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TABLE OF CONTENTS
3. Aims and Objectives
5. Local and Regional Branches
6. National Parties
7. Federal Board
8. Functioning of the Federal Board
9. Procedure for Internal Elections
10. Party Leader
11. Party Convention
12. Candidate Selection Procedure
13. Amendment and Dissolution
The Federalist Party is a democratic and centrist party grounded in the fundamental principles and values of democracy, transparency and accountability, sustainable development, ecological wisdom, respect for human rights and cultural diversity, internationalism, self-determination, peace and non-violence.We recognise that we live in a world of interdependence. Between individuals, groups, communities, regions, nations and continents. In order to have effective and efficient organisation and governance of our society according to democratic principles, this interdependence demands that we work together at all levels of society, balancing the need for co-operation to address common issues with the desire to take decisions at the lowest practical level. We believe that in so doing, we must not sacrifice our rights or our identities as individuals, communities and nations.We believe that federalism is the only political system which can effectively achieve these goals in an integrated and efficient manner, maximising co-operation and co-ordination at all levels whilst protecting and preserving individuality, diversity and independence. At the same time we believe that political decisions and laws should always be made at the closest practicable level to the people they affect.The Federalist Party exists to foster and promote the development of a democratic federalist structure of government founded upon the solid base of a formal, written constitution. We shall therefore seek the adoption of federal constitutions for the United Kingdom and the European Union.We believe in the intrinsic value of standing united in solidarity and cooperation with all other nations and peoples in Europe and around the world. We affirm that the European Union is vital to maintaining and achieving continued peace, security, stability, prosperity, social progress and environmental sustainability in the modern World. We believe in ‘ever closer union’ and understand this to mean ever greater mutual understanding and solidarity between a diversity of different people. We reject the notion that it should imply the eventual emergence of a single, centralised and homogenised European superstate.
We believe in the basic inalienable rights of all individuals established in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We seek to further the fundamental human and civil rights of all people.
We recognise the extensive lack of democracy, transparency and accountability within and between the institutions of the European Union and the resulting growing tide of euroscepticism and apathy in Britain and around the Union towards the European project in particular and politics in general. The rift between ordinary citizens and their political institutions must be closed. The democratic deficit must be addressed with a rigorous agenda of reform.
- The name of the party is ‘Federalist Party of the United Kingdom’ or simply ‘Federalist Party’ and shall hereinafter be referred to as ‘the Party’.
- The name of the Party in Welsh shall be ‘Plaid Ffederal y Deyrnas Unedig’.
- The aim of the Party is to uphold the principles and values affirmed in the Preamble of this Constitution and to promote, advance and support the goal of democratic and transparent government at all levels, organised in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity within a federal framework.
- To select candidates from within the Party’s membership for election at all possible levels of public authority.
- Membership of the Party is open to all individuals who share the Party’s fundamental values and principles as set out in the Preamble.
- Membership shall not be subject to any form of discrimination, including discrimination based on age, language, ethnic origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
- Membership may be obtained by payment of an annual subscription to the Party. The subscription rate shall be determined by the Federal Board which shall also maintain a register of all members.
- Membership shall not be open to individuals who are members of or otherwise associated with certain political organisations whose aims, values or activities are fundamentally opposed to those of the Party. The Federal Board shall maintain a list of such organisations.
- The Federal Board may waive any member’s subscription.
- The Federal Board may by a majority vote suspend the membership and all associated rights and responsibilities of any individual if they have reason to believe that the member has acted in any way contrary to any provision of this constitution, the aims and values of the party as set out in the constitution, or may otherwise have brought the reputation of the Party into disrepute.
- An individual’s membership is terminated if: i) the member informs the Federal Board of their resignation; ii) the member dies; iii) the member’s subscription is three months overdue (although membership may be reinstated upon payment of the subscription); iv) it is removed by a decision of the Federal Board on the grounds that in their reasonable opinion the member’s continued membership is harmful to the Party (but only after notifying the member in writing and considering the matter in the light of any written representations that the member concerned puts forward within 14 clear days after receiving notice).
