How John Howard voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should allow certain types of stem cell research, including human embryo research

Division John Howard Supporters vote Division outcome

6th Dec 2006, 7:29 PM – Representatives Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006 - Consideration in Detail - Offence of using precursor cells

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The majority voted against an amendment moved by Liberal MP Michael Ferguson, which means that it was rejected.

The amendment omits and replaces section 23A of Schedule 1, which at first reading was:

"A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person uses precursor cells taken from a human embryo or a human fetus, intending to create a human embryo, or intentionally develops an embryo so created; and

(b) the person engages in activities mentioned in paragraph (a) without being authorised by a licence, and the person knows or is reckless as to that fact.

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years."

Mr Ferguson proposed to replace that section to rule out any possibility of using precursor cells from a human embryo or a human fetus to create a human embryo.(Read Mr Ferguson's explanation of his amendment and the related debate here. )

Due to the sensitive subject matter of this bill, the parties have agreed to allow it to be a free vote.(Read more about what a free vote is in our FAQ Section. More information about the decision to have a free vote on this bill is available on ABC News here. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2002 and Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002. The amendments will permit certain human embryo research under licence but retain existing prohibitions on human reproductive cloning and other assisted reproductive technology activities.(Read information about the bill, including its explanatory memorandum and bills digest, here. ) For example, it proposes to allow for therapeutic cloning.(Read more about therapeutic cloning here. )

The amendments are based on recommendations by the Lockhart Review.(Read more about the Lockhart Review and the federal government’s response in the bills digest.)

References

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

6th Dec 2006, 6:17 PM – Representatives Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through here. ) This means that the majority agreed with the main idea of the bill and that the members can now discuss it in more detail.

Due to the sensitive subject matter of this bill, the parties have agreed to allow it to be a free vote.(Read more about what a free vote is in our FAQ Section. More information about the decision to have a free vote on this bill is available on ABC News here. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2002 and Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002. The amendments will permit certain human embryo research under licence but retain existing prohibitions on human reproductive cloning and other assisted reproductive technology activities.(Read information about the bill, including its explanatory memorandum and bills digest, here. ) For example, it proposes to allow for therapeutic cloning.(Read more about therapeutic cloning here. )

The amendments are based on recommendations by the Lockhart Review.(Read more about the Lockhart Review and the federal government’s response in the bills digest.)

References

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small 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 1 0 50
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 60

*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 / 60 = 0.0%.

And then