Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Party Games 45/54 The Wikileaks Party

Most people should have heard of Julian Assange and the whole Wikileaks thing. They've had a fair amount of press over the last few years. And now they say they want to keep government honest from the inside. This is a different challenge and will require a different approach. While running on a platform of transparency in government, Wikileaks has a history of being a secretive organization and incidents like the preference kerfuffle show that they still tend to run things with a tight knit central core of people. Then of course there is also the whole issue of how will Julian Assange get back to Australia if elected.

So, on to the policies. First up are whistleblower protection and requiring warrants for any law enforcement or security agency to get access to somebody's records from phone or internet services. On media issues they oppose privatization of the ABC and SBS, want to make donations to non-profit news organizations tax deductible, and set up an Australian Content Fund, which would distribute payments to the authors of the most nominated 100,000 works, including journalism, blogs, reference works, music, videos, and more. This payment would be capped at twice the medium wage (I assume they mean median) and would be funded out of the defense budget (because encouraging popular Australian content makes the world care about Australia, making us less likely to be attacked (their chain of logic, not mine)).

Their refugee policy looks pretty good. Rapid processing in Australia, allowing media and NGO's access to people in detention centres, and greater independence for the Refugee Review Tribunal. Climate change also looks good, sticking with the carbon tax but wanting greater transparency in how permits are allocated to industry.

What they have is pretty positive. I have concerns about what their policies may be on other matters, especially given how they've given preferences out (but then I may just be naively idealistic in thinking preferences should be given to those parties whom you agree with, not out of pure tactical considerations), along with recent comments from Assange about admiring US right wing libertarian types.

The Wikileaks Party has senate candidates in Victoria, New South Wales, and West Australia.

website: http://www.wikileaksparty.org.au/
twitter: @WikiLeaksParty
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WLParty

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