How Ross Vasta voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should hold a plebiscite to gauge whether citizens support or oppose introducing a carbon pricing mechanism (also known as a 'carbon tax')

Division Ross Vasta Supporters vote Division outcome

15th Sep 2011 – Representatives Carbon Tax Plebiscite Bill 2011 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted against a motion to read the Carbon Tax Plebiscite Bill 2011 a second time.(Read more about the bill here. )

This means that the majority of members rejected the main idea of the bill and so it will not be considered any further.

Debate in Parliament

The bill called for a referendum to be held on 26 November 2011 on whether the Government should introduce the carbon pricing mechanism. It was introduced by Tony Abbott MP, the Leader of the Opposition, as a private member's bill.(Read MP Abbott's explanation of the bill here. )

Several Labor MPs described the bill as a "stunt".(Read their contributions here. )

Background to the bill

The carbon pricing mechanism is to commence on 1 July 2012.(More information on the carbon pricing mechanism and how it worked can be found on the Clean Energy Regulator’s website.) It is an emissions trading scheme that puts a price on carbon emissions. It applies to “liable entities” (a group that includes companies that emit a high level of greenhouse gases). Initially the price of carbon will be fixed by the mechanism but from 1 July 2015 the price will be set by the market.


Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small 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 1 50 50
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 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 50 50

*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 = 50 / 50 = 100%.

And then