How Alan Ferguson voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should allocate 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid in line with the United Nations' target

Division Alan Ferguson Supporters vote Division outcome

14th Oct 2008, 3:59 PM – Senate Motions - Anti-Poverty Week - Base pension rate + foreign aid budget

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The majority voted against this motion to increase the base pension rate and increase the foreign aid budget.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the week beginning 12 October 2008 is Anti-Poverty Week,

(ii) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are over represented amongst those living in poverty in Australia,

(iii) people living on income support payments including single parents, disability support pension and the age pension are over represented amongst those living in poverty in Australia, and

(iv) Australia currently gives foreign aid to the value of 0.32 per cent of gross national income; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) support the development of effective benchmarks to measure poverty,

(ii) institute policies that seek to eradicate poverty and strengthen social inclusion,

(iii) increase the base pension rate by $30 per week which would have the added benefit of directly increasing cash flows during this time of economic crisis, and

(iv) increase the amount of foreign aid to 0.7 per cent in line with the recommendations of the United Nations.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large 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