How David Smith voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should support the rights of transgender people (including genderfluid, nonbinary and genderqueer people) by amending laws and policies to support healthy lives by, for example, ensuring that appropriate healthcare is available nationwide and that trans people are protected from discrimination and harassment

Division David Smith Supporters vote Division outcome

3rd Dec 2018, 4:33 PM – Senate Motions - Gender and Sexual Orientation - Healthcare and gender diverse treatment

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Janet Rice (Vic), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) a new political lobbying organisation called Binary Australia was launched this week,

(ii) this organisation is a rebrand of Marriage Alliance (MA),

(iii) MA, during the marriage equality debate, circulated misleading and damaging material about transgender and gender diverse Australians,

(iv) the organisation has stated that they will target and campaign against critical and life-saving anti-bullying and LGBTIQ+ centered programs that work to protect LGBTIQ+ young people in schools, and

(v) since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Morrison has consistently attacked and devalued the rights of trans and gender diverse Australians, most recently in relation to Tasmania's proposed removal of gender from birth certificates;

(b) condemns the anti-transgender sentiment displayed by Prime Minister Morrison and organisations such as Binary Australia;

(c) commits to including transgender and gender diverse voices, particularly transgender and gender diverse people of colour and Indigenous people, in policy making;

(d) recognises the importance of anti-bullying and LGBTIQ+ centred programs for young people, including in schools, physical and mental health care services;

(e) supports the provision of essential health, social, cultural, and community services and programs for transgender and gender diverse people and their families, delivered with the meaningful input and involvement of these communities; and

(f) commits to:

(i) promoting standards for healthcare providers, that ensure transgender and gender diverse people receive appropriate treatment, and

(ii) ensuring that best-practice healthcare is widely available within the public health system without unreasonably long delays or waiting lists.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

16th Aug 2018, 12:37 PM – Senate Motions - Free Speech - Against gender neutral language

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Nationals Senator Barry O'Sullivan (Qld), which means it failed.

The Coalition was divided on this motion, with only a third of the Liberal Party showing up to the vote and those that did show up being split down the middle. Liberal Senator James McGrath (Qld) explained that:

While the government strongly supports freedom of speech, we note factual inaccuracies in the wording of this motion and cannot support it on that basis.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) that the Australian Defence Force has recently drawn headlines following an indication it could end the use of gender-specific pronouns, and enforce a new language regime on our defence personnel,

(ii) that the Victorian public service, with support from the Victorian Government, has commenced a campaign to enforce the belief that masculine and feminine pronouns are somehow restricting,

(iii) that in 2016, the Queensland Government ended its inclusion of male or female in drivers' licence information, following complaints from the gender-diverse community,

(iv) the bully and intimidation from some within the gender-diverse community towards iconic Australian comedian Mr Barry Humphries – a man who has been a public trailblazer in challenging community expectations surrounding gender stereotypes – when he questioned the legitimacy of expanding bathrooms, and indoctrinating children in certain social outlooks relating to gender,

(v) that Qantas made international headlines earlier this year when it was revealed it would focus on directing staff language and behaviour, as part of a so-called 'Spirit of Inclusion' month that would "recognise reality" by forcing staff to follow a strict language regime by replacing language such as husband, wife, mum and dad to avoid any potential offence potentially felt by same-gender couples, and

(vi) that the Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Parkinson, has repeatedly stated his belief in the highly contentious concept of "unconscious bias", and has spent millions of taxpayer dollars attempting to find evidence to support his personal beliefs and alter the personal actions of staff under his control;

(b) reaffirms its support for free and fearless speech, and open and honest discourse as foundations of western civilisation;

(c) rejects any attempt to enforce an overhaul of longstanding language usage for innocuous and benevolent terms that are spoken with no intended malice; and

(d) condemns any form of crusading, bullying, intimidation and use of authority by government, activists and corporate leaders that attempts to stifle free speech by enforcing a specific world viewpoint on linguistics and social policy.

No No Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted very strongly for" 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 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 20 20

*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 = 20 / 20 = 100%.

And then