Constitution


Online Direct Democracy (Empowering the People!)


Effective 28th April 2013


1. IDENTITY & NAME
1.1 The name of the Party is Online Direct Democracy (Empowering the People!), hereinafter referred to as “Online Direct Democracy”.
1.2 This constitution identifies the principles governing the conduct of the Party’s affairs.
1.3 This constitution can only be changed by a resolution, which is supported by 80% of votes in favour of that resolution.
1.4 The party shall abide by all relevant laws including electoral and association laws.

2. AIMS, OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSE
2.1 Online Direct Democracy is a political party independent of any other group in the community.
2.2 In politics many decisions are made in accordance with political pressure, doing deals or vocal minorities. Online Direct Democracy will stand candidates to give a specific voice to the majority view. Online Direct Democracy’s main objective is to endorse candidates at federal elections to give specific voice to the majority view. Online Direct Democracy’s premise is that the majority (but certainly not all) of Australians are logical, considerate and compassionate and given access to unbiased and concise information would be a valuable input to any government decision. Accordingly, there should be a specific and separate voice given to the majority view in Parliament.
2.3 Online Direct Democracy’s aim is to be an independent voice of the majority in Parliament. To this extent Online Direct Democracy will seek to endorse candidates to contest seats in the House of Representatives and Senate as it sees appropriate.
2.4 Online Direct Democracy will utilise the internet to enable the vast majority of the population the opportunity (as far as practicable) to vote on every Bill put to Parliament and will only endorse candidates who support Online Direct Democracy’s platform and sign an undertaking to do so.
2.5 Online Direct Democracy will, as far as practicable, for every Bill put to Parliament summarise the arguments in a fair unbiased and concise manner. An online poll will be conducted in which all Poll members who have access to the internet can vote for or against the proposed Bill.
2.6 Online Direct Democracy Executive Committee will determine the party view based on the online poll. Where the poll in respect of a particular Bill indicates a clear majority view of Poll Members (see 3.5) and 100,000 votes are cast (except as noted below) then this will be the party view. If the poll indicates a close majority or less than 100,000 votes are cast then the Executive Committee will determine (by majority) whether to vote in accordance with the poll or abstain. Online Direct Democracy respects that senators elected by a particular state are incumbent to be considerate of that state's specific concerns. Accordingly if a state vote exceeds 10% of people on their electoral roll or 100,000 with a clear majority (70%) then that state’s senator will vote in accordance with their state's view notwithstanding that maybe against the National view. Less than a 55% majority will result in the view of the party that a majority can not be determined and the Party view in this case will be to abstain from any vote. Further the Party can not ever endorse or take a view that is against the polled majority view. If Online Direct Democracy has members in the House of Representatives these members would act in accordance with the majority view of their area, where at least 10% of that area participated in the poll.
2.7 Online Direct Democracy’s parliamentarians are required to vote in accordance with the party view as determined in clause 2.6.
2.8 A clear majority will be considered to be if more than 70% have voted in one direction and a close majority will be considered to be 55%-70% in one direction.

