How Tony Windsor 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 Tony Windsor Supporters vote Division outcome

27th Jun 2013, 12:50 PM – Representatives Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 - Consideration in Detail - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion that the question should be put. The question referred to was whether to agree to the bill as amended and was subsequently put.(That division is available here. )

Background to the Bill

The Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 was introduced by Labor MP Brendan O'Connor to “enhance the government's ability to deter sponsor behaviour which is inconsistent with the policy intent of the subclass 457 visa program and other temporary employer sponsored visa programs”.(Read MP O'Connor's comments here. ) At the time this bill was introduced, the 457 visa program was receiving extensive media attention with claims that it was being misused.(See ABC News. A simple explanation of the 457 visa scheme can be found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website here.)

References

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

27th Jun 2012, 6:42 PM – Representatives Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012 - Consideration in Detail - Put the question

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This division relates to the Policy For refugee and protection international conventions.

The majority voted in favour a motion to put the question, which was introduced by Labor MP Anthony Albanese. The question in this case was that previously moved Liberal amendments be agreed to.(That division is available here. )

This motion is a parliamentary procedure. When the question is put, debate stops and a division is called. This means that moving that the question be put can effectively put an end to debate. Someone who votes aye in support of this division is voting in favour of ending debate on the amendments.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced by Independent MP Rob Oakeshott in response to the High Court's decision in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship () HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here. )

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country to assess their refugee claims.(More information about this bill and context can be found here.) It also amends the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia. However, these amendments would only have effect for a period of 12 months.

By making these amendments, the bill attempts to codify the Bali Process into domestic law.

References

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

11th Feb 2010, 11:03 AM – Representatives Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2010 and related bills - Second Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion that the question be put, which was introduced by the Leader of the House Anthony Albanese.

The question referred to was to read the bills for a second time.(See that division here. )

Background to the bills

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2010 and ten related bills were introduced to create the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. This is the third attempt to introduce this scheme.(Read about the previous attempts here. )

The scheme is an emission trading scheme designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in an effort to address climate change. It gives effect to Australia's obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

The design of the scheme has been criticised by the business community for threatening jobs and by environmentalists for not going far enough with its emission reduction targets.(Read more about these criticisms here.)

The ten other bills are called:

References

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

29th Oct 2009, 1:47 PM – Representatives Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 [No. 2] - Second Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted against a motion that the question be put, which was introduced by Liberal MP Christopher Pyne.

The question referred to was a motion put by Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull.

A motion to put a question is procedural motion known as a "closure" or "gag" as it ends debate on a particular question by requiring it to be asked.(Read more about these types of motions here. ) Since the majority voted 'no' in this division, the debate on Turnbull's motion can continue.

Background to the bill

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 (No. 2) was introduced as part of a package of six bills along with five other related bills to introduce the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. It is identical to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 as amended in the House of Representatives before it was negated in the Senate.(See that division here. )

The scheme is an emission trading scheme designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in an effort to address climate change. It gives effect to Australia's obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

The design of the scheme has been criticised by the business community for threatening jobs and by environmentalists for not going far enough with its emission reduction targets.(Read more about these criticisms here.)

The six bills that were introduced as a package are called:

The five other related bills are called:

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

22nd Oct 2009, 1:40 PM – Representatives Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 — Second Reading — Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That the question be now put", which was introduced by Labor MP Anthony Albanese. This motion has the effect of ending debate and immediately putting the question that was being discussed, which was in this case "That this bill be now read a second time".(See the division on that motion here. )

Background to the bill

The bill relates to the regulation of consumer protection, competition and licensing in telecommunications markets. According to the bills digest, significant changes made by the bill include:

  • causing Telstra to be structurally or functionally separated in order to improve competition within the telecommunications markets
  • reduce the susceptibility of the telecommunications access regime to deliberate delay and obstruction
  • removing a technical impediment to the operation of the anti-competitive conduct regime applying to telecommunications markets
  • making the universal service obligation (USO) and customer service guarantee (CSG) clearer and so more enforceable
  • extending the obligation to provide priority assistance to those with life threatening conditions to service providers other than Telstra
  • enabling breaches of civil penalty provisions - including some concerning the USO and the CSG - to be dealt with by the issue of infringement notices.(Read more about these changes in the bills digest (678 KB).)
No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

4th Jun 2009, 11:32 AM – Representatives Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 - Consideration in Detail - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That the question be now put", which was introduced by Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Greg Combet. The question referred to was "That the bill, as amended, be agreed to", which was subsequently put.(See that division here. )

This is a procedural motion and is known as a "closure" or "gag" as it ends debate on a particular question by requiring it to be asked.(Read more about these types of motions here. )

Background to the bill

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 was introduced as part of a package of six bills to introduce the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.(Read more about the scheme on Wikipedia. ) This is an emission trading scheme designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in an effort to address climate change. The scheme gives effect to Australia's obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

The design of the scheme has been criticised by the business community for threatening jobs and by environmentalists for not going far enough with its emission reduction targets.(Read more about these criticisms here.)

The six bills that were introduced as a package are called:

References

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

23rd Sep 2008, 6:05 PM – Representatives Motions - Urgent Relief for Single Age Pensioners Bill 2008 - Consideration of Senate Message

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No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

29th May 2008, 1:30 PM – Representatives Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy Surcharge Thresholds) Bill 2008 - Second Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "That the question be now put." The motion was introduced by Labor MP Anthony Albanese. The question was whether to read the bill for a second time,(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through before becoming law here. ) which was subsequently put.(See that division here. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to increase the Medicare levy surcharge threshold to $100,000 for individuals and to $150,000 for families.(Read more about the bill in its bills digest (73.8 KB).)

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

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.

No 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.)

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately 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 2 100 100
MP voted against policy 7 0 350
MP absent 1 25 50
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: 125 500

*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 = 125 / 500 = 25%.

And then