The Greens’ aspiration to become a mainstream political party was underlined last week by leader Richard Di Natale’s foray into defence and foreign policy, an area which is unfamiliar terrain for a party that began life as an environmental protest movement.
The sympathetic Left predictably applauded Di Natale’s sentiments but offered little in the way of supporting arguments for his speech to the Lowy Institute, which challenged many of the established tenets of Australian defence and foreign policy. The Right also failed to seriously engage with Di Natale’s arguments. The Daily Telegraph dismissed his speech as the ramblings of the ‘‘loony Greens’’.
But it’s time to take the Greens’ policy positions more seriously and subject them to the same level of scrutiny as those of the Coalition and Labor. The Greens are no longer a fringe party, having already shared power with Labor.