3. MEMBERSHIP
3.1 There are four categories of members.
3.2 Foundation members will be those that:
submit their details to the party and with any other documentation as required by the AEC,
are accepted by a resolution of the Executive Committee,     
Foundation members have no membership fees and have the same rights as senior members,
and are accepted by a resolution of the Executive Committee.
Foundation membership may be reopened if foundation membership falls below 550 members.
3.3 Ordinary members will be those that:
pay, by cheque, the fee as prescribed by the Executive Committee,     
where requested complete a     Statutory Declaration (in a form provided by the party) which will detail all current and past organisations that the applicant is or has been associated with (including but not limited to Political     groups, Religious groups and Action groups),
and are accepted as a member by a resolution of the Executive Committee.     
Cheques will not be banked until after an application for membership is approved by the Executive Committee. Presentation of a cheque will be acknowledgement that the application was approved.
Ordinary membership needs to be renewed annually by paying the then prescribed fee. Each Ordinary member gets one vote for each year they have been a member. For example an Ordinary member that has recently paid their third annual membership fee will be entitled to three votes at any Online Direct Democracy Annual General Meeting (AGM) or Special General Meeting (SGM).
Ordinary membership will be limited to 1,000 persons. Once Ordinary membership reaches 1,000 then no new Ordinary members will be accepted until Ordinary Membership falls below 1,000. This may be as a result of resignation, non payment of the annual fee or Ordinary members achieving Senior member status.
3.4 Senior members are those that have been Ordinary members 10 years or more. Senior members will have 10 votes at any Online Direct Democracy AGM or SGM, will not be required to pay any further membership fees. Senior members are members for life. There is no limit on the number of Senior members.
3.5 Poll members will be those that complete an Online Direct Democracy online membership form and have their identity validated. Poll members have no membership fees but are not entitled to vote at a Online Direct Democracy AGM or SGM. Poll members will be notified by email of acceptance of their application of membership. Foundation, Ordinary and Senior members can also be registered as Poll members.
3.6 All Foundation, Ordinary and Senior members must not be members of any other Australian political party.
3.7 All members must be recorded on the Australian electoral roll.
3.8 Poll members are entitled to vote only in respect to Online polls.
3.9 The Executive Committee may refuse to register any member or expel any member (except Poll members) if it believes that the member does not have the interests of the Party at heart or if the Executive Committee believes that a member application or member is part of a stacking exercise. Any Foundation member that does not confirm their membership when requested to do so will have their membership terminated.
3.10 No person may be accepted as a member if convicted of a disqualifying electoral offence within the previous ten years.
3.11 If a current member (except Poll members) is convicted of an electoral offence during their period of membership that membership is immediately terminated.

4. PROXIES
4.1 In respect of Online Direct Democracy AGM’s or SGM’s a member shall be entitled to appoint a natural person to attend and vote on their behalf. Proxies must be lodged with the Secretary at least 48 hours prior to the AGM or SGM to be valid Proxy voting in respect of Online Bill polls is not permitted.

5. RESIGNATION
5.1 A person may resign from membership of the Party by giving written notice to the Party Secretary.

6. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
6.1 Online Direct Democracy has an Executive Committee of a maximum of 10 members plus any sitting Online Direct Democracy Senators and a minimum of 3 members, being Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. A member of the Executive Committee may hold more than one role.
6.2 All office bearers and Executive Committee members are appointed by majority vote at a Online Direct Democracy AGM or SGM. The term of the appointment shall be five years. Sitting Online Direct Democracy parliamentarians will be deemed Executive Committee members.
6.3 If the Executive Committee falls below three members the remaining members may appoint new members (with the Chairman having any casting vote, if needed).
6.4 Three members of the Executive Committee will form a quorum.
6.5 The Secretary will be responsible for carrying out the administration and for the conduct of the correspondence of the Party. Further the Secretary will be required and has authority to sign documents and applications as required under the Electoral Act or by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The Secretary is the person from whom the AEC would receive applications and notifications that are not specifically reserved to the registered Officer. The Secretary shall notify the Executive Committee of all meetings with at least 24 hours notice.
6.6 Attendance by telephone shall be treated as if attendance were in person.
6.7 The Duties and responsibilities of the Executive Committee is to direct, organise and coordinate the policies, functions and administration of the party.
6.8 All decisions of the Executive Committee will be determined by a majority view (with the Chairman having any casting vote, if needed)
6.9 All members of the Executive Committee are voluntary and unpaid positions with reasonable expenses for duties undertaken paid for by Online Direct Democracy funds.

