Name of the political party: Party for Animal Welfare
The official website: www.ipaw.ie
Mail address: Party for Animal Welfare, 139 Manor Court, Knocknacarra, Galway H91 AX74
We also want to make all party documents available in Irish/Gaeilge
This party constitution is to be enacted with a democratic vote at our 1st Party Convention on March 9th 2019, at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel, Limerick, between 2 and 6 p.m.
1st meeting: Saturday December 15th 2018, Abbey Hall, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Republic of Ireland.
Official public press media launch: Tuesday February 26th 2019 between 10 and 11 a.m. at Buswells Hotel, Dublin, directly opposite van Dáil Eireann/Leinster House.
Date registered: 21 February 2020
Our goal: To represent the voiceless animals in Ireland and beyond. Animal welfare has been very much neglected by the vast majority of the existing political powers.
Our principles: We are an inclusive, democratic party, based on the principle that animal dignity is equal to human dignity. Animal welfare, and health should equal human welfare, and health.
Our objectives: We should seek harmony with our environment and other natural entities. Appreciation and awareness of all beings on Earth is vital.
Our approach: We will hold all politicians, local and international, and local authorities accountable for not meeting their promises on actions for the betterment of animal welfare.
Our vision: To act as a platform for community action for animal welfare, thus contributing to a sustainable life on Earth. We will struggle to aid with solutions and propose policy/legislation to tackle increasing dangers in the loss of biodiversity on Earth, beginning with Ireland.
We condemn any promotion of harm against animals, directly or indirectly, via RTE and multimedia.
We will fight to phase out blood sport of any kind in the Republic of Ireland. An animal should not be an object of entertainment for humans in any way, shape or form.
Party for Animal Welfare considers itself to be a so-called "Testimonial Party". This is a political party which does not seek to gain political power, but rather to testify its principles and thereby influence other political parties and independents.
We seek to model and mirror the values of the Partij voor de Dieren / Party for the Animals in the Netherlands.
This model shall be applied within the Irish context with realistic and tangible ideas, which we will outline in our Party Manifesto, to be updated/rolled-over on an annual basis via a democratic vote at a party convention. Each member can put forward their proposed amendments.
We will be working closely with all recognized Animal Advocacy Parties in Europe and Worldwide. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when we can learn from others.
We will become a member of the Animal Politics Foundation, which was founded by the Party for the Animals, in 2012.
On European level we are to be part in the same grouping as the Party for the Animals, in Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green (GUE/NGL).
4.1: The party shall have an executive committee (or a ‘’National Executive’’) to be annually (re-)elected at our AGM/Party Convention, for the period of 2 years, which can be extended by a maximum of 2 terms for each office: Party Chair / Cathaoirleach; Party Treasurer; Party Secretary; Party Leader; Social Media Officer
4.1.1: A list of duties and tasks of each executive committee will be presented in due course.
4.2: Only when disagreements arise or within the constituency the national or regional party executive can assist. Their approach will be transparent and non-judgemental at all times.
4.3: The Party shall have a national secretariat, and where the finances allow for it, regional and/or county offices.
Please note, if we get at least 2% of the number of votes in a general election we will be entitled to government funding for a national office. However, office funds subsidies cannot be diverted for election purposes!
4.4: The party’s national executive will appoint spokespeople for the period of one year.
4.4.1: Spokespeople will act as PROs on the particular field, but in close cooperation with the national executive and policy group convenors.
4.5: All press releases and contact with the media needs to be checked first with the executive, and where needed with the International Press Officer of Party for the Animals NL / Animal Politics Foundation, and / or with the AWP.
5.1: Membership is open to everyone of 16 years and above.
5.2: Membership is open to everyone who supports the objectives and goals of the party, and are registered through their constituency group or nationally/regionally.
5.3: We will introduce a probationary membership of three months, from September 1st 2019. This is to prevent abuse during the probationary period.
5.4: All memberships data will be kept confidential and we will adhere we will adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR).
5.5: The membership waged fee (Age 18+) shall be €10. For unwaged (students, pensioners; Age 18+) the membership fees shall be €5. Young membership also €5.
5.6: Members will make an annual payment by direct debit, electronic transfer of funds to our bank account, PayPal, or debit or credit card, cash, or cheque or draft (payment will be taken annually unless you cancel your membership).
5.7: It is also possible to purchase a Membership for Life one-off € 500, if you are not older than 64 years or a one-off € 150 for those of 65 years and older. Our sister organisation Party for the Animals, in the Netherlands has a similar scheme.
5.8: All members may resign their membership at any time, but no refunds will be given. Their data will then be deleted.
5.9: We will adhere to Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) legislation for donations to local constituency groups.
5.10: We will draft a document on corporate and large donations, as we only accept these from organisations, small companies and individuals who respect the welfare of animals!!! We will accept donations up to a maximum of €600 on top of the memberships fee (excluding the Membership for Life).
5.11: Party members’ may be suspended if they are in breach of this constitution or if they act against the key goals and objectives of the party.
5.11.1: The party is not to be hijacked for the personal agenda of certain members or individuals from the public.
5.11.2: Party members whose membership is suspended or revoked can appeal within two weeks of the notice given by the party executive to the members.
