Below is a copy of a letter written by a member of the WikiLeaks Party. The letter has been reproduced, in it's entirety, with the permission of the author.
So often in life, all we do is talk.
"Human rights abuse in China - it's a shocking thing.."
"Armies using civilians as human shields - Absolutely deplorable.."
"500,000 people killed in the Rwandan Genocide - How can such evil prevail..?"
But soon enough, we get distracted by the newest iPhone or reality TV show and our outrage at such acts fades. How many opportunities to act do we squander because we are far too egocentric or lacking in courage and enthusiasm to raise our voices above the everyday noise?
And then one day along came Julian Assange. A man who shamed the US government by publishing it's dirty military secrets with nil regard for his own personal safety. A man of no great wealth or political standing who managed to make the world stop and look. A man that I greatly admire for detonating the biggest political H-bomb in history and illuminating the darkest corners where the shadiest deals are conducted. A truly courageous man.
So when I heard about the WikiLeaks Party, I was excited. Here was this Australian political party that shared the same core value as I and that was led by someone who did more than just tut tut over global injustice before sticking his nose in the 4 course parliamentary lunch time trough. I saw the formation of the WikiLeaks Party as an opportunity to finally act against our totalitarian state and inject some democratic honesty into our nation.
So I joined up - Member number 503. And when the AEC rang me to ask if I was a member of this new party, I proudly said yes I was.
I volunteered as soon as call went out and the form appeared on the web-site. And I waited. So I called the contacts on the web-site and was told repeatedly that someone from the Melbourne office would be making contact with me to enlist whatever help I could give. And I waited. And I watched the Facebook page and read the party newsletters which were all shrieking out for volunteers. I filled in that damn volunteer form 4 times and kept ringing the Melbourne office.
"PICK ME - PICK ME, I will do whatever is needed to get done! I will door knock, hand out how to vote cards, coordinate - I don't care!! I just really want to help!!"
And still I waited for the promised return phone call from the Melbourne office, which never came. The federal election drew alarmingly close and still nothing. No e-mails - no calls - no one contacting me to say hey girl, can you canvass for a few hours in the seat next to yours - the most marginal seat in the country, Corangamite?
The election day came and went and I was truly gutted. I felt that this party I had fallen in love with was just as factional as every other party around and clearly whatever faction I was aligned with was the wrong one - not that I was aligned to anything other than the party platform. This wonderful gathering of like-minded people was complete sham and transparent was the last descriptive adjective I would use in conjunction with the party. I never voted for the national council and I had no idea what they were up to! Who were these faceless people that were just too busy to ever return a phone call or bring the road train down to Geelong? Was I really that inconsequential and unworthy that I didn't deserve at least an email from them? I honestly get more love from the Australian Taxation Office that was getting from the party. Clearly the party didn't believe in the power of the individual to make change, it was all about appearances.
And then, to add injury to insult, a complete nobody snatched the last senate seat thanks to preferences. And for a couple of days after that happened, I kept asking myself "what would have happened if more voters were aware of the WikiLeaks Party? Could we have delivered Julian a senate seat and thus brought him home?" And the answer that kept rebounding was yes; if the party was better organised and volunteers were coordinated by the Melbourne office, we collectively could have made the difference.
I have since learnt that there was major trouble brewing in the Melbourne office which led to the complete shambolic attempt of organising ( I use that term VERY loosely) the party faithful into a united force. I have spoken to John Shipton and others about it and have stopped taking it as a personal slur against myself or my local area of Geelong. I can only hope that lesson were learnt from the mistakes of the last election and moving forward from this point, we can all restore our faith in what is really an exceptionally good cause.
And that's kinda how I feel about the whole thing..