Parliament should declare war

The front page of today’s Australian carries a sensible suggestion:

ANTI-WAR Greens MP Adam Bandt wants federal parliament to approve a war powers bill so that it, and not the Prime Minister, decides on future overseas military deployments…

Mr Bandt, the Greens’ only House of Representatives MP, challenged the government’s rationale for keeping Australian troops in Afghanistan — a war he and Mr Wilkie charged was wrong and indefensible.

“The Greens hope that this debate can be a step towards the passage of our bill, which will mean once and for all that in future the Australian people, through their representatives, will have a say in going to war,” Mr Bandt said.

The current legal position is that the Prime Minister and Cabinet can unilaterally decide to go to war without a parliamentary vote on the matter. This, of course, creates numerous accountability problems and it’s great to see the Greens getting some traction on this issue.