How David Smith voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should develop and implement a pill testing policy to reduce the risk of death and/or injury caused by taking illicit drugs

Division David Smith Supporters vote Division outcome

13th Feb 2019, 4:16 PM – Senate Motions - Illicit Drugs - Pill testing

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Vic Senator Richard Di Natale (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) over the 2018-19 summer, more than five people have died or been injured as a result of taking illicit drugs,

(ii) there is a real possibility that these deaths could have been prevented and harm reduced if pill testing services had been offered at music festivals and in the community,

(iii) best-practice pill testing models involve a consultation with a health practitioner about the content of the pill, and a person's choices about whether or not to consume illicit drugs,

(iv) pill testing services give health services critical information about what has been consumed and provide people with more information about what is in the pills that they are taking than they otherwise have access to,

(v) a large number of relevant medical professional organisations have declared their support for pill testing over the summer period, including the Royal College of Physicians, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian Medical Association, and

(vi) members of Parliament from both the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party have expressed support for pill testing, but the leaders of both of the parties are refusing to consider these real and critically-important benefits; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) urgently develop and implement a pill testing policy to prevent more deaths and harm, and

(ii) work with the medical community, community groups and all state and territory governments to implement existing models which demonstrably have worked and helped save lives.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted very strongly against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 10

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 0 / 10 = 0.0%.

And then