How Nova Peris voted compared to someone who believes that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators should vote to speed things along by supporting motions to 'put the question' (known as 'closure' or 'gag' motions), which require Parliament to immediately vote on a question rather than debating it any further

Division Nova Peris Supporters vote Division outcome

17th Mar 2016, 12:01 PM – Senate Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2013 - Second Reading - Speed things along

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The majority voted against a motion to stop debate and vote on the question immediately. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against a motion that the question now be put.

Because the motion failed, debate will continue.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

2nd Mar 2016, 12:05 PM – Senate Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 - First Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Liberal Senator George Brandis:

The question is that the question be now put.

This is a 'closure of debate' motion, which means it ends debate on a particular question so that the Senate can vote immediately on it. Basically, this motion is to speed things along.

What was the question?

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to this bill, allowing it to be considered during this period of sittings.

Read more about that motion and about standing orders in general.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

2nd Mar 2016, 11:57 AM – Senate Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 - First Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of the following motion put by Liberal Senator George Brandis:

That the question be now put.

This is a 'closure of debate' motion, which means it ends debate on a particular question so that the Senate can vote immediately on it. Basically, this motion is to speed things along.

What was the question?

The question that could then be asked without further debate was:

That a motion to exempt these bills from the bills cut-off order may be moved immediately and determined without amendment or debate.

Read more about this motion.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

2nd Mar 2016, 11:49 AM – Senate Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 - First Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Liberal Senator George Brandis:

That that question be now put.

This is a 'closure of debate' motion, which means it ends debate on a particular question so that the Senate can vote immediately on it. Basically, this motion is to speed things along.

What was the question?

The question now is that the suspension motion moved by Senator Brandis be agreed to.

Read more about this motion.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

2nd Mar 2016, 11:36 AM – Senate Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 - First Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of the following motion put by Liberal Senator George Brandis:

That the question be now put.

This is a 'closure of debate' motion, which means it ends debate on a particular question so that the Senate can vote immediately on it. Basically, this motion is to speed things along.

What was the question?

The question that could then be asked without further debate was whether:

this bill may now proceed without formalities.

Read more about this motion.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

2nd Mar 2016, 11:24 AM – Senate Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 - First Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Liberal Senator George Brandis.

That the question be now put.

This is a 'closure of debate' motion, which means it ends debate on a particular question so that the Senate can vote immediately on it. Basically, this motion is to speed things along.

What was the question?

The question that could then be asked without further debate was:

The question now is that the amendment moved by Senator Collins be agreed to.

Read more about that motion.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

2nd Dec 2014, 5:32 PM – Senate Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014 - Second Reading - End debate on bill's main idea

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Labor Senator Claire Moore had wanted to end debate on the bill's main idea (in parliamentary jargon, she wanted to put the question). But because an equal number of senators had agreed and disagreed with her, the debate will continue because a majority wasn't reached.

Main idea of the bill

The main idea of the bill is to introduce broad ranging changes to the higher education sector, including the three changes mentioned below.

1. Deregulating university fees

One of the most controversial aspects of the bill is that it will remove any restrictions on the amount that universities can charge students for tuition in Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs). It is not known how much tuition fees would rise if this bill is passed and becomes law (read more in the bills digest).

2. Indexing HECS-HELP debt by ten year bond rate

The bill will also introduce new indexation arrangements for Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debts (also known as HECS-HELP debts). Currently, these debts are indexed by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The bill proposes to index them by the generally higher ten year bond rate, with a cap at 6%.

3. Charging fees for postgraduate research degrees

Currently, postgraduate students in research degrees don't have to pay any tuition costs. The bill will allow universities to charge these students fees of up to $3,900 per unit for high-cost courses and $1,700 for low-cost courses.

Background to the bill

As part of its 2014-15 Budget, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Government has announced a series of changes to government funding arrangements and this bill is part of those changes (read more in the bills digest).

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed

30th Sep 2014, 5:21 PM – Senate Committees - Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration - End debate on whether to create committee

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The majority wanted to end debate on the question of whether to create a select committee on certain aspects of Queensland government administration. This means that the question will now be asked immediately without further discussion (see that division). In parliamentary jargon, they voted for putting the question.

What will the committee do?

The motion would ask the committee to inquire into and report on:

But! Because of Australia's federal system of government, the committee can only look into these things if they in some way relate to the Commonwealth.

Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus, who introduced this motion, explained that he believed the motion was necessary because "serious issues have been raised across the community regarding Queensland government appointments, judicial appointments, project approvals, use of funds, policies and practices, environmental degradation and various other matters" (see his full explanation).

Background to the motion

This is the second time that Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus has introduced this motion. The first time failed because Liberal Senator Eric Abetz managed to amend the motion so the period of inquiry would begin from 21 March 2009 and therefore include former Labor Premier Anna Bligh's government.

Following that successful amendment, the motion lost the Labor Party's support and so was voted down without a division (see ABC News).

