The Australian press is reporting that Julian Assange has filed paperwork to run for the Senate in the state of Victoria as a member of the newly formed WikiLeaks party. According to The Age, "Assange's application for electoral enrolment in Victoria was handed to the Australian Electoral Commission in Melbourne yesterday by WikiLeaks supporters including his father, Sydney architect John Shipton, who has been active in the initial organisation of the party." This confirms reports from a few months ago that Assange was considering a run. The activists have yet to file an application for the new political party, but it does look like Assange is eligible to run for office in Australia, despite the fact that he hasn't been home since 2010.
The possibility of Assange actually winning are pretty good, polls suggest. The feasibility of Assange actually assuming office, however, are iffy. Assange has been on house arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the better part of a year, as he continues to avoid Swedish authorities who want to prosecute him for rape charges. Although Assange has remained active while trapped in the embassy — he even gave a speech from the balcony on one occasion — it's unclear if he'd be able to run a Senate campaign from the other side of the world. It's even more unclear if he'd actually be able to move back to Australia if he wins the election. If not, another member of the WikiLeads party would take his place.
So it seems like Assange is flexing his star power to attract attention and, eventually, votes to his new WikiLeaks party. If he's not allowed home to serve as a Senator, it's no big deal, since the WikiLeaks party would have the seat. But if he is, you can only imagine what kinds of crazy adventures Assange will get up to if given the power of public office.
- Politics & Government
- Julian Assange