I’ve tried to avoid saying too much during this Australian election campaign (not always successfully). But if you’re in WA you should vote 1 Scott Ludlam in the Senate. I say this for the following reasons.
Neither major party can be trusted on Internet censorship and surveillance. As Greens spokesman on communication, Scott has worked successfully against filter proposals, and also critically scrutinised proposals for wholesale surveillance by Australian government agencies. He’s also much more able to take a stand against what foreign governments - like the US - are doing. He’s often been a lone voice in committees and the Senate on these issues.
I shared a house with Scott when I was commuting to Canberra, so I got to know him personally. I saw that he is exceptionally hardworking, not only in his portfolio area, but on the environment, issues of indigenous justice, heritage and more. I didn’t meet anyone smarter working in government. He is a curious and generous thinker - neither an ideologue nor a cynic. He would be a loss to the parliament.
If he loses, his senate spot may well fall to an outright reactionary.
If you’re at all concerned about Internet freedom, I don’t mind what you do in the lower house, but consider Scott for the 1 on your Senate Ballot.
Jason wrote this before the original election last year but it deserves a bump with the WA senate by-election on this weekend.