Senate debates

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Bills

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; In Committee

9:18 pm

Photo of Matthew CanavanMatthew Canavan (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia) Share this | Hansard source

I won't take up too much of the Senate's time as many of the substantive issues have been dealt with in other contributions to my own and to other amendments.

I was listening to Senator Wong, and I got from Senator Wong that what has happened in the Labor Party on a bunch of these amendments is that they have independently come to the same position—I think they have 25 senators, 25 independent minds, at the moment in their group—on these amendments. Now, it is a possibility that has occurred, but I think we should bring some quantitative rigour to the likelihood of such a circumstance that 25 independently minded human beings might come to that position.

To do that we can use a very simple Bernoulli distribution—I have been informed about it by my good colleague Senator McKenzie—using binomial probability. What is the chance of that happening? Out there in the general population, 60 per cent of people voted yes and 40 per cent voted no. So the likely situation is that around 40 per cent of the Australian population probably supports the amendments that are being moved here—

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