How Stephen Parry voted compared to someone who believes that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators should vote to suspend standing and sessional orders (that is, the procedural rules of Parliament) so that their colleagues can introduce motions for Parliament to vote on even when the the procedural rules would prevent them from doing so

Division Stephen Parry Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Feb 2013, 3:36 PM – Senate Motions - Suspension of Standing Orders - Let a vote happen

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The majority voted against a motion to let a vote happen, which was introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA).

In parliamentary jargon, they voted against suspending standing orders that would prevent a vote from happening.

Motion text

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Milne moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to give precedence to a motion relating to the vilification of refugees and asylum seekers.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

31st Oct 2011 – Senate Motions - Clean Energy Legislation - Defer consideration

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.

This means that the motion was unsuccessful.

The motion was:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to provide that further consideration of the Clean Energy Bill 2010 and 17 related bills not take place until after elections for the 44th Parliament have been held and the parliament has met.

In other words, Senator Abetz wanted to move a motion that the Senate put off considering the Clean Energy Bill 2010 and related bills until after the next elections. To do so, he first needed the majority of senators to agree to suspend the standing orders that currently prevent him from moving such a motion. Since he was unsuccessful, he will not be able to move his motion.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a small 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 7 350 350
MP voted against policy 7 0 350
MP absent 6 150 300
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 500 1000

*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 = 500 / 1000 = 50%.

And then