How Nick Xenophon voted compared to someone who believes that the date of Australia Day should be changed from 26 January, which was the day the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney, and is a day of mourning for many Australians

Division Nick Xenophon Supporters vote Division outcome

17th Aug 2017, 12:45 PM – Senate Motions - Australia Day - City of Yarra Council

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The majority voted in favour of a motion that condemns the City of Yarra Council's actions in respect to Australia Day. Motions like these don't have any legal force, but can be influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) condemns the move by the City of Yarra Council to change the way it marks Australia Day;

(b) endorses the remarks by the Prime Minister that this attack on Australia Day by the City of Yarra is a repudiation of the values of 'freedom, a fair go, mateship and diversity';

(c) stands resolute in its view that Australia Day is a day that all Australians come together as a nation, to celebrate the values that make Australia great and that make people proud of Australian citizenship;

(d) notes that all Australian states and territories have celebrated Australia Day on 26 January since 1935; and

(e) calls on the Australian Government to strip the City of Yarra Council of its authorisation to conduct citizenship ceremonies.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

9th Feb 2017, 12:39 PM – Senate Motions - Australia Day - Change the date

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Greens Party Senator Rachel Siewert (WA), which means it was unsuccessful. The motion called for the governments of Australia (federal, state and territory) to change the date of Australia Day "so that all Australians can participate in celebrating this national day".

This year, thousands of Australians took part in rallies around the country to mark 26 January as the mark of invasion.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges:

(i) that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the First Peoples of these lands and waters,

(ii) that 26 January is a day of mourning for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as it represents the beginning of colonisation, and

(iii) the call from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, local governments and community support to change the date; and

(b) calls on federal, state and territory governments to change the date of Australia Day so that all Australians can participate in celebrating this national day.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

How "voted a mixture of for and 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 0 0 0
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 1 0 10
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 25 60

*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 = 25 / 60 = 42%.

And then