The following is the Radical Association’s Constitution, adopted by members on Feb 22 2017.
Constitution of the Radical Association
Adopted by the membership 22 Feb 2017
The Radical Association exists to support the aims and principles expressed in the preamble to the Liberal Democrat constitution, and, within the framework of the Liberal Democrat party, to campaign for a radical and distinctive expression of those principles in the policy and campaigning of the Liberal Democrats.
Name and Objects
The name of the organisation shall be “The Radical Association”. It shall hereafter be referred to as “the Association”.
The Association exists to:
- a) achieve the aims set out in the preamble to this constitution
- b) support the Liberal Democrat party in campaigning on current policies that are in accordance with the aims set out in the preamble to this constitution
- c) campaign for reform of internal Liberal Democrat structures such that they work better for the purposes of adopting distinctive liberal policies and
- d) campaign for the adoption of specific policies that help build and reinforce a distinct, positive, liberal stance for the Liberal Democrats
2.3. Equality of Opportunity
The Association supports the principle of equal opportunities in all areas of its work and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on any grounds, including but not limited to discrimination based on gender identity, sexuality, physical or mental health or disability, or race. All individuals shall be treated with respect and courtesy by the Association and its officers.
3.1. Joining the Association
Membership is open to all Liberal Democrat members who support the purpose of the Association and abide by the constitution. The Association shall maintain a record of current members.
3.2. Rights of members
All members shall have the following rights within the Association:
- a) To vote in all elections to the executive committee and on all motions submitted to the membership;
- b) To submit or second motions and constitutional amendments;
- c) To stand in elections to the executive;
- d) To petition the executive on a matter relevant to the objectives of the Association, and to receive a written reply;
- e) To have access to the Association’s constitution, standing orders and accounts.
3.3. Member communications
The Association shall primarily communicate to its members through use of email and the internet. Members who wish to receive paper based communications by post shall be required to pay an annual subscription fee determined by the executive.
3.4. Annual statements to members
The executive of the Association shall be required to provide an annual statement on its activities and finances to its members. This shall include a statement of the Association’s accounts, which should be approved by a vote of the members coterminous with the main executive election in each calendar year.
3.5. Leaving the Association
Any individual who ceases to be a member of the Liberal Democrats, dies or resigns from the Association shall automatically be deemed to no longer be a member of the Association.
The Executive Committee
4.1. Role of the executive
The Executive Committee, also referred to herein simply as “the executive”, shall be responsible for the overall strategy and running of the Association.
4.2. Composition of the executive
The executive shall consist of four positions to be elected as individual roles, and four members elected as general executive members without specific portfolio. The individual positions shall be those of the chair, treasurer, director, and access & diversity officer. The individual positions may all be held and run for by two co-members. All members of the executive shall serve for one year terms.
4.3. Functions of the individual officers
The chair shall be responsible for the overall direction of the Association, for chairing the executive committee, and for representing the Association at such public events or functions as may be necessary. They have a casting vote at executive meetings if the executive cannot come to a majority decision for any reason.
The director shall be responsible for the day to day running of the Association and ensuring that its executive members and volunteer groups continue to function effectively on an ongoing basis.
The treasurer shall be responsible for the Association’s finances, and for presenting the accounts to the membership coterminous with each year’s election.
The access & diversity officer shall be responsible for ensuring that the needs of disadvantaged and minority groups are properly represented and catered for and their voices fairly heard in the running of the Association.
4.4. Functions of executive members
The executive members shall have collective responsibilities for all tasks not covered by an individual officer – these include but are not necessarily limited to coordinating policy working groups, maintaining membership lists and other administration for the Association, organising meetings and venues, and assisting with both public and internal communications.
4.5. Returning officer
The executive, as soon as they are elected, shall appoint a Returning Officer for the year who shall preside over all elections and ballots conducted on behalf of the Association. The Returning Officer may not be a candidate in elections, or a member of the executive.
5.1. Rules pertaining to elections
There shall be an election to the executive committee each calendar year, in which all executive positions shall be elected by the membership.
5.2. Election procedure
Voting should be accessible to all members, and will be done by ranked-choice (single transferrable) voting. There should be options to abstain and to re-open nominations available on all election ballots. Voting and member communications pertaining to voting shall all take place through email, except where a member has requested otherwise in accordance with section 3.3 of this constitution.
5.3 Standing orders for election procedure
Additional standing orders regarding procedures for elections, and candidates’ communication with members, may be adopted by unanimous assent of the committee and returning officer. Such standing orders should be communicated to members and candidates, and may not be changed or amended after notice of the election has been given.
5.4. Notice of elections
Members should be given at least three weeks notice of the date on which the election process will start. This should be followed by one further week in which nominations can be submitted, a one week period to allow for campaigning and discussions, and then a week to allow members to submit their ballots.
Any member wishing to nominate themselves for a position should have their nomination seconded by at least two other members.
If a member of the executive committee resigns or is otherwise unable to continue their role, a by-election should be triggered immediately, with two weeks given to submit nominations and otherwise operating according to the rules in clause 5.3 above.
Rules for ordinary and special resolutions
Both ordinary and special resolutions may be submitted to the returning officer and committee by members at the same time as nominations for elections. All resolutions need five members to support them in order to be submitted to the rest of the membership for voting.
6.2. Ordinary Resolutions
Ordinary resolutions are not binding on the committee, but serve to advise the committee to act in a certain way or on a certain issue. Ordinary resolutions need a simple majority of members voting in favour to pass.
6.3. Special Resolutions
Special resolutions are binding on the committee. This constitution may only be changed by special resolution. Special resolutions require three quarters of voting members to vote in favour to pass.
6.4. Grounds for rejecting resolutions
The returning officer may reject resolutions on the grounds that they conflict with the values or text of this constitution, or are at odds with the values expressed in the preamble to the Liberal Democrat constitution.
6.5. Emergency resolutions
The executive committee and returning officer may decide to put an ordinary or special resolution to the membership at any time of year outside the normal elections. The executive committee and returning officer must both agree for this to occur.