How George Brandis voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should ensure that all Australians have access to abortion services

Division George Brandis Supporters vote Division outcome

14th Feb 2018, 4:41 PM – Senate Motions - Abortion - Alternatives and counselling

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The majority voted against a motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) every human being, no matter what stage of development, is sacred and is deserving of the rights to life and liberty, and

(ii) mothers should be informed about the development of the unborn baby, the procedure of termination, the risks, both physical and psychological, due to the operation and alternatives such as adoption; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to fund counselling for women in relation to pregnancy terminations.

absent No Not passed by a small majority

7th Feb 2018, 3:56 PM – Senate Motions - Reproductive Health Services - Availability of abortion services

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The majority voted in favour of a motion, which means it passed. While motions like these don't have any legal force, they do represent the will of the Senate and so can be politically influential.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) access to affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion and contraception, is part of every woman's right to control her own body,

(ii) recently, the primary provider of surgical abortions in Tasmania closed their clinic, and the Tasmanian Liberal Government ruled out providing this essential service within the Tasmanian public health with women forced to travel interstate for treatment,

(iii) in January, Prime Minister Turnbull refused to comment on whether Tasmanian public hospitals should provide this essential health service, instead leaving the matter for the Tasmanian Liberal Government, and

(iv) across Australia, inconsistent laws and service provision means access to abortion can be extremely difficult, and women face high out-of-pocket costs; in particular, women in remote, rural and regional areas are often forced to travel long distances to urban clinics; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) show leadership and work with states and territories to remove all barriers to Australians accessing abortion services, including decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales and Queensland, and provision of surgical abortion services in public hospitals across the country, and

(ii) where state and territory health systems fail to provide abortion services, step in to ensure funding and provision of essential reproductive health services for all Australians.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small 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 1 0 50
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* 1 1 2
Total: 1 52

*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 = 1 / 52 = 1.9%.

And then