How Mehreen Faruqi voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should give the immigration minister the power to revoke the citizenship of people who have dual nationality (that is, are also citizens of another country) if they take part in certain terrorism-related offences

Division Mehreen Faruqi Supporters vote Division outcome

3rd Sep 2020, 4:22 PM – Senate Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Cessation) Bill 2020 - 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 it for a second time. This means they can now discuss the bill in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest, the bill:

will amend the scheme for national security-related citizenship cessation in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (the Citizenship Act) to:

  • replace ‘operation of law’ provisions in which Australian citizenship is automatically renounced on the basis of certain conduct, with a ministerial-decision model for citizenship cessation
  • reduce the sentence threshold for cessation based on conviction for certain offences, from a sentence of at least six or ten years imprisonment (depending on when the sentence was imposed), to a sentence of at least three years imprisonment
  • change the ‘statelessness test’ by removing the precondition that the person is a citizen of another country and substituting a prohibition on the Minister making a determination where the Minister is satisfied that a person will be made stateless by the determination
  • amend the procedures for the giving of notice of a citizenship cessation and
  • introduce procedures by which a person whose citizenship ceases may apply to the Minister for revocation.

The amendments will apply retrospectively.

Why is the bill controversial?

The bills digest sets out some of the main issues in the bill:

  • reducing the sentence threshold for conviction-based citizenship cessation is not proportionate and lacks justification
  • amending the statelessness test will increase the risk of statelessness and narrow the scope for judicial review
  • there has been insufficient justification provided for the Bill’s retrospective application
  • although the [Independent National Security Legislation Monitor]’s proposed model included a limited form of merits review, the Bill does not make provision for this and
  • proposed procedural safeguards, including automatic revocation of the cessation determination where a court makes certain factual findings, may not be functional and thus may not provide practical protection against arbitrary citizenship loss and statelessness.
No Yes Passed by a large majority

How "voted very 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 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 10

*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 = 0 / 10 = 0.0%.

And then