his mind, your mind, and the minds of countless other conspiritards.

Fun factoid: You're a dumbass.

*American government* bashing. Different from the American people.

Get it right.

"Dumbass."

The "U.S. isn't involved with Mr. Assange's current difficulties" just like the US wasn't involved with the Contras in S. America and wasn't involved with that failed revolution in Cuba in the early '60s, and didn't have the CIA trying to discredit and/or assassinate Castro.

The US wants desperately to make examples of both Assange AND Manning. They seek to intimidate both any future leakers and those who would DARE publish what is leaked. I'd bet gold bars to bitcoins that the US is dragging it's feet in trying Manning until they can get Assange, so they can either make them co-defendants and/or use any statements or testimony from one against the other.

The US is no longer a capitalism-based representative republic. It has become a Fascio-Capitalist regime which is transforming the US into a totally corrupt "State-run Capitalism" type system. Laws are there to constrain people, not government, under such systems.

Strat

Re:Best of luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271259)

There have actually been a few marches through Sydney CBD with people carrying pro-Assange signs. They weren't numerous enough to blockade the city, but it was a large enough group to see from a block away and go 'wtf is going on over there' and to have police hanging around.

My guess is it never made the international media because it wasn't a hot enough topic at the time or they deemed the protest to be insignificant in terms of size or effect.

Either way, I seriously question whether the government even gives half a shit, and the people in this country simply aren't willing to genuinely put themselves on the line for almost any issue (the Cronulla riots of 2005 was a notable recent exception, but that was not a protest directed against the government (mostly)).

It annoys me that the government will spend all manner of resources going to bat overseas for a drug smuggler like Schapelle Corby, but someone like Assange gets left hung out to dry. Regardless of opinion, he is an Australian citizen and it is shameful the way his government have essentially disowned him.

Arresting a politician? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270927)

If that box gets opened, then expect international talks to be done remotely only. Many countries would like to arrest the politicians of a foreign country.

Shrub and The Poodle are wanted for war crimes in some countries for example.

PS don't you have to be charged before you can be arrested?

Re:Arresting a politician? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270941)

"PS don't you have to be charged before you can be arrested?"
No? Why?
If I come up to you and stick a knife in you, I can reasonably expect to be arrested, and then charged. It happens quite often that people are arrested, and then not charged for whatever reason.

PS were you born stupid or did you get dropped on your head too many times as a baby?

Re:Arresting a politician? (4, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42270961)

PS don't you have to be charged before you can be arrested?

Um, no. Almost any country in the world can hold you for a certain time without charges (eg. 24 hours).

Re:Arresting a politician? (2)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 2 years ago | (#42271279)

24 hours!!?? Are you kidding. Lets start at 6 years [duckduckgo.com] , at least the ones we know about, and go from there... rule of law, indeed.

Re:Arresting a politician? (1)

Cigarra (652458) | about 2 years ago | (#42271291)

... Almost any country in the world can hold you for a certain time without charges (eg. 24 hours).

Or, in the case of USA, for 3 years [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Arresting a politician? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271511)

Isn't that a bad thing? If someone's to be arrested, there should be some reason to do so (e.g. assault, suspicion of fraud). If there isn't such a reason, why are they being arrested?

Re:Arresting a politician? (1)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#42271033)

PS don't you have to be charged before you can be arrested?

Paying the requested charge is actually a good way to not be arrested in many countries.

Re:Arresting a politician? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 2 years ago | (#42271157)

Assange cannot be granted diplomatic immunity whilst bunkering down in an embassy. It wouldn't be recognised under international or British law (which was tightened up after a Libyan diplomat shot a British police woman from their embassy).

Diplomatic immunity is not a get out of jail free card.

Re:Arresting a politician? (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#42271161)

don't you have to be charged before you can be arrested?

Contempt of court? Failure to appear?

Nope, you've already been arrested. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271427)

"Contempt of court? Failure to appear?"

You can only be in contempt of court when you are in court and that can't happen until you're arrested and charged.

Failure to appear to court has the same problem.

Failure to appear at a police station gets you arrested and charged with failing to appear. Still need charging first.

