How Kay Elson voted compared to someone who believes that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators should vote to speed things along by supporting motions to 'put the question' (known as 'closure' or 'gag' motions), which require Parliament to immediately vote on a question rather than debating it any further

Division Kay Elson Supporters vote Division outcome

8th Aug 2007, 9:10 AM – Representatives Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Testing) Legislation - Speed things along

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to speed things along. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to put the question.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

2nd Nov 2006, 11:29 AM – Representatives Medibank Private Sale Bill 2006 - Allotment of Time - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to put the question, which was moved by Liberal MP Tony Abbott.

The question in this case was a procedural motion "That the time allotted for the remaining stages of the bill be until 1.30 pm this day", which was subsequently put.(See that division here. ) This question follows on from Mr Abbott's previous motion that the bill be considered an urgent one.(Read more about that division here. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to allow the federal government to sell its interest in Medibank Private Limited and allow Medibank to operate on a “for profit” basis. The Coalition Government plans to do this after the 2007 election, should it be re-elected.(Read more about this privatisation proposal on Wikipedia here and on the ABC's World Today program here.)

Yes Yes (strong) 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 2 100 100
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: 100 100

*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 = 100 / 100 = 100%.

And then