The Greens' dangerous naïveteby Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
, September 25, 2004
Fearing that the Greens might hold the balance of power in the Senate after the Federal Election, or that their preferences will deliver marginal seats to Labor, Coalition leaders have stepped up their attacks on the Greens' policies.
John Howard described them as "kooky", while National Party leader John Anderson suggested that they were "a home for people who, in the 1950s, would have joined the Communist Party." Are these descriptions really accurate?
The Greens' energy policies are simply wrong-headed. At a time when many countries are looking at expanding the use of coal - for which Australia is a major supplier - as a clean fuel source using new technology, the Greens' policy is to "establish an ecologically sustainable post-carbon economy in Australia by phasing out the use of coal by 2050".Nuclear power
Obsessed with the idea that greenhouse gas-induced climate change must be stopped by punitive controls over energy usage, it is also opposed to the one energy source which clearly makes no contribution to greenhouse gases: nuclear power.
It calls for an "immediate end to uranium mining and the export of uranium from Australia", although Australian governments require the strictest standards of export anywhere in the world, and supply much of the uranium used in countries such as Japan, Western Europe and the UK.
Its fixation with nuclear energy extends to a call for the closure of the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney, no replacement, and a ban on the transport of nuclear material, meaning that thousands of Australians who depend on nuclear medicines used in anti-cancer therapies would be denied medical treatment.
Its defence policies are equally naïve and misguided. It supports the demilitarisation of the Asia-Pacific region - as if China, North Korea India, Pakistan or other countries would agree to that - and a consequent reduction in Australia's defence spending.
While neither ANZUS, nor the American alliance, are specifically mentioned in the document, the references to the US are generally critical, envisaging an end to Australia's defence and security arrangements with the United States.
The Greens call for increasing regulation of prescription drugs, but support decriminalisation of cannabis and "the controlled availability of heroin ... and investigation of the regulated supply of social drugs such as ecstasy."
The Greens' policy on animal welfare rightly emphasises that human beings have a duty to care for animals.
It proposes bans on the use of drugs on farm animals, except where they are prescribed by veterinarians. In other words, routine preventive treatment to deal with internal and external parasites, and vaccination programs used on every farm, would be banned.
Its policies on agriculture rightly emphasise the need for sustainable agriculture, but are characterised by an irrational hostility towards the use of new technologies.
For example, it calls for the banning of food irradiation, a practice which is widely used to protect food used for human consumption.Population policy
The Greens "are committed to reducing the environmental impacts of Australia's population", and rightly deplores the depopulation of rural Australia.
It then proposes "that Australian family planning programs, both domestically and overseas, deliver services in the context of reproductive health programs which increase the power of girls and women to determine their own reproductive lives", which is code for extended abortion.
Its policy with regard to women's health is primarily focused on abortion: "repealing all laws which restrict the right of women to choose abortion and which restrict access to [abortion] services".
Its platform supports euthanasia, and its member of the House of Representatives recently voted against a Bill which made it an offence to promote suicide on the Internet.
It is well known that its gender policies are largely focused on extending the gay agenda. It wants to "legalise marriage and de facto relationships between two people irrespective of their sex or their gender identity", and "whether or not they cohabit".
The effect of this would be to reduce marriage to the status of the most casual of sexual encounters.
All this shows, as The Australian
editorialised, that the Greens represent "a threat to the prosperity and well-being of all Australians."