Re:Nope, you've already been arrested. (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#42271523)

A UK court ruled that Assange was to be extradited. Presumably that order required him to surrender himself at some point. He failed to obey the court order, putting him in contempt of court. There may also be a "failure to appear" depending on the wording of the order. There's certainly enough for him to be arrested. At the very least he's likely in breach of his bail conditions.

[Disclaimer: I consider several recent UK extradition rulings to be quite bizarre. Assange's being one of them.]

Re:Best of luck (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 2 years ago | (#42271059)

Yes I'm sure these worthy people he's talking about haven't spoken to those who posted his bail!

Re:Best of luck (1)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#42271085)

Probably not, if he wins.

If he becomes an elected official, the Australian government will be under a great deal of pressure to issue him an official passport and place him under diplomatic immunity. Then it becomes a question of whether the UK government is willing to severely damage its relationship with a commonwealth country for the sake of doing the CIA a favor.

-jcr

Re:Best of luck (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42271313)

If he becomes an elected official, the Australian government will be under a great deal of pressure to issue him an official passport and place him under diplomatic immunity.

It doesn't work that way. Diplomatic immunity is granted on entry to a country, not afterwards.

Re:Best of luck (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42271599)

It's not quite as straightforward as that though. If Australia declares him a diplomat then Sweden's option if they refuse to recognise immunity is to declare him persona non grata and allow him to be recalled to Australia.

So whilst they can't retroactively apply it in the UK, they can go through formal process in Sweden instead, so that when the UK ships him to Sweden, Sweden's choice is either to accept diplomatic immunity for him as a valid diplomat, or choose not to recognise it and hence declare him persona non grata and send him home.

This is really the key here, it effectively means that the UK could potentially arrest and punish him, but he's broken no law in the UK, however if they ship him somewhere else where he has broken law then the standard diplomatic process will come in to play.

This doesn't mean of course that the plan is foolproof, Sweden might simply choose to defy diplomatic convention and arrest him regardless without either accepting immunity or declaring him persona non grata, but this will have to be carefully calculated by the Swedish government, because for example if a plane carrying a Swedish MP or similar has to land in an emergency in say, Iran, then Sweden is no longer positioned to stop the Iranians entering the plane and dragging that MP off for arbitrary arrest and interrogation.

This might not sound like a big deal because Sweden has few enemies that would see reason to do this, but consider then that on defying this convention the Swedish have to go through the exact same process if they were to deport him to the US and then it's upto America to go through the same thing. Would Hilary Clinton really feel safe next time she visits or goes near North Korea given that she would then have absolutely no diplomatic protection on her side for example?

The problem is it's such a complicated issue and with so little precedent that speculation is largely meaningless, but the actions of nations in such a matter could have far reaching consequences for diplomats the world over. As such I suspect both Sweden and the US would be forced to take a step back and ask "Is this man really worth pulling the rug out from under all diplomatic precedent and protections over?"

So this move certainly doesn't guarantee Assange's safety, but it certainly provides him with an extra layer of pretty formidable protection if he were to gain a senate seat.

There's even a question of whether under such circumstances, the UK would want to risk Sweden playing that game with precedent for diplomatic relations given that one of the things that allows the UK to punch above it's weight on the international stage is it's extremely strong dependence on diplomatic missions across the globe. As such the UK might even decide to honour immunity regardless of the situation simply to avoid the issue altogether.

Re:Best of luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271397)

It wouldn't just be the UK government that would have to consider if it wants to damage it's relationship with AU. AU knows all about it, asking if they are willing to damage their relationship with the UK over this is another question as well, a question that actually gets asked before the UK's.

Re:Best of luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271221)

Maybe the point of becoming a politician is to avoid that. It looks much worse if they arrest and ship off a running politician because of things he said.

Re:Best of luck (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 2 years ago | (#42271303)

The minute he steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he'll be arrested and bundled onto the next plane to Sweden.

Not if he manages to be elected as a senator.

Smart move. The Australian government will be *forced* to defend him. You just can't afford to have your senators arrested around the world.

Re:Best of luck (1)

phayes (202222) | about 2 years ago | (#42271483)

Only in the minds of the self deluded like Assange. Diplomatic immunity cannot be granted retroactively.

