Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Who will support Julian Assange for the Senate?

Last week, Julian Assange announced that he plans to run for the Senate next year. He has a high profile but who will support him.

The major parties won't

Obviously the major parties have their own agenda. There isn't much chance of either of them supporting a firecracker like Assange unless there are preference deals involved.

Assange has attacked Labor and Liberal with roughly equal venom. Neither would be included to help out now.

Socialist Greens v libertarian Assange

The Greens have certainly stood up for Assange. So on one level, he might have an ally there.

But economically, they are poles apart. Assange is a market libertarian. The Greens are economic socialists and protectionists.

All they really agree on is that the major parties are unaccountable. It's not really enough for a close political relationship.

GetUp! Occupy and the Socialists in the malls

Assange's most strident supporters have been the youth based activist groups such as GetUp! along with the various socialist groups who pop up at every rally.

These supporters who have set up the Occupy sites around the  country are even further economically left wing than the Greens.

Sure, they are strident supporters of Assange's open governance agenda but they would shudder if they heard his position in support of market economics.

Would some of them defect to the Assange camp? Maybe, particularly as they are starting to age from being Uni students to wage earners. Like many people moving through that phase, lower taxes are appealing when you are trying to climb the economic ladder.  Some may get behind him.

Independent or new party?

So, if alliances are unlikely, that leaves Julian with the decision of being an independent or starting a new party.  Independents have a tough time of it, so his best chance of success would be to start a new party.  He certainly sits in a space that isn't filled at the moment.  Pro-freedoms, market libertarian, but as he has mentioned in his interview today, he is still in favour of some protections for small business, which fits with his previous statements that you need to force markets to be free.

I welcome Julian Assange to the Australia political stage.  I hope he starts a new party.  I could see myself supporting him.

Let me know what you think

Mark S

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