How Matt Thistlethwaite voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase the limit on the total amount of Commonwealth stock and securities that may be on issue at any time (known as the 'debt limit') or remove the limit altogether

Division Matt Thistlethwaite Supporters vote Division outcome

25th Jun 2012, 9:35 PM – Senate Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2012-2013 - Second Reading - Increase debt limit

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The majority voted in favour of a motion that part 5 clauses 18 and 19 stand as printed. In other words, that part 5 clauses 18 and 19 remain unchanged.

Clause 18 amends the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911 to raise the debt limit from $250 to $300. Clause 19 is concerned with the application of Clause 19.

This motion was put after Liberal Senator Mathias Cormann moved a motion that those two clauses be opposed.(Read Senator Cormann's explanation for his motion and the associated debate here. )

Background to the bill

The purpose of the bill is to appropriate money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for certain expenditure.(Read more about appropriation bills and what they do more generally here. ) It also amends the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911 to increase the cap on the face value of stock and securities that can be on issue under the Treasurer’s standing borrowing authority to from $250 billion to $300 billion.(You can find more about the bill, including its bills digest, here.)


Yes Yes 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 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 40

*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 = 10 / 40 = 25%.

And then