How I Plan to Vote?

How I Plan to Vote As an Independent and Representative Member of Parliament

Below is my initial view of the principles and practices I will adopt for voting in Parliament as an Independent member representing the people of Bennelong. I acknowledge the example set by Cathy McGowan, Independent Member for the seat of Indi. I welcome comments and suggestions while it is in its formative stages.

My fundamental principle is to seek to work with the elected Government in partnership and collaboration to advance the national good and the interests of my electorate.

In addition, I am committed to:

  • understanding the critical issues, with reference to reputable sources, and applying a balanced long term view in making decisions
  • making public statements that are informed, honest and respectful
  • encouraging diversity of voices and opinions, including active participation in the democratic process, both locally and nationally
  • promoting respectful and mature representation in Parliament, with an emphasis on improved standards of behaviour
  • developing and using modern processes to engage with the electorate to understand their collective perspective on important matters

In the practical day-to-day business of Parliament there are two broad types of motions:

1) Substantive Motions

These usually concern the passage of legislation. Importantly, and where relevant, I will be guided by the policy positions that I commit to during the campaign when it comes to voting on legislation. Otherwise, and unless there is some conflict with my values or policies, I will generally support the elected Government. Where appropriate, I will support amendments which I believe will improve legislation.

2) Procedural Motions

These usually cover the operations of Parliament. It will be my general approach to support open, respectful debate which enables diversity of perspectives and representation to occur. Where appropriate, I will vote in support of procedural motions that enable business to be conducted in an efficient and effective manner. It will also be my general practice to vote for debate and discussion and against motions that limit or end debate.

I am making a powerful commitment to transparency and I will maintain a public register on my website that lists how I vote in Parliament, on behalf of the people of Bennelong, to restore confidence in our democracy. That will extend to outlining the rationale behind my voting decisions whenever I am called upon to do so.