Julian Assange runs for... (3, Funny)

filmorris (2466940) | about 2 years ago | (#42270811)

's/Office/His Ass/'

From outside Australia...? (1)

richardcavell (694686) | about 2 years ago | (#42270827)

How does a man meaningfully participate in the Australian Senate when he is permanently outside of the country? Richard

Re:From outside Australia...? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42270859)

Makes me wonder if being a federal senator gives him some status which enables him to avoid arrest in the UK.

Re:From outside Australia...? (2)

locofungus (179280) | about 2 years ago | (#42271007)

I believe that the answer to this is no. Ditto,a country cannot make him a diplomat and get him diplomatic immunity from the UK authorities while he remains in the UK.

In the UK (I think in general) diplomatic status is recognised _before_ the person enters the country and, if the UK does recognise that status before entry, the only sanction the UK has is to tell (force) the person to leave the country again.

But should the person try and sneak into the country they would not have any diplomatic status and would be open to the full sanctions allowed under UK law.

Tim.

Re:From outside Australia...? (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#42271147)

I wouldn't dismiss this outright. Constitutionally, this would need to be tested in court.

See, Australia is a Commonwealth Realm, with the Queen as head of state. A senator of the Australian parliament is therefore an elected representative of the Queen and thus may, theoretically have the same rights and privileges as a British member of parliament. Something that might never codified in the transition from colony of the British Empire to independent country. Assange in this stunt would thus be hoping to be released on a technicality.

I'm not saying this is a valid defense but lefty human rights/constitutional lawyers in both countries might be keen to explore such an option of behalf of Mr Assange to extend his stay in little Ecuador indefinitely while the matter were resolved.

Re:From outside Australia...? (1)

locofungus (179280) | about 2 years ago | (#42271579)

There's parliamentary privilege that he would, presumably, acquire, but I don't believe there are any special privileges for MPs that would make any difference in this case.

Tim.

Re:From outside Australia...? (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 years ago | (#42271319)

I believe the way it works, is that someone is credentialed to be a diplomat by a government, and then those credentials are accepted, signed, and affixed with an official seal by the leader of a foreign government to which they are to have diplomatic relations.

Very unlikely that the Queen's government will accept any paperwork for Mr. Assange at this point.

Re:From outside Australia...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271703)

This is a very tricky situation. Australia is a foreign government but the Queen is still our head of state. If Assange is voted in as a senator here, at some level she must recognise Assange as an Australian diplomat by virtue of her being Australia's head of state. Can she do that at the same time as refusing to recognise him as a diplomat on behalf of the British government?

It's possible that this is uncharted constitutional territory. Governments generally don't like testing the limits of the constitution because the results can be unfavourable with wide ramifications. It's a very interesting development.

Re:From outside Australia...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270871)

Since when is a senate meaningful? In my country the attendance is like 30% and the old geezers fscking sleep during the sessions. Huge waste of money if you ask me.

Re:From outside Australia...? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42270891)

Our senators do actually do stuff but I wonder if he can join if he doesn't turn up for the first day.

Re:From outside Australia...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270945)

Color me impressed!

Re:From outside Australia...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270901)

See George Bush and Tony Blair.

They may as well have been permanently outside of the country.

Re:From outside Australia...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271097)

He cant become as senator without being sworn in... even if he wins
He cant be sworn in without being physically present in Federal Parliament....
          - Unless granted a leave of absence .... which has to be granted by parliament ( his political enemies).
It will be interesting to see what happens if he wins?
        Will the Parliament cross the people .....

Re:From outside Australia...? (1)

robmv (855035) | about 2 years ago | (#42271619)

Pigs (in Animal Farm sense) have exceptions specially made for them. In Venezuela, we have governor elections this Sunday, some candidates from the government (Chavismo) are not from the state they are candidates, they don't live there, but the elections ruling body moved them and their families out of time (electoral roll was closed) because it is controlled by the same party

Jim Jones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270835)

Assange is just playing the same master of the universe act he did when setting up Wikileaks. He has a very controlling and manipulative personality. Anyone who gets involved had better be prepared to be used like Bradley Manning.

