How Brett Mason voted compared to someone who believes that Australia should not deploy armed forces without the consideration and approval of Parliament

Division Brett Mason Supporters vote Division outcome

17th Mar 2015, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions — Troop Deployment to Iraq

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Christine Milne moved:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

  • (i) the Government has committed a further 300 troops to the war in Iraq, in addition to the special forces and air force personnel already deployed,

  • (ii) this increase in troop numbers was announced by the Prime Minister of New Zealand (Mr Key), rather than our own Prime Minister (Mr Abbott),

  • (iii) neither the Australian Parliament, nor the Australian people, were consulted about the major increase in Australian soldiers in Iraq, and

  • (iv) the latest polling from Essential Research shows That the majority of Australians disapprove of sending more Australian soldiers to Iraq; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to:

  • (i) support legislation that enables the Parliament to decide when Australian troops are deployed overseas, and

  • (ii) outline the support framework it has in place to support both the mental and physical health needs of returning service men and women.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

4th Sep 2014, 12:52 PM – Senate Defence Legislation Amendment (Parliamentary Approval of Overseas Service) Bill 2014 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority disagreed with this bill's main idea, meaning it will no longer be considered by parliament. The bill sought to:

Amend the: Defence Act 1903 to provide for parliamentary approval of overseas service by members of the Australian Defence Force; and Air Force Act 1923 and Naval Defence Act 1910 to make consequential amendments.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

19th Mar 2013, 3:42 PM – Senate Motions - Iraq - Independent inquiry

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The majority voted against the motion introduced by Tasmanian Greens Senator Christine Milne, which means it was unsuccessful.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) it is 10 years since the United States of America (US) led the invasion of Iraq,

(ii) the British non-government organisation, Iraq Body Count, estimates about 162 000 people, almost 80 per cent of them civilians, were killed in Iraq from the start of the 2003 US-led invasion, up to the withdrawal of American forces in 2012, and

(iii) in sending Australian troops to Iraq in 2003, the Howard Government was the first government in Australia's history to go to war without the support of both Houses of Parliament; and

(b) calls on the Government and the Opposition to:

(i) support the Australian Greens' Defence Amendment (Parliamentary Approval of Overseas Service) Bill 2010 [No. 2] which would require parliamentary approval of overseas service by members of the Australian Defence Force, and

(ii) support an independent inquiry into the reasons behind Australia's participation in the invasion.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 1 25 50
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* 1 1 2
Total: 26 62

*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 = 26 / 62 = 42%.

And then