How Kerry O'Brien voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase transparency requirements for political parties (for example, requiring full and prompt disclosure of any political donations on easy-to-search public websites)

Division Kerry O'Brien Supporters vote Division outcome

11th Mar 2009, 12:19 PM – Senate Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2008 [2009] - Second Reading - Agree to the bill's main idea

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The same number of senators voted for and against the main idea of the bill, which means that the vote failed and that the bill won't be considered any further.

In parliamentary jargon, the bill won't be read a second time.

Main idea of the bill

The bill amends the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 in relation to political donations. For example, it proposed to reduce the donations disclosure threshold from $10 900 to $1000 and to ban foreign and anonymous donations to registered political parties. Read more about the proposed amendments in the bills digest.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed

8th Feb 2007, 10:37 AM – Senate Motions - Government Accountability and Transparency - Canadian bill

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Murray (WA), which means it was unsuccessful.

What was the motion?

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that the Canadian Government has delivered on its commitment to make government more accountable through the Federal Accountability Act, which received Royal Assent on 12 December 2006,

(ii) that through this Act and the associated Action Plan, specific measures will be introduced to help strengthen accountability and increase transparency and oversight in government operations, and

(iii) that the Canadian bill addresses issues which include:

(a) Transparency of donations;

(b) Truth in budgeting;

(c) Protection of whistleblowers;

(d) Strengthening the role of the Auditor-General and the role of the Ethics Commissioner; and

(e) Restrictions on Ministers, ministerial staffers and senior public servants engaging in lobbying after leaving office.

(b) and calls on the Australian Government to consider whether the existing legislative framework in Australia adequately addresses these issues in the interests of Australian democracy.

absent Yes Not passed by a small majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case Kerry O'Brien was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.