How Mark Vaile voted compared to someone who believes that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators should vote to suspend standing and sessional orders (that is, the procedural rules of Parliament) so that their colleagues can introduce motions for Parliament to vote on even when the the procedural rules would prevent them from doing so

Division Mark Vaile Supporters vote Division outcome

19th Mar 2008, 9:19 AM – Representatives Motions - Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008 - Suspend standing orders

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal MP Petro Georgiou. The motion was:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent order of the day No. 6, private Members’ business, relating to the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008, being called on and proceeded with immediately, in light of the following reasons:

(1) the Australian Parliament has enacted more than 30 laws dealing with terrorism since 2001;(The year 2001 is significant due to the events of 11 September in New York City and Washington, which you can read more about here.)

(2) offences and procedures have been established which depart significantly from traditional criminal law principles and practices, and restrict fundamental civil liberties;

(3) it is critical that Parliament and the executive are well informed about the effectiveness and impact of the laws;

(4) however, the machinery of vigilance in Australia is deficient—reviews to date have been sporadic and fragmented and with limited mandates. Important issues have not been addressed;

(5) a credible new mechanism of review is essential;

(6) the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has twice recommended the establishment of the position of Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws, to provide a more integrated and ongoing approach to monitoring the laws;

(7) the committee considered that creation of the position would contribute positively to community confidence as well as provide the Parliament with regular factual reports;

(8) the committee’s recommendation was made unanimously on a bipartisan basis;

(9) the appointment of an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws has been supported by other authoritative commentators, including the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; and

(10) Parliament should have an immediate opportunity to consider this bill to establish a safeguard for the protection of our security and our rights, one which has been strongly endorsed across the political spectrum and within civil society.

Because this motion to suspend standing orders was rejected, Mr Georgiou cannot move the above motion in respect to an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

8th Aug 2007, 9:15 AM – Representatives Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Testing) Legislation - Let a vote happen

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to let a vote happen. In parliamentary jargon, the majority voted in favour of suspending standing orders.

Motion text

That:

(1) so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended in relation to proceedings on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Testing) Bill 2007 such that, at the conclusion of the second reading debate, not including a Minister speaking in reply, or at 1 p.m. on Wednesday 8 August 2007, whichever is the earlier, a Minister be called to sum up the second reading debate and thereafter, without delay, the immediate question before the House be put, then any question or questions necessary to complete the remaining stages of the Bill be put without amendment or debate; and

(2) any variation to this arrangement be made only by a motion moved by a Minister.

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