How John Williams voted compared to someone who believes that telecommunications providers should be required to store all their customers' usages data for later access by agencies with the Attorney General's consent

Division John Williams Supporters vote Division outcome

16th Mar 2016 – Senate Motions - Mandatory Telecommunications Data Retention Scheme - Repeal the scheme

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam about the mandatory telecommunications data retention scheme.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the expensive, intrusive and ultimately pointless mandatory telecommunications data retention scheme was introduced in the 2015-16 Budget at a cost to taxpayers of $153.8 million,

(ii) mandatory data retention forces Australian Internet service providers and telecommunications carriers to retain comprehensive records on their customers' Internet and telephone habits for a period of 2 years,

(iii) the full cost of the scheme is in excess of $300 million but costs just 15 cents per day to circumvent via simple steps such as those helpfully articulated by the Prime Minister (Mr Turnbull), and

(iv) since the Australian Labor Party supported the Government in passing the bill, the number of additional agencies requesting warrantless access to metadata has included the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Border Force and the Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner; and

(b) calls on the Government to repeal the scheme.

No No (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

26th Mar 2015 – Senate Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority of Senators agreed to pass this bill which requires telecommunications service providers to retain for two years telecommunications metadata on all of their subscribers.

More information is available in the following news articles:

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

24th Mar 2015, 8:46 PM – Senate Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the bill's main idea (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time). This means that the Senate can now discuss the bill in more detail.

Main idea of the bill

The bill requires telecommunications service providers to retain for two years telecommunications metadata on all of their subscribers. You can read more about the bill in its bills digest.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a modest 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 3 150 150
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: 150 150

*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 = 150 / 150 = 100%.

And then