How Joe Ludwig voted compared to someone who believes that the Australian Government should publicly release more information about the contents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and its position in the negotiations

Division Joe Ludwig Supporters vote Division outcome

13th Oct 2015, 4:02 PM – Senate Motions — Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

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The Senate voted 33 to 27 in favour of a motion calling on the government to release the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to the Productivity Commission for a full review before it is introduced into the House of Representatives or the Senate.

The motion in its entirety was as follows:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 6 October 2015, 12 Pacific-rim countries signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement,

(ii) to date the text of the Agreement has not been made public, and

(iii) on 24 June 2015 the Productivity Commission released its Trade and Assistance Review 2013-14, which stated 'the emerging and growing potential for trade preferences to impose net costs on the community presents a compelling case for the final text of an agreement to be rigorously analysed before signing'; and

(b) calls on the Government to refer the text of the Agreement to the Productivity Commission for a full-scale review prior to the Agreement's implementing legislation being introduced into the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The motion was introduced by independent Senator Nick Xenophon on behalf of a cross-party group of Senators: Xenophon, Dio Wang, Palmer United Party Senator for Western Australia; Glenn Lazarus, Independent Senator for Queensland; Ricky Muir, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator for Victoria; and Peter Whish-Wilson, Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

11th Feb 2015, 3:50 PM – Senate Motions — Request for more transparency in Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

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The motion put by Senator Urquhart on behalf of Senator Wong relates to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and asks that the public be kept more informed of details of the current negotiations. The motion draws attention to a 2013 Senate order requiring that details in this type of trade agreement be made public a minimum of 14 days before being signed, which would require a statement by 4pm 12/2/2015 in this case.

Motion:

(a) the Senate—

(i) notes the Abbott Government's failure to keep Parliament and the public informed of the nature and progress of its trade negotiations,

(ii) expresses concern that the Abbott Government's lack of transparency diminishes industry and community engagement and undermines support for trade liberalisation,

(iii) draws to the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment the order of the Senate of 11 December 2013 requiring bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements to be tabled at least 14 days before signing, and

(iv) requires the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment to make a statement in the Senate on the status of negotiations on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership no later than 4 pm on Thursday, 12 February 2015;

(b) at the conclusion of the statement a senator may move to take note of the statement; or

(c) if no statement has been made by the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Investment by 4 pm on Thursday, 12 February 2015, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong) may immediately move a further motion relating to the Minister's failure to comply.

Yes Yes Passed by a small majority

29th Oct 2014 – Senate Motions - Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement - Give members of Parliament access to the draft text

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The majority disagreed that the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade should give members of Parliament access to the draft text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson had proposed this.

Background to the motion

The Australian Parliament will not be able to see the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement until after it is signed. This is unlike the United States Congress and the Malaysian Parliament, who are allowed access to the draft text before their countries sign it.

Motion

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson moved that:

That the Senate—

(a) notes members of the:

  • (i) Australian Parliament will only be allowed to see the final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (the Agreement) once it has been signed,
  • (ii) United States of America Congress are allowed access to the Agreement draft text, and
  • (iii) Malaysian Parliament will be shown the draft text prior to Malaysia signing the Agreement; and

(b) calls on the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to allow members of Parliament access to the Agreement draft text.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

23rd Nov 2011 – Senate Motions — Trans-Pacific Partnership

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The Senate voted against a motion (see the debate) by Christine Milne:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

  • (i) the announcement by the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) of Australia's in principle agreement to the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement,
  • (ii) the Productivity Commission report noting the failure of free trade agreements to live up to the benefits claimed by successive governments,
  • (iii) the Government's failure to release for public scrutiny the draft text of the agreement under negotiation,
  • (iv) calls by 25 community groups ranging from pensioner groups to the Australian Council of Trade Unions to have the draft text released,
  • (v) the bids by American pharmaceutical companies to use the agreement to delay the release of generic drugs and to undermine the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,
  • (vi) the failure of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to identify significant benefits to Australian primary producers,
  • (vii) the reported failure of the agreement to include minimum standards for labour or environmental protection,
  • (viii) the concern about reported changed rules for local content in Australian film and television, and
  • (ix) the reported proposed changes to government procurement rules and reported inclusion of an investor state dispute process; and

(b) calls on the Government to immediately release the draft text of the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

There were more motions to provide more parliamentary and public scrutiny of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations:

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately for" 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 2 20 20
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 1 1 2
Total: 21 32

*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 = 21 / 32 = 66%.

And then