How Mathias Cormann voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase transparency requirements for political parties (for example, requiring full and prompt disclosure of any political donations on easy-to-search public websites)

Division Mathias Cormann Supporters vote Division outcome

24th Feb 2020, 4:11 PM – Senate Motions - Parliament - Transparency

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) former Liberal Opposition Leader, Dr John Hewson, in an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 13 February 2020, called on all political parties to fix weaknesses in the parliamentary system, rather than seeking to exploit them, and

(ii) Dr Hewson identified a 6 point plan to clean up politics:

(A) public funding for election campaigns and limits on campaign spending,

(B) transparency around lobbying, including real-time disclosure of all ministerial meetings,

(C) truth in advertising legislation,

(D) introduce penalties for false, deceptive, and misleading conduct by parliamentarians,

(E) independent standards for candidates, and

(F) a fully funded Independent Commission Against Corruption to oversee all activities of our politicians, bureaucrats and federal government, with the capacity to receive anonymous references; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to listen to their former leader and take action to implement Dr Hewson's plan.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

12th Nov 2018, 3:49 PM – Senate Motions - Political Donations - Increase disclosure requirements

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Larissa Waters (QLD), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own, but can be politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) disclosure of donations made to political parties is only made public by the Australian Electoral Commission once a year, on 1 February, for the preceding financial year,

(ii) there is up to an 18 month delay between when a donation is made and when it is publicly disclosed, and at minimum a 7 month delay,

(iii) since 2012, the major parties have received approximately $100 million in donations from corporate entities,

(iv) the voters in the electorates of Braddon, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Perth will have to wait until 1 February 2020, some 18 months after the by-election date, before they know who funded those campaigns,

(v) the voters in the electorate of Wentworth will have to wait almost 16 months before they know who funded political parties' by-election campaigns, and

(vi) under current legislation for federal elections, voters go to the ballot box without any information about how their local candidates and political parties have funded their campaigns – the identity of donors or amounts donated; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to require all donations of $1000 and above to be disclosed in close to real-time on an easy-to-search public website, to ensure voters have access to information about who is bank-rolling political campaigns before they vote.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

16th Aug 2018, 12:06 PM – Senate Motions - Donations to Political Parties - Disclosure

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale (Vic), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) the growing prominence of business events that enable direct and private access to senior members of Parliament, such as the Australian Labor Party's Business Observer Summit, the Liberal Party's Millennium Forum and The National's National Policy Forum, and

(ii) the failure of Australia's political donation laws to require the disclosure of payments for these events because there is contractual consideration, they are therefore not classified as a 'gift' under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 that would mandate public disclosure;

(b) acknowledges that political donations enable access and influence policy decisions made by political parties and that these events are shrouded in secrecy; and

(c) resolves that, in the interest of good government, political parties should voluntarily disclose the attendees of these events and the amount of money provided by these businesses to political parties during these events.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

3rd Dec 2013 – Senate Motions - Political Donations - Disclosure and ban on overseas donations

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, which means that it was unsuccessful.

Wording of the motion

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) political donations for the 2013 federal election made on or after 1 July 2013 will not be made public until 1 February 2015,

(ii) political donations under $12 400 do not have to be disclosed by parties or candidates to the Australian Electoral Commission, and

(iii) this higher disclosure threshold level means the public is not aware of the details of a large number of political donations received by political parties; and

(b) calls for:

(i) a donation disclosure threshold of $1 000,

(ii) a ban on overseas donations,

(iii) a $50 cap on anonymous donations,

(iv) donations to different branches of a political party to be accumulated and treated as donations to the same party in order to stop political parties minimising their disclosure obligations by donation splitting,

(v) 6-monthly disclosure of donations and political expenditure, and

(vi) online disclosure of donations over $1 000 in the 3 months prior to an election or from when the election is called.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

11th Mar 2009, 12:19 PM – Senate Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2008 [2009] - Second Reading - Agree to the bill's main idea

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The same number of senators voted for and against the main idea of the bill, which means that the vote failed and that the bill won't be considered any further.

In parliamentary jargon, the bill won't be read a second time.

Main idea of the bill

The bill amends the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 in relation to political donations. For example, it proposed to reduce the donations disclosure threshold from $10 900 to $1000 and to ban foreign and anonymous donations to registered political parties. Read more about the proposed amendments in the bills digest.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case Mathias Cormann was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.