How Kerry O'Brien voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce restrictions to the amount and type of donations that political parties can receive in order to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption in government

Division Kerry O'Brien Supporters vote Division outcome

25th Oct 2010, 4:51 PM – Senate Tobacco Advertising

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The majority supported a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert. Motions like these don't have any legal force but express the will (or opinion) of the Senate.

What was the motion?

That the Senate—

(a) notes that 30 September 2010 marked the 60th anniversary of the landmark 1950 report by Doll and Hill in the British Medical Journal identifying beyond doubt that smoking causes lung cancer;

(b) acknowledges that since then more than 960 000 Australians have died because they smoked and that given current rates our nation will reach the millionth Australian death from smoking in 2013;

(c) welcomes the introduction of further measures to tackle smoking related harm, including plain packaging and increased taxation measures and the formation of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency;

(d) raises concern that, despite legislation banning tobacco advertising, major tobacco companies funded and directed a $5 million advertising campaign to oppose plain packaging during the recent 2010 Federal election; and

(e) calls on the Government to introduce measures to restrict the ability of tobacco companies to engage in all forms of tobacco promotion, including direct and indirect advertising, advertising through third parties, public relations activities, lobbying activities and donations to political parties.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

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 Not passed

18th Mar 2008, 3:44 PM – Senate Motions - Donations to Political Parties - Developers

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

Wording of the motion

That, in view of:

(a) the instances of developers being identified in investigations into corrupt influence in local government, and other levels of government;

(b) public and media perceptions of improper conduct and influence by developers; and

(c) calls for donations, loans, gifts and favours from developers to be prohibited,

the Senate calls on the Prime Minister (Mr Rudd) to put this matter before the Council of Australian Governments, with a view to designing amendments to all federal, state and territory electoral laws no later than 1 December 2008 either:

(a) prohibiting donations, loans, or gifts by developers, either directly or indirectly, to candidates or political parties at any level of government; or

(b) significantly improving and harmonising law, regulation and governance in this area.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

30th Nov 2006, 10:08 AM – Senate Motions - Political Donations - Developers

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Murray, which means that it failed.

Wording of the motion

That, in view of:

(a) the instances of developers being identified in investigations into corrupt influence in local government, and other levels of government;

(b) public and media perceptions of improper conduct and influence by developers; and

(c) calls for donations, loans, gifts and favours from developers to be prohibited,

the Senate calls on the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) to put this matter before the Council of Australian Governments with a view to designing amendments to all federal, state and territory electoral laws by 1 July 2007 prohibiting donations, loans, or gifts by developers, either directly or indirectly, to candidates or political parties at any level of government.

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

20th Jun 2006, 1:48 PM – Senate Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Bill 2006 - In Committee - Foreign donations & loans

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Murray.

Motion text

(7) Schedule 1, page 22 (after line 11), after item 79, insert:

79A After section 306B

Insert:

306C Foreign donations and loans prohibited

It is unlawful for a political party or a State branch of a political party or a person acting on behalf of a political party or a State branch of a political party to receive a foreign gift, donation, loan or disposition of property originating by whatever means from a foreign source.

306D Forfeiture of foreign donations and loans

If a foreign gift, donation, loan or disposition of property is made to a political party or a State branch of a political party or a person acting on behalf of a political party or a State branch of a political party, the foreign gift, donation, loan or disposition of property is presumed to be in breach of section 306C and is forfeited to the Commonwealth.

Note: For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.

306E Donations and loans by non-citizens resident in Australia lawful

A gift, donation, loan or disposition of property in Australia to a political party by a person who is a non-citizen resident in Australia is not a foreign donation or loan for the purposes of section 306C or 306D.

306F Donations and loans by Australians living abroad lawful

A gift, donation, loan or disposition of property by a person registered on a Commonwealth Electoral Roll living overseas is not a foreign donation or loan for the purposes of section 306C or 306D.

Yes Yes Not passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately 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 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 2 0 20
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 2 2 4
Total: 12 34

*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 = 12 / 34 = 35%.

And then