- Every member of the Party shall have the following rights:
- to discuss, debate and vote on all policies via electronic means;
- to attend, propose motions and vote at the Party Convention;
- to stand for election to the Federal Board;
- to seek selection as a candidate to represent the Party in elections;
- to participate in party organisation, campaigns and other activities;
- Local Branches may be established consisting of at least three members in areas covering one or more House of Commons parliamentary constituency provided no existing branch is already established.
- Each Local Branch shall elect a chair and a treasurer who shall report to the Federal Board in accordance with all relevant regulations, including the Political Parties and Referendums Act 2000.
- Each Local Branch may select one member to act as a formal representative to the Party Convention. Although this member shall have no additional voting rights, they will be expected to express views and make representations on behalf of their branch and its members who might not be able to attend the Convention.
- Regional Branches shall be established in England in each constituency of the European Parliament and in Wales in each electoral region of the National Assembly of Wales and in Scotland in each electoral region of the Scottish Parliament.
- Each Regional Branch shall consist of all established Local Branches and their members within its area.
- Local and Regional Branches shall be responsible for developing and agreeing or adapting party policies and campaigns relevant exclusively or primarily to their area. These policies must be consistent with, complement and not contravene federal or national agreed policy.
- A National Party shall be established to facilitate and co-ordinate party activities, policy and campaigns at a national level in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Each such Party shall be comprised of the established Local and Regional Branches and their members within its geographic area.
- The Parties shall be responsible for developing and agreeing or adapting party policies and campaigns relevant exclusively or primarily to their area. These policies must be consistent with, complement and not contravene agreed federal party policy.
- FEDERAL BOARD
- The Federal Board (hereinafter the ‘Board’) is the administrative body of the Party. It and its members collectively and individually are responsible for managing the Party’s ordinary and day to day affairs at national level, including finances, internal and external communication and co-ordination and providing political direction.
- The Board consists of no more than 12 members, all of whom must hold full membership of the Party. They shall be elected in accordance with Article 9 of this Constitution and shall serve a term no greater than two years in length.
- The term in office of a member of the Board shall be considered to have expired if they give notice of their resignation in writing to the board; is mentally incapable of managing their own affairs; or is removed by resolution passed by an absolute majority vote of the Board, provided the member in question has had an opportunity to represent themselves to the Board.
- The Board may co-opt additional members, but these must be confirmed by a vote of Party members prior to or at the next Convention.
- The Board shall comprise:
- the Party Leader
- a Deputy Leader
- a Treasurer
- and any other post the Board may choose to create.
- No member of the Board shall hold more than two posts at a time.
- Any flaw in the election or co-option of a member of the Board, which the board is not aware of at the time, shall not invalidate any decisions taken at a meeting.
- The Board must ensure that appropriate financial records for the Party are maintained, and must keep proper records of:
- all proceedings at Party Convention;
- all proceedings at Federal Board meetings;
- all reports of other committees;
- all votes and elections;
- all income and expenditure.
- FUNCTIONING OF THE FEDERAL BOARD
- The Board must hold at least four meetings in each calendar year. At least fourteen days notice must be given to each member in advance of a meeting.
- Meetings of the Board may be held either in person or by electronic means and shall be presided by the Chair.
- Where possible, decisions and resolutions of the Board should be agreed by consensus. Otherwise they shall be made by simple majority vote, unless required otherwise in circumstances specified elsewhere in this Constitution.
- The Board may also agree an Extraordinary Resolution which shall require the signature of every member of the Board and shall be as valid as a resolution passed at a meeting, and for this purpose the resolution may be contained in more than one document, and will be treated as passed on the date of the last signature.
- Each member of the Board shall have just one vote, regardless of how many posts they may occupy except that in the event of a deadlock in voting the Chair shall have an additional casting vote.
- The Board shall have the following powers:
- to delegate any functions to other committees which shall consist of not less than three members, one of which must be a member of the Board;
- to make standing orders consistent with this Constitution which may govern: proceedings of the Party Convention or other meetings, the Federal Board and any sub-committees, the running of the Party and its branches, or relations between the Party and other political parties and organisations domestically and internationally;
- to suspend or expel any Party member in accordance with Article 4;
- to exercise any others powers not reserved for the Party Convention;
- to make a Code of Conduct to which members and public representatives of the Party may be expected to adhere.
