It's been a while since we checked in on Julian Assange. Last we heard, the United States had just classified
Wikileaks as an "enemy of the United States," but that was all the way back in September. This, of course, was after Assange had been granted asylum
in the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK. With what has to seem like the entire world crumbling down around him, I'd have to guess that Assange is keeping a low, mum's the word profile.
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.
Yes, Julian Assange, currently confined to Ecuador's embassy, is going to start his own political party
. While many have focused on the news that he's running for Senate, that's not actually new -- having been previously
reported back in March. In case you thought you had somehow slept through news that the US had dropped its investigation of Wikileaks or that Sweden no longer wanted to extradite him, you haven't: both issues are existing issues that might, possibly, get in the way of Assange actually serving as an elected official. However, as a wider party, what would the Wikileaks party stand for?
He said a WikiLeaks party would advance WikiLeaks' objectives of promoting openness in government and politics, and it would combat growing intrusions on individual privacy.
A laudable goal, and one that might find natural allies with The Pirate Party. Still, while (as with many things Assange-related) this has the feel of a publicity stunt, there's a chance that the more interesting idea is what will happen if the Wikileaks Party can really find others to be members and run for office:
If Mr Assange were elected but he was unable to return to Australia to take up his position, a nominee would occupy a Senate seat.
So, perhaps the real goal is to have someone high profile, like Assange, spearhead the effort of building out a party focused on these issues, even if there's little chance he can actually serve. Well, that or this is another example of Assange being a genuine pain in the ass.