Oh, and what's the guessing dear Julian is using this as a wheeze to acquire diplomatic immunity so he can escape the UK without facing extradition for rape charges?

The big big irony about all this is that Assange is just another paranoid sociopathic control freak. He's exactly the type of mentally ill character he waves his hands about that you wouldn't want in charge of anything.

He plans to campaign and work from London? (1)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#42270843)

Color me puzzled...

How does he intend to campaign from the Ecuadorian embassy in London?

And more to the point, isn't he persona non grata [abc.net.au] in his own country? As in, subject to being expelled to the US should he go there?

Re:He plans to campaign and work from London? (1)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | about 2 years ago | (#42270999)

He can run as long as he hasn't been convicted and gone to jail. If he runs and wins and is unable to take his seat, he can nominate a replacement, though possibly just from his party.

Re:He plans to campaign and work from London? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42271673)

If that were true then Australia would be in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12.2 which states:

"Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

Any nation officially declaring one of their own citizens persona non grata would be in deep shit over this. Note however that this is not the same as extraditing someone though, they could certainly extradite him to the US if they have an extradition treaty that allows it and if all pre-requisites - for example, any requirement for what he's accused of to be a crime in Australia had been fulfilled.

Apologies if you were using persona non grata in a casual sense, rather than in it's official diplomatic meaning in which case the blurb above about the UDHR is irrelevant.

WTF? (2)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#42270853)

How does he get to his seat in the Australian Senate? It's a joke, a publicity stunt.

Re:WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271129)

Diplomatic immunity. One does not just arrest a Senator of another country.

Re:WTF? (1)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about 2 years ago | (#42271251)

Diplomatic immunity is granted by a country to diplomats THEY AGREE to have in their country. It's not some magic power all foreign state employees get.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271269)

Diplomatic Immunity?
What planet do you live on?

Being an Australian senator would count for nothing. He would have to be registered by the Australian government as an ACCREDITED DIPLOMAT in the UK for immunity to take effect, and then he'd be declared Persona Non Grata and be obliged to leave anyway.

One foot beyond that Ecuadorean doorway, and POW!!!! First plane to Stockholm here we come!!!

Anyhow, before this circus begins, all the Australians have to do is require all nominees for election to attend a court in Australia and swear that they are citizens in good standing before they go onto the ballot. No proxys, no representative lawyers, no documents attested in another jurisdiction. Habeas Corpus with fingerprints and retinal scans, the works.

You DO notice that he always comes up with another stunt when the news spotlight grows cold?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271659)

Diplomatic Immunity?
What planet do you live on?

Being an Australian senator would count for nothing. He would have to be registered by the Australian government as an ACCREDITED DIPLOMAT in the UK for immunity to take effect, and then he'd be declared Persona Non Grata and be obliged to leave anyway.

One foot beyond that Ecuadorean doorway, and POW!!!! First plane to Stockholm here we come!!!

Anyhow, before this circus begins, all the Australians have to do is require all nominees for election to attend a court in Australia and swear that they are citizens in good standing before they go onto the ballot. No proxys, no representative lawyers, no documents attested in another jurisdiction. Habeas Corpus with fingerprints and retinal scans, the works.

You DO notice that he always comes up with another stunt when the news spotlight grows cold?

Erm..... Retinal Scans? They don't use that in Australia, buddy.

Re:WTF? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42271661)

How does he get to his seat in the Australian Senate?

The mechanics of getting him out of there aren't too bad. I can think of at least four plans that would at least get him to international waters, and people who do this kind of thing professionally can think of better plans than mine.

The real issue is whether Ecuador wants to deal with the fallout from having helped him do that. They may prefer to take a wait-and-see approach. Lieberman is leaving in a few days, Manning's trial is going to be over by March. They might feel that this will simply be dropped if they wait it out.

In the meantime, Assange is doing some long-term-isolation experiments for NASA ... so far it's just a lung infection. If he has to seek hospital care at any point, they're going to have to decide to either cut him loose or get him out.

WAC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270869)

What a cock.

Re:WAC (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42270895)

Thats what she said right before she called the cops.

Diplomatic passport? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270879)

Will he be issued a diplomatic passport if he does become a senator?
If so, he might be able to use the diplomatic immunity ticket to step out?

