How John Williams voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should conduct a review of our senators and members of parliament (MPs) to make sure that they are all eligible to represent us in Parliament under the Australian Constitution

Division John Williams Supporters vote Division outcome

5th Sep 2017, 5:17 PM – Senate Committees - Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee - Reference

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion to address the issue of ineligible Senators and Members of Parliament (MPs) by referring the matter to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for investigation with the help of an independent auditor.

This motion relates to the so-called citizenship crisis where several senators (as well as the odd MP) were found to be ineligible for Parliament under the Constitution because they are dual citizens.

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes that there have now been five current and former senators referred to the Court of Disputed Returns to determine their eligibility under section 44 of the Constitution.

(2) The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee inquire into and report by 14 September 2017 on the following matters:

(a) the eligibility of senators in the 45th Parliament under section 44 of the Constitution in so far as it relates to being 'a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power';

(b) the legal liability of senators who know, or have grounds to suspect, that they are ineligible for office but do not come forward with that information, and whether they are defrauding the Commonwealth; and

(c) any other related matters.

(3) For the purposes of carrying out the inquiry, the committee must as soon as practicable, with the approval of the President, appoint an independent auditor, or auditors, with expertise in migration, citizenship and constitutional law to assist the committee.

(4) The independent auditor or auditors will be able to request to the committee to use its powers to order the production of documents from senators and order them to appear as witnesses and answer questions.

(5) On behalf of the committee, the independent auditor or auditors may present to representatives of foreign governments in Australia and seek information.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

4th Sep 2017, 10:50 AM – Senate Motions - Parliamentary Representation - Qualifications of Senators

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Senator Pauline Hanson, which means it failed.

Motion text

That:

(1) the Senate notes that the continued uncertainty regarding the qualifications of a number of parliamentarians under section 44(i) of the Constitution is undermining public confidence in the parliament; and

(2) in the interests of restoring the public's confidence, the Senate is of the opinion that senators should work with the government to establish an independent review of the qualifications under section 44(i) of all senators by the end of the sitting week.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

15th Aug 2017, 3:53 PM – Senate Committees - Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee - Reference

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion to address the issue of ineligible Senators and Members of Parliament (MPs) by referring the matter to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for investigation with the help of an independent auditor.

This motion relates to the so-called citizenship crisis where several senators (as well as the odd MP) were found to be ineligible for Parliament under the Constitution because they are dual citizens.

Motion text

(1) That the Senate notes that there are now questions surrounding the citizenship of at least two current senators and one member of the House of Representatives.

(2) That the following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 14 September 2017:

(a) the eligibility of Senators in the 45th Parliament under Section 44 of the Constitution in so far as it relates to being 'a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power';

(b) the legal liability of Senators who know, or have grounds to suspect, that they are ineligible for office but do not come forward with that information, and whether they are defrauding the Commonwealth; and

(c) any other related matters.

(3) For the purposes of carrying out the inquiry, the Committee must as soon as practicable, with the approval of the President, appoint an independent auditor, or auditors, with expertise in migration, citizenship and constitutional law to assist the Committee.

(4) The independent auditor or auditors will be able to request to the Committee to use its powers to order the production of documents from Senators and order them to appear as witnesses and answer questions.

(5) On behalf of the Committee, the independent auditor or auditors may present to representatives of foreign governments in Australia and seek information.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

9th Aug 2017, 4:42 PM – Senate Committees - Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee - Reference

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion to address the issue of ineligible Senators and Members of Parliament (MPs) by referring the matter to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for investigation.

This motion relates to the so-called citizenship crisis where several senators (as well as the odd MP) were found to be ineligible for Parliament under the Constitution because they are dual citizens.

Motion text

(1) The following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 14 September 2017:

(a) the eligibility of senators in the 45th Parliament under section 44 of the Constitution, in so far as it relates to being 'a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power';

(b) the legal liability of senators who know, or have grounds to suspect, that they are ineligible for office but do not come forward with that information, and whether they are defrauding the Commonwealth; and

(c) any other related matters.

(2) For the purposes of carrying out the inquiry, the committee must, as soon as practicable, with the approval of the President, appoint an independent auditor, or auditors, with expertise in migration, citizenship and constitutional law to assist the committee.

(3) The independent auditor or auditors will be able to request the committee to use its powers to order the production of documents from senators and order them to appear as witnesses and answer questions.

(4) On behalf of the committee, the independent auditor or auditors may present to representatives of foreign governments in Australia and seek information.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted strongly 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 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 3 0 150
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: 25 200

*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 = 25 / 200 = 13%.

And then