How Jess Walsh voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should limit the availability of government social security payments

Division Jess Walsh Supporters vote Division outcome

2nd Sep 2020, 4:01 PM – Senate Motions - Jobseeker Payment - Increase income support

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by WA Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that this is the last sitting week before the Federal Budget will be handed down on 6 October 2020;

(b) recognises that the poverty rate for people on JobSeeker Payment dropped from 67% to 6.8% after the introduction of the $550 Coronavirus Supplement;

(c) acknowledges that, when the Coronavirus Supplement is cut by $300 a fortnight on 25 September 2020:

(i) the number of people in poverty will increase by 740,000,

(ii) people in our community will be in mortgage stress and rental affordability will plummet to 0.2% for people on JobSeeker Payment, and

(iii) more than 1.1 million children will be living in households that have their incomes cut;

(d) recognises the importance of leaders showing support for unemployed workers during these times; and

(e) calls on the Government to:

(i) maintain the rate of the Coronavirus Supplement of $550 a fortnight to ensure people on income support do not slip into poverty during this pandemic and recovery; and

(ii) include adequate increases to income support in the October Budget that ensure that people on income support can live above the poverty line.

absent No Not passed by a large majority

27th Feb 2020, 12:26 PM – Senate Motions - Child Care - Parents undertaking study

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by NSW Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) it is women who remain disproportionately more likely to arrange childcare and are assessed under the Government's 'activity test' to access childcare support, and

(ii) under the government's 'activity test', only parents who undertake approved courses of education or study meet the activity test requirements;

(b) considers that:

(i) it wrong that parents studying Masters degrees or PhDs that are not approved by the government do not meet the activity test requirements, and

(ii) this discriminates against women participating in education; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to extend eligibility for childcare support to all parents undertaking education or study.

Yes No Not passed

How "voted 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 0 0 0
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* 1 1 2
Total: 1 12

*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 = 1 / 12 = 8.3%.

And then