Re:Diplomatic passport? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#42271121)

Will he be issued a diplomatic passport if he does become a senator?

I don't think foreign politicians, included elected politicians, have any special legal state anywhere outside their own country. It's diplomates, embassy employees etc.

Re:Diplomatic passport? (1)

Shimbo (100005) | about 2 years ago | (#42271173)

I don't think foreign politicians, included elected politicians, have any special legal state anywhere outside their own country. It's diplomates, embassy employees etc.

You can be granted a diplomatic passport, and it's a matter of custom and keeping good relations not to mess with visiting VIPs. It doesn't confer diplomatic immunity, as Senator Pinochet discovered.

Mexicans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270883)

He'll go for Victoria for sure. Bloody mexicans!

no chance (1)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 2 years ago | (#42270907)

He has very little chance of actually being elected. In both those two states it is routine for up to a hundred people to stand, and so people just tend to vote "above the line" (select a party, and then the party allocates preferences as published prior to the election). None of the major parties are going to give high preferences to this new party, and of the minors, only the Greens have any real clout. Depending on politics, the Greens might preference the Labor Party ahead of the Wikileaks party, which'll mean Wikileaks Party gets fuck all.

Individually, he may get more than 4% of the vote and thus get his $1000 back, but I think that's pretty doubtful.

Even the Sex Party did poorly last time around, and they actually had a wider appeal base (you know, everyone who doesn't like conservatism when it comes to sex).

Conclusion: This is a stunt, but hopefully it will make people think about freedom a bit more.

Re:no chance (1)

bentwonk2 (2793825) | about 2 years ago | (#42271057)

Yahoo7 which traditionally has a conservative leaning editorial policy and readership ran a poll today "Support a WikiLeaks party?", surprisingly 54% (3447) have said yes. I think his appeal is broader that you might think, not because people support Assange, but because they HATE the other two choices.

Re:no chance (1)

wadeal (884828) | about 2 years ago | (#42271177)

Or maybe that 54% is to do with the fact the poll was on the internet?

Re:no chance (1)

bentwonk2 (2793825) | about 2 years ago | (#42271265)

given the historically low approval ratings of the two major Australian political leaders, and the disappearance of the greens, depending on who his running mates are he could get some traction in these disenchanted times.

Re:no chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271539)

Please. Twenty years ago I'd give this a nod but today? The Internets is no longer the haven for geeks and nerds that it use to be. My mom, a self admitted technophobe, uses it on a daily basis. And most Slashdotters are still neglecting the fact that the vast majority of internet users don't give a crap about technopolitics. They never have and never will.

Re:no chance (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 years ago | (#42271347)

Yeah, I'm sure that a web poll has the same statistical integrity as an actual polling company like Gallup. I'm sure everyone only voted once, and that it was a poll with a sampling that is indicative of the current electorate.

Re:no chance (1)

bug1 (96678) | about 2 years ago | (#42271179)

"None of the major parties are going to give high preferences to this new party"

Do you remember the ALP (center left) preferencing Family First, a right wing christian fundamentalist party before the greens. Parties do really weird things with preferences.

Its very naive to think you can predict who will win the last senate seat, DLP won a senate seat with a 1.9% primary vote.

Re:no chance (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#42271205)

Au contraire - he has quite a reasonable chance of getting elected to the Victorian senate.

2004 Stephen Fielding (Family First) 1.9%
2010 John Madigan (DLP) 2.33%

Never underestimate the preference deals of minor parties to stifle Labor and the Greens.

Re:no chance (1)

LateLurker (2753873) | about 2 years ago | (#42271283)

Great Post Sir, I tipped you 1 cent.

No hoper (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#42270933)

So when Assange bombs out, and loses his deposit, whose money will he waste this time?

Note to clueless rich libertarians backing this douchebag: madness is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

Future News Headline? (1)

patella.whack (2630677) | about 2 years ago | (#42270939)

Assange goes down under again!

Acubra (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42270949)

The Acubra hat in the article title is a bit misplaced as that blood drained looking albino pussy is about as far removed from an Acubra wearing man as you could ever possibly find.

