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Andrew Wilkie - Platform

  • Andrew Wilkie has an Arts Degree and a number of postgraduate diplomas in defense and management. He served in the army as a Lieutenant Colonel, and has won numerous awards of distinction for his independence and commitment to justice and integrity.

    In 2003 Wilkie made history as the only intelligence operative to resign openly in protest to the Iraq Invasion imminent at the time. Subsequently he has published a successful book on his experiences titled ‘Axis of Deceit.’

    Somewhat quizzically, Wilkie has been a member of both The Greens and The Liberal Party in the past, but presently adopts a rabid sense of political independence. This rigorous commitment to disinterest has been made ever more apparent during the present minority government.

    After a hung parliament in 2010, Andrew Wilkie was one of the Independents that provided an agreement of supply and confidence to ensure security of tenure for the Labor government over a three year term. In return, he was to receive the government’s support for effective legislation addressing problem gambling in Australia; an issue to which he has committed his entire political existence since elected as the Federal Member for Dennison in 2010.

    After a monumental public campaign by Clubs Australia and the gambling industry, it appeared that the Labor caucus was not in support of poker machine reform through mandatory pre-commitment. With a breach of agreement with Wilkie now inevitable, the Prime Minister mitigated the collateral damage to her control of the Lower House by replacing Labor Speaker Harry Jenkins, and securing a vote to replace Wilkie’s withdrawal. To do this, she arranged for Peter Slipper of the Opposition to become Speaker, thus compounding an advantage when he sat as an Independent Member for Fisher.

    Understandably, Wilkie was disgusted, for the alternative legislation provided for voluntary pre-commitment and a mere trial in the ACT, and little else of substance to address problem gambling in Australia. To his credit, he decided that it was not in the best interests of the wider electorate to be forced into an early Federal election, and so he has maintained his thin support of supply and confidence to the government.

    He remains committed to a distinct independence from any party affiliation and treats all policies on their merits. Yet considering he declined an Opposition offer of $2 billion towards a hospital in his electorate in order to combat problem gambling, it seems Andrew Wilkie has been one of the many political casualties of the hung parliament borne of the 2010 Federal Election.

    As a soldier and experienced intelligence operative, Wilkie no doubt values individual freedom of choice, and liberty from excessive government. Accordingly, and short of a strict social conservative, he supports voluntary euthanasia, same sex marriage, and seems to have a dedicated social conscience in opposing mandatory detention of asylum seekers. Of course, has an exemplary record of political integrity.

    Given his experiences with the present government who owe their existence to him, while Wilkie supports the status quo for the rest of their term, he has every reason to vote on a case by case basis.