How Natasha Stott Despoja voted compared to someone who believes that local government should be recognised in the Australian Constitution

Division Natasha Stott Despoja Supporters vote Division outcome

7th Sep 2006, 9:56 AM – Senate Motions - Local Government in Australia - Referendum

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Labor Senator Kim Carr.

It would have amended a motion introduced by Liberal Senator Chris Ellison by replacing the words:

(a) [That the Senate] recognises that local government is part of the governance of Australia, serving communities through locally-elected councils;

with the words:

(a) [That the Senate] supports a referendum to extend constitutional recognition to local government in recognition of the essential role it plays in the governance of Australia;


There are three tiers of government in Australia: federal, state and local. Currently, the Australian Constitution does not mention local governments. In 1988, a referendum was held to amend the Constitution so that it recognises local governments but it was unsuccessful.

Yes Yes 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