How John Madigan voted compared to someone who believes that the Federal Government should protect whales within Australian waters by, for example, taking action against the Japanese Government over its whaling program in the Southern Ocean

Division John Madigan Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Feb 2013, 12:16 PM – Senate Motions - Whaling - Seek explanation for non-compliance with injunction

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The majority disagreed that the Australian Government should seek an explanation from the Japanese Government about why it is still whaling within the International Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate calls on the Australian Government to seek an immediate explanation from the Government of Japan on its non-compliance with the injunction of the Federal Court of Australia in 2008 against whaling in the International Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean.

2008 injunction against whaling

The Humane Society International Inc (HSI), represented by the Environmental Defender's Office (NSW), brought an action against Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd, a Japanese whaling company. In 2008, they succeeded in getting the Federal Court of Australia to declare that Kyodo was in breach of Australian law by whaling in the Australian Whale Sanctuary and to grant an injunction to restrain Kyodo from further breaches. Read more in the EDO's summary of the case.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

21st Nov 2012, 4:00 PM – Senate Motions - Seismic Survey - Harm to marine wildlife

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The majority disagreed with the motion introduced by Greens Senator Penny Wright, which opposes Bight Petroleum's application to conduct a seismic survey because of its potential to harm marine wildlife.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes Bight Petroleum's referral of a proposed action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Reference Number: 2012/6583);

(b) recognises the high likelihood of the proposed seismic survey encountering and having an adverse impact on:

(i) blue whales if undertaken between November and April,

(ii) southern right whales if undertaken between May and October, and

(iii) southern bluefin tuna if undertaken between December and April; and

(c) calls on the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Mr Burke) to use his powers under the Act to reject Bight Petroleum's referral as clearly unacceptable to proceed at any time of year.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately for" 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 1 50 50
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* 0 0 0
Total: 50 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 = 50 / 60 = 83%.

And then