Re:Acubra (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271169)

I second that. Assange is a self righteous dickhead. Every time I see him I feel liking vomiting. And to think he is from QLD is such an embarrassment. The sooner he gets locked up in some dark hole the better.

I'd vote for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271037)

As an Australian I'd vote for him in a flash, I've already seen more character from him than my local/state/federal MP and trust him more to do the 'right thing'.

I'd join the wikileaks party for thier inital 500 members requirement but then again I don't want ASIO (Australian secret intelligence) up my ass.

He's only trying to get governmental immunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271053)

Not sure about Australia, but in the US, high officials (Pres, Congress, SCOTUS) cannot be arrested for anything while in office. If it's the same in Australia, I would say he is only making this move to gain this immunity so he can avoid prosecution for raping those women.

mod dOwn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271191)

^They ar3 Come

Has anyone warned the interns? (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#42271245)

He could be Australia's answer to Bill Clinton

à la guerre comme à la guerre (3, Insightful)

Maimun (631984) | about 2 years ago | (#42271413)

Some reality check first. It is completely unthinkable to have a major country that has no state secrets and whose information is completely free and open for anyone interested. By "major country" I mean one that has geopolitical standing and ambitions. A country that is completely open, information-wise, if such exists, is an irrelevant entity -- a satellite in the orbit of one of the major players.

Sorry if you don't like the reality. Reality has the interesting property to exist regardless of whether we like it, or even whether we believe in it. The reality is that the political world is not, and cannot be, a single entity ruled by mutual trust and eternal love. The political world is divided into hostile blocks. Even if our block falls down (due to, among other reasons, too much assangeness), the blocks will not disappear, they will reshape. China has enough vitality as far as I can tell. Surely the chikoms would not mind all US secrets being published openly. Surely they can fill in the geopolitical void left by the US (hypothetically speaking).

Of course, there is a flip side to that. The government secret agencies tend to do nasty things behind the veil of secrecy and in that sense it is a good thing to have civil control over them. However, that does not alter one bit the fact that it is impossible to be a successful geopolitical player that reveals **all** her secrets.

J. Assange took an active part in a war. He may not realise that but he did. Now he whines that the party he damaged is trying to destroy him :) Welcome to the real world, idiot! Every major player will do the same. Try hurting Russia or China or Turkey or Israel and see what happens. The sissies from the Western shelter have become accustomed to the idea you can hurt the state with impunity. Well, that's only possible in a small part of the world. Only inside the shelter that protects from the brutal reality. And is possible only to a certain degree. If too much assangeness happens, either the state will find means of protecting itself from the cancer, or will be overrun by a hostile party that allows no assangeness :)

Re:à la guerre comme à la guerre (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42271465)

If too much assangeness happens, either the state will find means of protecting itself from the cancer, or will be overrun by a hostile party that allows no assangeness :)

We are in a time of transition. For the first time, technology has made governments and corporations and news media not irrelevant, but inferior to their lack. We can do better without them because for the first time we have the ability to share information as well as they do — indeed, better. The only "benefit" of centralized news media over every human effectively being an investigative reporter is that it is more vulnerable to government influence. This is part of the same battle as that over the actions of Assange and Wikileaks. The world functions better without secrets. Wikileaks marks the end of secrecy, and the corrupt bastards at the top of the pyramid must react with their full force because, as you say, their institutions cannot survive it.

However, the end of secrecy is on the horizon no matter what happens to Assange, which is why this is all a big jackoff waste of time and money serving only as a distraction from our endless wars, which is the real purpose of most media frenzy. Destroy him and you create a martyr. Fail to destroy him and all that happens is that the secrets are exposed a little faster.

Would be be arrested? I don't think so.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271515)

The same reasons the U.K government don't just march in and arrest him. If they arrest him, what stops other governments arresting U.K politicians when abroad?

this i5 Goatsex (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42271535)

Ulterior motive perhaps? (2)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#42271623)

Now I'm not an attorney but wouldn't getting elected to the Australian parliament make him immune from extradition to the US? It would probably provide him with diplomatic immunity as well, allowing him save passage into Australia. Clearly Assange's worry is the US government, not the Swedish government.

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