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

30th Sep 2014, 5:13 PM – Senate Committees - Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration - End debate on whether to include Bligh Government in inquiry

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The majority wanted to end debate on the question of whether the select committee's inquiry should include the former Bligh Government (that is, that the period of inquiry should begin on 21 March 2009 rather than 26 March 2012). This means that the question will now be asked immediately without further discussion (see that division). In parliamentary jargon, they voted for putting the question.

What will the committee do?

The select committee will inquire into and report on:

But! Because of Australia's federal system of government, the committee can only look into these things if they in some way relate to the Commonwealth.

Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus explained that he believed the committee was necessary because "serious issues have been raised across the community regarding Queensland government appointments, judicial appointments, project approvals, use of funds, policies and practices, environmental degradation and various other matters" (see his full explanation).

Background to the motion

This is the second time that Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus has introduced this motion. The first time failed because Liberal Senator Eric Abetz managed to amend the motion so the period of inquiry would begin from 21 March 2009 and therefore include former Labor Premier Anna Bligh's government.

Following that successful amendment, the motion lost the Labor Party's support and so was voted down without a division (see ABC News).

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

25th Sep 2014, 1:41 PM – Senate National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 - in Committee - End debate on whether to limit ASIO's access to devices

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The majority agreed to end debate on whether to limit the number of devices the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) can access. This means that the senators will immediately be asked whether they agree with this question without further debate (see that division). In parliamentary jargon, they voted for putting the question.

Background to the bill

After the major counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the balance between freedom and security had to shift (see ABC News). This bill is part of that change.

The bill also seems to be a response to American Edward Snowden leaking classified American intelligence information last year.

Read the bills digest for more information about the bill.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

23rd Sep 2014, 5:35 PM – Senate Committees — Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration — End debate on whether to debate the motion

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An equal number of senators agreed and disagreed to end debate on whether they should be able to debate creating a select committee (in parliamentary jargon, an equal number voted 'aye' and 'no' to putting the question). This means that the debate on whether to keep debating can continue!

What will the committee do?

The select committee will inquire into and report on:

But! Because of Australia's federal system of government, the committee can only look into these things if they in some way relate to the Commonwealth.

Background to the motion

Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus explained that he proposed to establish this select committee because "serious issues have been raised across the community regarding Queensland government appointments, judicial appointments, project approvals, use of funds, policies and practices, environmental degradation and various other matters" (see his full explanation).

absent Yes (strong) Not passed

10th Jul 2014, 9:56 AM – Senate Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 [No. 2] and related bills - Declaration of Urgency - Put the question

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "that the question be now put", which was moved by Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield. The question referred to was: "That the time allotted for consideration of the remaining stages of these bills be until 11.50 am." That motion was subsequently put.(See that motion here. )

Background to the bills

The Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 (No. 2) and related bills were introduced to remove the carbon pricing mechanism, which was introduced by the Australian Labor Party while in government. The Coalition described the mechanism as a “carbon tax” and removing it was a key policy platform during the 2013 election.(You can read more about the Coalition's policy to remove the carbon price here. )

The carbon pricing mechanism commenced on 1 July 2012.(For more information on the carbon pricing mechanism and how it works, please see the Clean Energy Regulator’s website. ) It is an emissions trading scheme that puts a price on carbon emissions. It applies to “liable entities” (a group that includes companies that emit a high level of greenhouse gases). Initially the price of carbon is fixed by the mechanism but from 1 July 2015 the price will be set by the market, though the Labor Government did announce plans to bring this forward to 1 July 2014 just before they were defeated by the Coalition in the 2013 election.

This is the second time that this package of bills has been introduced, after they were rejected in the Senate during the third reading stage the first time round.(See that division here. )

The other related bills that were introduced along with the Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 (No. 2) are:

The Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates and Other Amendments) Bill 2013 (No. 2) was previously rejected in the Senate at second reading stage.(See that division here.)

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2014 – Senate Regulations and Determinations — Australian Meat and Live—stock Industry (Export of Live—stock to Egypt) Repeal Order 2014 - Put the motion (for disallowance)

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The majority voted in favour of a motion "that the question now be put". This motion ends debate by requiring that the vote occur immediately.

The question was whether a motion put by Senator Lee Rhiannon be agreed to. That motion related to the live export industry and was subsequently put.(See that motion here.)

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

15th May 2014, 11:11 AM – Senate National Integrity Commission Bill 2013 - Second Reading - Put the question

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The majority voted against a motion to put the question, which was introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters. The question was whether to read the bill for a second time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. )

Because this motion was unsuccessful, the second reading debate will continue and the vote on whether to read the bill for a second time will take place at a later date.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced as a private member's bill by Senator Christine Milne. It seeks to establish a National Integrity Commission as an independent statutory agency in order to:

  • investigate and prevent misconduct and corruption in all Commonwealth departments, agencies, and federal parliamentarians and their staff;
  • investigate and prevent corruption in the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission; and
  • provide independent advice to ministers and parliamentarians on conduct, ethics and matters of proprietary.(Read more about the bill, including its explanatory memorandum, here.)
No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest 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 4 200 200
MP voted against policy 8 0 400
MP absent 2 50 100
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: 250 700

*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 = 250 / 700 = 36%.

And then