How Larissa Waters voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should hold a plebiscite (or national vote) on the question of whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry

Division Larissa Waters Supporters vote Division outcome

7th Nov 2016, 9:33 PM – Senate Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority voted against the main idea of the bill's main idea. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against giving the bill a second reading.

This means that the bill is now rejected and won't continue to be considered.

What is the bill's main idea?

The purpose of this bill is to make it possible for the government to hold a national plebiscite to ask Australians "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?"

What is a national plebiscite?

The bills digest explains that:

a national plebiscite is a vote by citizens on any subject of national significance but which does not affect the Constitution. Plebiscites are normally advisory and do not compel a government to act on the outcome. There have only been three national plebiscites—two on conscription during World War I (both defeated) and one on the choice of a National Song in 1977.

Why don't some supporters of marriage equality support this bill?

Several parties and independents oppose this bill for two main reasons: cost and concern that a plebiscite could harm members of the LGBTI community.

No Yes (strong) Not 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* 0 0 0
Total: 0 50

*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 / 50 = 0.0%.

And then