How Santo Santoro voted compared to someone who believes that university students should be able to choose whether or not to pay student services and amenities fees (also called student union fees)

Division Santo Santoro Supporters vote Division outcome

11th Sep 2006, 3:50 PM – Senate Motions - End Voluntary Student Unionism

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott Despoja. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) the introduction of voluntary student unionism on 1 July 2006 has resulted in the loss of numerous jobs and the closure of vital student services,

(ii) many other student services are in jeopardy,

(iii) the Government’s ‘Voluntary Student Unionism Transition Fund’ has done little to protect essential university services such as child care, welfare, counselling, advocacy and accommodation,(Read more about the fund here.)

(iv) the closure of these services is having a devastating effect on poorer students and those in regional and isolated areas, and

(v) the introduction of voluntary student unionism has undermined student autonomy and representation at universities; and

(b) calls on the Government to reverse voluntary student unionism.


No No Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly 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 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 10

*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 = 10 / 10 = 100%.

And then