How Nick Xenophon 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 Nick Xenophon Supporters vote Division outcome

14th Mar 2013, 12:17 PM – Senate Motions - International Development Assistance - Increase foreign aid budget to 0.7% of GNI

Show detail

The majority voted against increasing the overseas aid budget to 0.7% Gross National Income (GNI).

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the United Nations (UN) endorsed target to meet the Millennium Development Goals is for developed nations to devote 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) to foreign aid by 2015, yet Australia currently contributes a mere 0.35 per cent,

(ii) both the Australian Labor Party and the Coalition went to the 2010 election with a commitment to increase aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015,

(iii) in the 2012-13 Budget, the Government pushed back by a year its commitment to increase aid to 0.5 per cent and the Coalition removed its timetable altogether, and

(iv) since the 2012-13 Budget the Government has directed $375 million from the aid budget to pay for the onshore costs of detaining refugees, and the Australian Defence Force has had to re-classify almost $190 million claimed to be overseas development aid as military spending; and

(b) calls on:

(i) the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Senator Bob Carr) to ensure that the overseas aid budget does not suffer further cuts in the May 2013-14 Budget, and

(ii) the Government and Coalition to publicly reaffirm their commitment to the UN endorsed target of 0.7 per cent and to release their timetable for reaching the target.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

25th Jun 2012, 3:42 PM – Senate Motions - Foreign Aid Budget - Increase foreign aid budget to 0.7% of GNI

Show detail

The majority voted against increasing the International Development Assistance Budget from 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI) to 0.7%.

Motions

That the Senate—

(a) congratulates the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) on her appointment to co-chair a global leadership group on achieving the Millennium Development Goals;

(b) notes that:

(i) in 1970, Australia endorsed the United Nations target to allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid,

(ii) the former Prime Minister (Mr Howard) endorsed the 0.7 per cent target when he signed on to the Millennium Development Goals, and

(iii) on 22 November 2011, the Senate voted to reaffirm a bipartisan commitment to increase the International Development Assistance Budget to at least 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015; and

(c) calls on the Government to:

(i) recommit to 0.5 per cent of GNI to be allocated to Australia's foreign aid budget by 2015, and

(ii) commit to re-evaluating the provision of 0.7 per cent of GNI to the foreign aid budget in order to bring Australia in line with achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

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

Show detail

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.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

How "voted moderately 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 2 100 100
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: 125 160

*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 = 125 / 160 = 78%.

And then