5.11.3: An Appeals Committee will be set up.
5.12: All membership and supporters' data will be kept confidential and each person will be asked which newsletters and information they wish to receive. They can be removed from the database at any time, and their data will be deleted.
6.1: Party for Animals Welfare shall take part in all elections in Ireland:, Local, and General Elections (Dáil, and Seanad Éireann).
6.2: We will seek verification of credentials of each candidate, and where in doubt seek Gárda clearance.
6.3: Each election candidate needs to act in accordance with the Party Constitution and Manifesto.
6.4: Each candidate is encouraged to draft their own election manifesto, flyer, website, and so on, but the aforementioned shall be in line with the documents of the party as mentioned above.
6.5: A Local Election candidate on local level needs to be nominated by at least 2 members, of which one can be the candidate her or himself. In the case that there is more than one local election candidate for the same municipal LEA., we will hold primaries at a selection convention in each local area.
6.6: A General Election and European Election candidate needs to be nominated by at least 10 (ten) members, of which one can be the candidate.
6.7: Where the 10 members cannot be reached in a general election constituency, the consistency group may decide this via a selection convention. Where there is more than one candidate for the same general election area, primaries will follow.
7.1: Party members who become elected members of a local authority, and speak for voiceless animals, can form associations of Councillors within the party or with like-minded Councillors of other parties and independents.
7.1.1: If one of (future) elected members of a local authority decide to resign, the local constituency group will hold a special meeting to co-opt a new Councillor.
7.2: Elected Councillors of other parties and independents wishing to join our ranks, and leave their alliance/grouping may request to do so with the National Executive. However, they must support the objectives & goals of our party.
7.3: The Parliamentary Party comprises of all-Party members who have been elected to Dáil Éireann, Seanad Éireann or the European Parliament. These members shall comply with the rules of the Parliamentary Party, when and if we get elected to any of these offices, on behalf of the voiceless animals.
7.4: Unlike all other political parties and independents, please note our party does not seek power itself, as outlined in Part 3.
8.1: The Party Treasurer in conjunction with the Finance Oversight Committee will outline a financial report annually to be presented at the party convention/AGM.
8.2: A Finance Oversight Committee will be elected at our AGM.
8.3: All financial matters will be dealt with in a transparent and accountable way.
8.4: An election candidate may begin a crowdfunding/GoFundMe campaign, but the candidate has to adhere to the SIPO guidelines/and or guidelines of the returning officer.
9.1: An Annual General Meeting shall be held once every two years at the very least.
9.2: A Convention/AGM preparation group shall be formed by the constituency organising the convention/AGM. This will be a unique opportunity for the particular constituency group to gain local media coverage, and set their own local agenda.
9.3: An invite shall be made public well in advance of a Party Convention/AGM, though, for example, our website, Eventbrite, social media, and the press.
9.4: The Party Convention/AGM will be open to the public, media and representatives from other parties and independents, as long as this does not disturb the proceedings of the Convention/AGM.
9.5: The Party Convention/AGM cannot be co-opted for a personal agenda.
9.6: The Party Convention/AGM will be chaired by the party chair or another national executive in her or his absence.
9.7: The party chair & secretary shall publish a draft agenda for each Party Convention/AGM, to be sent to all members at least two weeks in advance.
9.8: The Party Convention/AGM shall be streamed via social media e.g. YouTube stream and Facebook Live Stream where possible.
9.8.1: Members who are not able to attend a Convention/AGM in person can do so via Skype.
9.9: Only Party Members may submit motions and amendments, and this must be submitted to the party secretary 3 weeks before the meeting. Of course, emergency motions and amendment are possible at all times.
9.9.1: Each member who wants to speak on a motion or amendment, in favour or against, or leave a personal comment or a comment on behalf of her or his constituency, needs to notify the party secretary/national secretariat at least 48 hours before each meeting in writing, and preferably by email. All members will receive a confirmation about their assigned slot and speaking time, so they can adequately prepare themselves.
9.10: An EGM, Extraordinary General Meeting can be called by an Executive Member (if approved by at least 50% of fully paid up Party Members) this must be hand written and sent to the Party HQ.]
10.1: Admins and Editors to act as Communication Officers on our social media will be sought and checked via the national executive social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
10.2: An interactive website and blog will be maintained.
11.1: Policy groups shall be put in place to formulate policies for sectors such as: Animal Welfare; Environment, Energy and Climate Change; Health, and so on.
11.2: A Policy Group Convenor can also submit policies directly to the Party Convention, after follow-up with the National Executive and/or Regional Executive. A policy group convenor is a person who brings all the people within a particular topic together and acts as a co-ordinator to gather all contributions in one policy document.
11.3: All members are encouraged to submit their policy ideas, whether they are a member of a national or regional policy group or not, to the National or Regional Executive Policy Officer. All members will receive an acknowledgment of their communication, and all communications will be kept confidential.
This Party Constitution came into effect once adopted through our democratic vote at our 1st Party Convention on 9th March 2019; it has subsequently been amended on 24th September 2019.
Once adopted the Party Constitution can only be changed by a (special) Party Convention via a two thirds majority, or (in an emergency) by a democratic members internal referendum, to be organised via the executive in equal conjunction with all constituencies/-executives.