This constitution is drawn up on the basis that each person is worthy of equal respect, inclusion, emphasis and significance irrespective of age, creed, gender and tribe.
1 Name of the Party
1.1 The name of the Party is The Universal Good Party
2 Approach, Principles and Objectives
The Universal Good Party (UGP) has been instigated by its Founder who, due to his personal faith in and experience of God as a loving and gracious Father, seeks to bring both glory and delight to his Lord through the extravagant service of all mankind. Accordingly the tenets set out in the Christian Bible undergird and have guided the determination of its policies and will govern its conduct thereafter.
Principles and Objectives
2.1 The UGP will ensure care for the weak, poor and vulnerable in Society by strengthening and equipping all citizens in body, mind and spirit, working with them so that together we might attain our full potential.
2.2 The burden of the costs of developing a healthy and thriving Society will be shared equitably for the good of all. Our taxation systems will be re-formed to enable this.
2.3 The UGP will strive to leave our shared planet a better place by energetically promoting increased efficiency, the reduction of waste and pollution and the discouragement of greed.
2.4 The UGP will put the interests of others before its own and will encourage others to do likewise.
2.5 The UGP will pursue its objectives by democratic means.
3 Activities of the Party
3.1 The UGP will actively promote and work towards the good of all.
3.2 The UGP will develop a comprehensive range of policies for domestic and foreign affairs.
3.3 The UGP will work collaboratively with others where the common objectives are mutually compatible and are consistent with UGP principles.
3.4 The UGP will take part in electoral and referendum processes, including campaigning and presenting candidates for election in both local and central Government polls in Great Britain and will accordingly be registered with The Electoral Commission in the UK. The UGP's Constitution and Financial Scheme will be amended accordingly as and when registration for operating in Northern Ireland is sought.
4 Organisation of the Party and Business Meetings
4.1 The UGP is established by its Founder who is also its first Leader.
4.2 The Founder will develop the initial objectives, values, principles and policies of The UGP and is responsible for managing the party, together with the Nominations Officer and Treasurer, until such time as the Executive Committee is established.
4.3 An Executive Committee (EC) will be established at the earlier of:
- when the Membership of The UGP has reached a suitable mass
- when there are at least one hundred members
The Leader, Nominations Officer and Treasurer will become members of the EC automatically, but they will have to be re-elected for any subsequent periods of office. The EC will manage the day to day running of The UGP. It will meet at least quarterly and is quorate when over two thirds of its members are present.
4.4 There will be a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Vice-Secretary and up to eight other members of the EC to best meet The UGP's requirements and obligations and to satisfy good governance pastorally, strategically and financially. These roles will ordinarily be filled following the procedures set out below in 4.9. Managing Boards and Sub-committees, made up of both suitably qualified ECM and ordinary Members, will be established as decided by the EC.
4.5 The EC can revise The UGP's Constitution after consultation with the Founder, all UGP Members and its Employees. Any revisions or amendments can only come into force if approved in a secret ballot by at least 75% of all those qualified to vote.
4.6 All policies, statements and anything publicly declared in the name of The UGP must be in accord with the Principles and Objectives of the Party as set out in the Constitution and the Party's originally adopted manifesto.
4.7 Policies can and will be further developed and amended by any or all of the Founder and The EC with proactive consultation with the Membership. The Founder and EC may use their discretion in this process whilst being aware that all such developments and amendments must ultimately be approved by The UGP's Members by voting at the next AGM.
4.8 The Leader, Nominations Officer, Treasurer and The EC are fully accountable to the Members of The UGP and the management and structures of The UGP will reflect this and ensure that this continues to consistently be the case.
4.9 Any Party Member may stand for election for the EC. All members must vote in a poll of EC candidates. Proportional representation will be used to determine places on the EC. Terms of office last for three years, with a discretionary period, as determined by the Leader, to ensure appropriate levels of continuity in the practical management of The UGP. Subsequent elections for EC roles will be staggered at appropriate intervals for the same reason.
4.10 Executive Committee Members (ECM) will have no other political party memberships or other allegiances that cause or may appear to cause a conflict of interests.
4.11 Any breach of the Constitution by an ECM will result in their removal from office.
4.12 The Leader, Nominations Officer, Treasurer and the EC will establish all necessary Offices and Managing Boards and systems to ensure the safe, efficient and transparent operation of The UGP.
4.13 Any Member, in concert with a minimum of three other Members, may recommend an item for inclusion for the next relevant business meeting. The Chair or Secretary of said Committee will set the agenda for such meetings, having given all such recommendations fair consideration.
4.14 The UGP will hold an Annual General Meeting at which all Members are encouraged to attend. The UGP may also convene a conference when such an event is demonstrably beneficial.
4.15 A collective of at least 10% (but no less than ten in number) of the Membership may call for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), supported by an appropriate citation, that sets out details, but not exclusively, of an actual breach of the Party's Objectives and or Principles by any ECM or details of any substantial existential risk to which The UGP is likely to be exposed. All reasonable costs related to the EGM shall, in the first instance, be met by those who initiated it. The Members will decide at the next AGM whether those costs should be met by The UGP.
4.16 A collective of a minimum of 10% (but no less than ten in number) of the Membership may initiate a Vote of No Confidence in the Party Leader, supported by an appropriate citation that sets out the basis for their conviction that the Leader is unable or has failed to follow and or fulfil the Party's Principles and or Objectives.