- Party officials, including Members of the Federal Board and the Party Leader shall be elected democratically by a ballot of all Party members, using the following procedures:
- in the event that only one candidate stands for a post then members shall vote to confirm the appointment. In the event of a rejection, the position will stand vacant until the party is able to field a new candidate, in which case other Members of the Federal Board share the jobs left by the vacant position.
- In the event of two candidates standing for election then the candidate who received the most votes wins.
- In the event of more than two candidates, voters will be asked to indicate preferences as under the Alternative Vote electoral system, whereby the second preferences of votes cast for the candidate in last place will be re‐allocated until one candidate has more than 50% of the vote.
- Elections for party officials may be conducted at a Party Convention or by appropriate electronic means.
- Elections shall be organised and overseen by an appropriately impartial member chosen either by the Federal Board or the Party Convention.
- PARTY LEADER
- The Leader shall be elected in accordance with Article 9 above.
- The Leader of the Party shall fulfil the functions of principal spokesperson and public representative of the Party and chair of the Federal Board. They shall also be responsible for the co-ordination and development of Party policy and other party activities.
- An election for Leader shall occur: if one is requested by the incumbent Leader; in the event of their resignation, incapacity or death; if they are convicted of an offence carrying a custodial sentence (unless the offence was an act of non-violent civil disobedience carried out in the course of promoting the party’s aims); if a motion of no confidence is passed by a simple majority vote by the Party Convention or by a two-thirds majority by Federal Board; or a period of two years has passed since the last election.
- The Leader may be supported and assisted in their role and responsibilities by a Deputy Leader to be chosen by the Federal Board from amongst them.
- The Party Convention (hereinafter ‘Convention’) or Annual General Meeting, shall be held at least once in each calendar year.
- All Party members are entitled to attend and participate in the Convention.
- The Federal Board is responsible for preparing and organising the event, including ensuring that all members are notified at least 28 days in advance and are provided with a final agenda.
- The Convention and its proceedings shall be presided over by the Party Leader, the Deputy Leader, or a co-ordinator chosen by the Board.
- The Convention shall decide all issues, motions, and resolutions, except where otherwise expressed and required in this Constitution, by a simple majority vote.
- The Convention shall receive reports of the Party’s accounts and finances, of the activities of the Federal Board since the previous Convention, and shall discuss and decide questions of internal policy and any other business presented. Furthermore the Convention shall consider the future plans and proposals of the Party for the coming year.
- The Convention shall also debate, discuss and determine the party’s manifesto policies, as well as consider and adopt resolutions on specific, current or urgent political issues. Resolutions adopted by the Convention shall take precedence over any other party policy, or resolution including those adopted by previous Conventions, provided that they are consistent with and do not contravene any part of this Constitution.
- CANDIDATE SELECTION PROCEDURE
- Candidates who will represent the Party in elections shall be selected at special meetings called and organised by the relevant Branch giving at least 21 days notice to all the members in the area.
- Each candidate shall be given the opportunity to make their case before the assembled members. Members shall then vote using the procedures set out in Article 9.
- Candidates and elected representatives of the Party must at all times uphold this Constitution, the values and beliefs of the Party, and represent the Party’s adopted and official policy and manifesto.
- Candidates and elected representatives of the Party shall not accept any money, gifts or benefits in kind in connection with their political activity, without the prior knowledge and approval of the Federal Board. In the event of situations where a gift or benefit is accepted the Federal Board should be notified as soon as possible, and the matter will then come to the judgement of the Federal Board as to how to proceed.
- AMENDMENT AND DISSOLUTION
- This Constitution may be amended by the Federal Board, to be ratified by the Party Convention, or by an electronic vote of all members, provided that the proposed amendment has been published at least 28 days in advance of the vote, and is approved by a simple majority of those voting.
- At any time the members of the Party may vote by an absolute majority at the Party Convention or by electronic means to dissolve the Party, in which case the members of the Federal Board will remain in office as Party trustees and will be responsible for the orderly winding up of the Party’s affairs.