How Lin Thorp voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase scrutiny of unions and employer organisations by, for example, creating a commission to monitor them and applying the same standards of disclosure to them as to corporations as well as the same penalties for misconduct

Division Lin Thorp Supporters vote Division outcome

14th May 2014, 11:15 AM – Senate Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2013 - Second Reading - Agree to the bill's main idea

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The majority did not agree with the main idea of the bill and so have rejected it. This means that it won't be considered any further. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against reading the bill for a second time.

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill is in part a response to media surrounding misconduct by Health Service Union officers.

It was introduced to establish the Registered Organisations Commission to investigate and monitor unions and employer organisations. It also imposes a similar standard disclosure and transparency on union officials as company directors and introduces tougher criminal sanctions.

Read more in the bills digest.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

20th Aug 2012, 3:54 PM – Senate Motions - Health Services Union - Greater penalties for misconduct

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The majority voted against a motion, which means it was rejected. It had been introduced by Liberal Senator Helen Kroger.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) Mr Michael Williamson’s recent roles as President of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), member of the ALP Industrial Committee, Executive Member of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Vice President of Unions NSW, Vice President of the ALP New South Wales Branch and Trustee of First State Super, and

(ii) findings by Mr Ian Temby, QC and Mr Dennis Robertson, FCA that, while Mr Williamson was General Secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) East Branch, he, his family, his company and his close associates benefitted from $20 million in union members’ funds which was spent without proper financial control;

(b) condemns this use of union members’ funds at the HSU by Mr Williamson as found by Mr Temby and Mr Robertson; and

(c) calls for stronger penalties under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 than the present $6 600 monetary penalty and to include penalties under the Corporations Act 2001.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly 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 1 0 50
MP absent 0 0 0
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: 0 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 = 0 / 60 = 0.0%.

And then