4.17 Decisions agreed by the EC and subsidiary Managing Boards and Committees will be recorded by the Secretary to the committee in a Minutes Book and also noted centrally in a register that will be available by appointment for inspection by the Members.
4.18 The UGP and its officers are authorised to establish and maintain bank accounts and will develop appropriate financial systems and controls. The Party's main source of finance will be by way of subscriptions and donations. The Party is authorised to borrow to manage short-term financial needs. Financial reports will be submitted to the EC quarterly and the UGP will maintain systems to ensure compliance with its statutory and moral obligations and duties and to monitor the ongoing appropriateness of The Financial Scheme that The UGP maintains with The Electoral Commission.
5.1 The UGP may employ staff on both a remunerated and volunteer basis to help The UGP to realise its objectives.
5.2 All Employees must meet the standards that apply to UGP Members but do not have to be members of The UGP itself.
6 Party Membership, Eligibility and Exclusions and Donations
6.1 Membership is only available on an individual basis.
6.2 To be able to join The UGP as a member the individual must affirm that they have a functional agreement with The UGP's principles, objective and policies
6.3 To be a UGP member the individual must be eligible to vote in local or national elections within the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Crown Dependencies or be so eligible when they attain 18 years of age or sooner, if statute so enables.
6.4 Exclusion from The UGP or revocation of membership thereof will arise when the individual does not or no longer subscribes to the above criteria of eligibility.
6.5 To aid advancement of collaboration across political groupings, membership of another political party will not, of itself, result in exclusion from The UGP.
6.6 The EC has the final adjudicatory function (be that directly or through delegation) regarding matters of membership.
a) It is hoped that, once having joined, Members will remain with The UGP for the long term
b) To encourage continued and fresh engagement with The UGP and the advancement of its principles, Members must vote every time an issue that requires a vote comes before them.
c) Membership will cease by default every three years. Such a cessation will allow the individual an opportunity to reflect on the value of their continued involvement with The UGP and to stimulate and promote any matters or changes that The UGP may benefit from.
a) Standard Membership is by annual subscription, at a value that will be set from time to time by the Leader or EC. There will be concessionary rates so as not to create a monetary bar to membership and to encourage engagement with the political sphere by those from any age group.
b) The subscription is payable quarterly or annually. Payment is preferred by, but not limited to, standing order.
c) Membership, with its privileges and responsibilities, is contingent upon the individual's subscription being paid up to date.
a) Donations that are made for the support of the objectives of The UGP will be welcomed.
b) Donations that are made that carry any element of intent to gain undue influence with The UGP will be rejected
c) All donations will be accepted, accounted for and, where necessary, returned in accordance with the prevailing rules and best practice prescribed by The Electoral Commission in the UK
7.1 The conduct of the Leader, Executive Committee Members, Party Members and Employees must consistently meet the high standards as set out in the Constitution. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action being taken against them.
7.2 A Disciplinary Board will be set up to receive and deal with any complaints regarding the conduct and or competencies of any Party Member or Employee. Membership of that Board will be drawn from the Executive Committee and will be selected on a case by case basis. The conclusions reached by the Disciplinary Board will be open to an Appeals Process.
7.3 As required, a separate and independent Appeals Panel, containing both Party and non-party persons of recognised wisdom and qualification, will also be established, to ensure that, as far as is possible, judgements about any complaint are soundly based and just. The Appeals Panel has the final say regarding any contested disciplinary matters.
8 Terms for Candidates
8.1 The EC will prepare a list of Approved Candidates on an election by election basis.
8.2 Candidates must apply in writing to seek a place on the List and make a full disclosure of any matters that have or may have any bearing on their suitability for selection as a Candidate.
8.3 Candidates must be Full Members of The UGP and cannot have allegiances with any other political party. Memberships of other Organisations which may, or may be seen to present a conflict of interests with The UGP must be disavowed.
8.4 Candidates must not be barred from holding public office.
8.5 Candidates who fail any of the above parameters will, at the discretion of the EC, be excluded from the List and, if already in Elected Office, may have the Party Whip withdrawn . No privileges imbued by any means will supersede the application of this Constitution and its remedies and sanctions on the Candidate at any time.
8.6 The UGP will primarily seek candidates who live within the Constituency that they are intending to serve.
8.7 Candidates must be approved by simple majority through a poll of The Membership, at their Constituency level, before being able to contest for an elective office.
9 Adoption of the Financial Scheme
10 Dissolutions of the Party and Copyright
9.1 The Party has adopted the Financial Scheme as submitted as part of its registration process with The Electoral Commission in the UK.
Dissolutions of the Party
10.1 If and when the UGP has finished serving its purpose or it becomes no longer viable as an independent political body the Members shall vote for its dissolution at a General Meeting. Any assets acquired by the Party during its existence will be liquidated; where possible all borrowings and outstanding debts will be settled and any unspent subscriptions will be returned to Members.
10.2 The Copyright for all the unique matters related to the Party – including, but not exclusively, its principles, objectives, approach, policies, descriptions, emblems and logos – that have been created and fashioned as part of the development of the UGP and up to and until the establishment of the Executive Committee, shall remain in the ownership of the Founder. After that time all further original works, concepts and designs shall be held by the Party.
11.1 Any rules made under this Constitution shall be read in conjunction with it. If any discrepancies arise between the two, the Constitution will always prevail.