A minor party candidate whose supporters’ preferences could decide one of the country’s closest election contests has chosen not to support his party’s lead Senate candidate and describes himself as an “organiser” for a rival party.
Wilde – whose first choice of party as a candidate was the Australian Conservatives – has been a vocal supporter of that party’s number one Senate candidate, Kevin Bailey, but had not promoted the UAP’s Catriona Thoolen.
Asked why, Wilde said, “If what [UAP candidates] post is good I will support it and if it is not I will not.”
When asked about his social media description in March, Wilde said it was old and he had “since moved on”, however the title has not been updated.
Thoolen did not agree with Wilde on key policy areas including climate change and immigration. She told The Junction she was “offended” that the UAP was being compared with the Australian Conservative party, arguing the UAP was not conservative and did not share a voter base with conservative parties.
Wilde described the Paris Agreement as a “complete waste of time” but Thoolen supported it and said she loves that “poorer countries” also support it.
Wilde’s ambition to be the Australian Conservatives candidate for Deakin was dashed when the Cory Bernardi-founded party decided not to field any lower-house candidates at this year’s federal poll.
He confirmed that at one point he’d considered standing for One Nation, but “I was not entirely comfortable with some of the people behind the scenes and some of their less palatable approaches. They were also terribly disorganised.
“There is no one party that I will always agree with on 100 per cent of their policies. My focus is on good individual candidates and politicians.”
Milton Wilde, who himself covers a range of issues on social media, was penalised in November 2017 for violating Twitter’s rules against hate speech when he tweeted:
“All terrorists are Muslims.”
When Twitter locked his handle @MiltonWilde he posted the notice on his Facebook page with the comment, “I should wear this as a badge of honor”.
Asked by The Junction whether he stood by his 2017 Twitter post in light of the March 15 mass shootings in Christchurch, he said, “Absolutely not. It was an old comment clearly made in a bubble of ignorance and with no concept of Christchurch, which was horrific.
“I accept that it was wrong, even without the benefit of hindsight.”
On the topic of immigration, Wilde has urged that Australia “stop all immigration until we sort out how to get it right”. Thoolen does not agree. She said “We must reduce immigration to manageable numbers” but did not name a figure.
Wilde also appears to be at odds with his party on respect for women. Despite Palmer’s current advertising campaign claiming what “every woman needs” is “jobs, respect and independence”, Wilde openly heckled actress Sarah Snook for her clothing choices online, suggesting she was inviting sexual assault.
Wilde’s political career began in 2013 when he ran for the Palmer United Party in the federal division of Casey, receiving 4 413 votes, 4.98 per cent of the total. Wilde ran again in the Eastern Metropolitan region for the Victorian upper house in 2014, receiving 5 500 votes, or 1.3 per cent.
He listed the main issues for voters in Deakin, and in Victoria generally, as “roads and traffic congestion, our cost of living – predominantly our exorbitant energy costs – youth homelessness, public transport, rising house prices, childcare, refugees and immigration”.
Milton Wilde was born in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Brighton and grew up in Burwood with “a good, strong, loving family upbringing with Judeo-Christian values”. As a systems analyst, Wilde develops architectural and engineering software for the firm Redstick CAD.
Outside of work hours, Wilde is applying for funding to set up a homelessness outreach service in Mitcham to offer people “a warm bed, hot meals, a hot shower, a change of clothes and some friendship and support”.
Julio Valencia, who is working alongside Wilde to find funding for the homelessness service, describes him as “passionate” and open to discussion on political issues.