7. SELECTION OF CANDIDATES FOR ELECTIONS
7.1 Selection of candidates to stand for House of Representatives and Senate seats is made by the Executive Committee. The Chairman having a casting vote if required.
7.2 Nominees for candidates must be available for an interview by the Executive Committee.
7.3 Nominees for candidates would understand and accept that Online Direct Democracy parliamentarians would have been elected on the basis of the Online Direct Democracy platform and as such are required to vote in accordance with that platform and publicly advocate it. Accordingly, Online Direct Democracy parliamentarians are to vote in accordance with the direction of the Executive Committee. Online Direct Democracy does not allow its parliamentarians to exercise a conscience vote.
7.4 Nominees for candidates must understand and accept that if elected that although they have the right to resign from the party that they would resign their seat beforehand.
7.5 Nominees for candidates would be required to give a signed undertaking to reflect the their understanding and commitments as outlined in 7.3 & 7.4.

8. ACCOUNTS AND ACCOUNTING
8.1 All funds are to be paid into a bank account in the name of the party.
8.2 All withdrawals are required to be approved by two Executive Committee members.
8.3 The treasurer will keep proper records in accordance with accepted accounting principles. Asset & Liabilities and Income & Expenses reports are to be produced annually and presented to the next AGM or SGM within four months after 30 June each year.
8.4 Membership fees for Ordinary members are set for 2007 at $20 per person for one year.
8.5 The annual membership fee may be varied by a decision of the Executive Committee without amendment to this constitution. No such decision shall be retrospective.

9. MEETINGS
9.1 The Executive Committee shall cause an Annual General Meeting of Online Direct Democracy to be held as near as possible to twelve months and no more than sixteen months from the date of the last Annual General Meeting.
9.2 Special General Meetings shall be held as required or called for by written request of 500 members or by the Executive Committee.
9.3 Members shall be given a minimum of fourteen days notice of the date and location of AGM’s or any other SGM.
9.4 Email or a prominent posting on the Online Direct Democracy website (www.onlinedirectdemocracy.org) detailing the location, date, time and agenda of any meeting shall be deemed sufficient notice of any AGM or special meeting.
9.5 The Executive Committee may hold closed meetings for policy and campaign purposes.

10. MINUTES
10.1 Proper minutes of all proceedings of Online Direct Democracy shall be entered within one month after the relevant meeting in minute books kept for that purpose.
10.2 The minutes kept pursuant to this rule shall be signed by the chair of the meeting at which the proceedings took place or by the chair of the next successive meeting.
10.3 Where minutes are entered and signed they shall until the contrary is proved, be evidence that the meeting was convened and duly held, that all proceedings held at the meeting shall be deemed to have been duly held, and that all appointments made at a meeting shall be deemed to be valid.

11. PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS
11.1 The Chairman is the only authorised spokesperson for Online Direct Democracy.
11.2 All press releases, advertising and media interviews are expressly to be authorised by the Chairman.
11.3 The Chairman may nominate any person, as spokesperson in general or limited to a specified issue or for a limited time. This would normally be restricted to others of the Executive Committee or a senator candidate. 
11.4 The Chairman may similarly authorise a public relations consultant or nominated media spokesperson with the approval of the Executive Committee.

12. MEMBER COMMUNICATIONS
12.1 Communication will be via email or the website.

 

13. WINDING UP
13.1 At the request of 10% of the members or at the Executive Committee’s discretion a special meeting may be called to wind up Online Direct Democracy.
13.2 A vote of 80% of attending members is required to formally wind up the party.
13.3 In the event of the organisation being wound up, any Online Direct Democracy funds after the satisfaction of all debts, and sale of assets shall be donated to a registered charity at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

14. DEFINITIONS
Clear Majority means a vote of more than 70%.

Close Majority means a vote of between 55-70%.

AGM Annual General Meeting.

SGM Special General Meeting.

Member means a person who is correctly enrolled as a member of the Party.

Party (the) means the Online Direct Democracy (Empowering the People!) party.

Proxy is a written and signed authority given by one member to another person to vote on their behalf at nominated AGM or SGM. The proxy must specify the manner in which the proxy is to be voted.

Website/Web Address: www.onlinedirectdemocracy.org