How Ben Small voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase funding for university education

Division Ben Small Supporters vote Division outcome

8th Dec 2020, 5:12 PM – Senate Motions - Higher Education - Asian languages

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The same number of senators voted for and against a motion introduced by Tasmanian Senator Anne Urquhart (Labor), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Murdoch University has proposed to cut its Indonesian language courses in 2021,

(ii) Latrobe University has proposed to cut its Indonesian and Hindi language courses in 2021,

(iii) Swinburne University has proposed to cut its entire language program, including Japanese and Mandarin in 2021, and

(iv) these cuts will reduce the number of Australian university students studying Asian languages for years to come, and are a result of the Government's tertiary funding cuts;

(b) further notes that:

(i) increasing Australia's Asia capability, including through the study of languages, is vital for Australia to engage with the Indo-Pacific region and support our economic recovery, and

(ii) the study of Asian languages is important for strengthening the people-to-people links that will be critical in diversifying Australia's economic relationships in the Indo-Pacific region; and

(c) calls on the Australian Government to take urgent steps to:

(i) make the study of Asian languages a national priority, and

(ii) properly fund universities.

No Yes Not passed

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 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: 0 10

*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 / 10 = 0.0%.

And then