The Greens Wikileaks schism

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After the flare up over Wikileaks preferencing the Nationals before the Greens in Western Australia and the subsequent Wikileaks schism, there has been much speculation about what really happened. In the interests of readers and potential voters for both parties, IA provides a forum for both Gerry Georgatos from the Wikileaks Party and Senator Scott Ludlam from The Greens to tell their sides of the story.


Gerry Georgatos — Wikileaks Party

Gerry Georgatos[/caption]

Recent dissent by a splinter group in The WikiLeaks Party has been beat up by the news media and, of course, it has done some damage to the hopes of the Party.

I respect the right of those several who departed but I do not agree with them. The imperatives that the WikiLeaks Party represents are what we have waited for all of our lives.

In Western Australia, much has been made of the decision to preference David Wirrpanda (Nationals) ahead of Scott Ludlam (Greens), and the beat up has worked only to the Greens’ advantage, by them clawing back primary votes from Greens supporters who were going to vote WikiLeaks. I am shattered by the fall-out, but I stand by the symbolic gesture to David, who does much good work for Aboriginal peoples.

In WA, the WikiLeaks Party was the real threat for the 6th position, with more than half the WA Senate candidates delivering their effective first preference to The WikiLeaks Party. We only need a 2 to 3 per cent primary vote coupled with preference flows to take the 6th spot. Yesterday, pollster Antony Green finally did the math and validated what I had been saying. He came out and supported the notion that WikiLeaks can take the 6th Senate spot in WA, and he has supported my ongoing statement and math that David Wirrpanda is not a threat.

Scott should be focusing on reducing the vote of the ALP in our Senate race, so as they fall below 28.6 per cent and they lose a Senate seat. The Greens secured the ALP preference and therefore will benefit from this. With Scott and myself taking 5th and 6th, we will then have the welcome surprise of two progressives from Western Australia from the one-Senate half election. This is the best outcome.

Senator Scott Ludlam — The Greens

[caption id="attachment_8248" align="alignright" width="160"]Scott Ludlam Scott Ludlam

The Greens welcomed the formation of the Wikileaks Party; new voices participating in our democracy running on a platform of transparency and accountability can only be a positive development.

On preferences, the Greens negotiated in good faith. If you look at our preferencing decisions, it’s clear where we stand and also that we keep our agreements.  Yes, we were disappointed at choices made by individuals on behalf of the Wikileaks Party, because they could prove decisive in handing Tony Abbott control of both houses of parliament. Their departing members, candidates and national council leaders are clearly as disappointed as we are.

The WA contest is extremely tight and will almost certainly involve myself and the Nationals’ candidate “vying for the sixth Senate spot”, as the Wikileaks WA Senate candidate himself wrote in June. There is no such thing as a safe Senate seat, especially with the 6th spot sometimes taking weeks to declare due to the complexity of counting preferences. These are often decisive, but they are also extremely unpredictable; the supremely confident pronouncements by the WikiLeaks candidate in WA are mostly incomprehensible and should just be set aside.

I do not regret my work in support of the Wikileaks publishing organisation and Julian Assange; Greens policy is strong on protections for whistleblowers, journalists and publishers, foundations for a functioning democracy and a free press.  If I get another term in the Senate, I will continue that work, and won’t let the preferencing debacle drive a wedge between campaigners of goodwill whose most important task is building the movement for digital rights.

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