Can the government include the crossbench in the ‘pairing’ system?
Pairing is an unofficial system organised by the party whips. It is used to enable a member or senator on one side to be absent for any votes when a member or senator from the other side is to be absent at the same time. By agreement, it can also be used when a member or senator abstains from a vote.
As pairing is managed by the party whips, it is at the discretion of the parties to negotiate pairing arrangements with members and senators on the crossbench.
Party whips counting the votes in a division in the Senate.
A woman and a man stand on either side of the Clerk's table in the Senate. There are people sitting at the central table.
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