How Brian Burston 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 Brian Burston Supporters vote Division outcome

30th Nov 2017, 1:20 PM – Senate Motions - Dastyari, Senator Sam - Suspend standing order

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The majority agreed to a motion to suspend the usual parliamentary rules (known as standing orders) so that a vote can take place. Since this vote was successful, Senator George Brandis' motion could be voted on.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Brandis moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to provide that a motion relating to Senator Dastyari may be moved immediately and determined without amendment or debate.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

17th Oct 2017, 1:05 PM – Senate Motions - Suspension of Standing Orders - Let a vote happen

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The majority voted against a motion to suspend the rules to allow a vote to happen. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against suspending the standing orders.

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale had introduced this motion so that he could move "a motion to give precedence to a motion relating to climate change".

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

17th Aug 2017, 1:50 PM – Senate Documents - Deputy Prime Minister - Let a vote happen

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The majority voted against a motion to let a vote happen. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to suspend the standing orders. This means that the vote won't happen.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator McKim moving a motion relating to the Government's failure to provide a response to an order for production of documents concerning the Member for New England.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

16th Aug 2017, 10:09 AM – Senate Motions - Wong, Senator Penny; Censure - Let a vote happen

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The majority voted against a motion to let a vote on Labor Senator Penny Wong to happen, which means the following motion won't take place.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to give precedence to a motion to censure the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Wong, in the following terms:

That the Senate censures the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs (Senator Wong) for:

(a) causing her Chief of Staff to engage in inappropriate conduct with a foreign political entity for the purpose of causing damage to Australia;

(b) causing her Chief of Staff to interfere in the political process of New Zealand for the purpose of undermining the Australian Government;

(c) misleading the Senate by suggesting that the issue of the Deputy Prime Minister's citizenship arose in New Zealand as a result of media inquiries, rather than orchestration by her Chief of Staff;

(d) embarrassing the government of New Zealand, and thereby potentially causing damage to Australia's relationship with one of our closest allies; and

(e) engaging in conduct which makes her unfit to ever hold the office of Foreign Minister of Australia.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

8th Aug 2017, 1:20 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Let a vote happen

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The majority voted against letting a vote happen. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against suspending standing orders.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator McKim moving a motion to give precedence to a motion relating to deaths in Australia's offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru and the need to evacuate the people there to safety in Australia.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

13th Jun 2017, 12:58 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Narcotic Drugs) Regulation 2016 - Disallow

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to allow a vote to happen. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to suspend standing orders.

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale introduced this motion on request of Senator Jacqui Lambie since Senator Lambie was absent last time this vote was taken.

What was the vote?

The vote at issue was a vote to disallow the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Narcotic Drugs) Regulation 2016

Senator Di Natale explains what this disallowance would restore the ability of terminally ill patients to access medicinal cannabis products. Read more about the regulation in its explanatory memorandum and the arguments for its disallowance in the debate.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion relating to the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to provide that the question on the motion to disallow the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Narcotic Drugs) Regulation 2016 be put again immediately.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

22nd Nov 2016, 4:14 PM – Senate Motions - Suspension of Standing Orders - Let a vote happen

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Di Natale moving a motion relating to the conduct of the business of the Senate, namely a motion to give precedence to general business notice of motion No. 115 relating to the US alliance.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 5 250 250
MP voted against policy 5 0 250
MP absent 8 200 400
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: 450 900

*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 = 450 / 900 = 50%.

And then