How David Smith voted compared to someone who believes that the Federal Government should protect whales within Australian waters by, for example, taking action against the Japanese Government over its whaling program in the Southern Ocean

Division David Smith Supporters vote Division outcome

18th Sep 2018, 4:45 PM – Senate Motions - Whaling - Patrol against + investigate legal options

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own, but are politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has rejected Japan's bid to overturn a long-standing ban on commercial whaling;

(b) notes further that Japan has threatened to withdraw from the IWC and indicated its intention to continue hunting for 'scientific' purposes; and

(c) calls on the government to:

(i) commit to sending a vessel to patrol the Southern Ocean this summer, and

(ii) investigate Australia's legal options under international law.

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 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