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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Irish General Election 2016 Crowdfunding Donations

A number of Irish general election candidates have set up crowdfunding campaigns, political fundraising was always a sort of crowdfunding the difference here is that semi-public, in that it can show you the name of the donors, as the donate, if the donors want to and they are using third party platforms to raise funds.

Senator Averil Power (IND), Cllr Paul McCauliffe (FF) and the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) all set up campaigns using icrowdfund but have not raised any money with mainly I think because they didn't promote them. Paul McCauliffe's campaign has 20 days left.

Some other Independent candidates for the 2014 local election also set-up political fundraising campaigns but didn't get very many donations.

Some candidates and their supporters had been involved in the 2015 Marriage Equality referendum which used and had success crowdfunding during the campaign getting twice its goal.

Averil Power a is a Senator who left Fianna Fail when she saw she wasn't going to be the only candidate on the ticket to run for the party in the constituency of Dublin North Bay. Curiously Averil Power's campaign was set up by Friends of Averil Power and Paul McCauliffe's campaign by Elect Paul McAuliffe to Dáil Éireann, rather then specifically the candidate's.

Candidate themselves and not their agents are directly responsible for donations according to Standards in Public Office Draft Guidelines for the General Election 2015 or 2016 page 15
It is the candidate who is required to comply with the requirements of the Act regarding the recording and disclosure of donations
The account should be in the candidate's name and he/she should be the authorised signatory on the account.

Donation law is set by the Electoral Act, 1997. and the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012.

Draft Guidelines for the General Election 2015 or 2016 page 15

More and lower limits have been set for political donations in recent years and the various donation limits were set in 2012, a €1000 is the most that can be donated to a candidate in any year but only donations over €600 need to be disclosed, so the practice has been to donate below this limit, while crowdfunding sites allow people to publically list their donations of any amount as they are donated. A spending limit will be set when the election is called although it was around €35k in 2011, depending on how big the constituency was. Donation and spending in 2011 general election.

In 2016 Averil Power changed crowdfunding platforms to Indiegogo also set up by Friends of Averil Power. This while also having a paypal donate system on her website and holding Fundraising Nights At The Dogs.

Dublin South West candidate Paul Murphy of AAA-PBP set up a Anti-Austerity Alliance donation campaign with the use of American based political campaigning website system Nationbuilder which they have been using for a few years. Dublin Bay North candidate Michael O'Brien is also fundraising on the same website, as is Cork AAA. Nationbuilder also allows you to set a donations goal and allows donors to list themselves and share on social media that they donated. He subsequently put up a Gofundme campaign for his Paul MurphyPosters fund.

Paul Murphy TD and Cllr Mick Murphy were arrested and charged with false imprisonment for sitting down behind a car that the Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) was in and subsequently they were refused a license for door to door collections by the Tallaght Police Superintendent under the Street and House To House Collections Act, 1962. because she was of the opinion,
the proceeds of the collection or any portion thereof would be used in such a manner as to encourage, either directly or indirectly, the commission of an unlawful act.

One last push of this. Almost 1,000 people have shared it. If each of them gave €10 each... you get the idea! Thanks so...

Posted by Paul Murphy TD on Friday, January 29, 2016
As of 30/01/2016 Paul Murphy's Election Posters crowdfunding campaign raised €1.963 84 people in 13 days, not a huge amount of money but an impressive amount of people involved.
AAA have been asking for donations via their regular paypal Donation page on their main site as well as Paul Murphy's Nationbuilder website.

In Autumn 2015 Anti Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit Alliance merged to become the AAA-PBP a registered political party aiming to get 7 seats to become its own parliamentary group in the Dail to get more speaking time.

AAA and PBP intend to continue to organise and fund-raise separately at a local level, the Standards in Public Office have contacted and met with the AAA and the PBPA but neither has yet been confirmed as a third party, if they raise over €100 to campaign in an election you have to register as Third Party Third Party Forms - Standards in Public Office Commission. SIPO have indicated to me they are raising funds as accounting units of the AAA-PBP party

United People a newly regsitered political party have set up a Gofundme crowdfunding campaign.

Social Democrats candidate Ken Curtin Cork East

Summary of campaigns
Support Averil Power for Dáil Éireann (IND) Goal 10k, raised 0. (not promoted)
Support Averil for Dáil Éireann! (IND) Goal 10k.
Elect Paul McAuliffe to Dáil Éireann (FF) Goal 2k, raised 0. (not promoted)
AAA Election Appeal (AAA) Goal 10k, raised 0. (not promoted)
Paul Murphy. Goal 10k.
Dublin Bay North AAA candidate Michael O'Brien. Goal 3k.
donate cork aaa
United People. €6.000
Social Democrats Ken Curtin Cork East Goal €10,000
Henry Gaynor (IND) Kerry. Goal €10,000
Gearóid Fitzgibbon Green Party Tipperary Goal €3.600
Paul Murphy Posters AAA(PBP) Dublin South West Goal €3.000
Declan Bree Sligo-Leitrim Goal €2.500
Oliver Moran Social Media CampaignGreen Party Cork. Goal €500
BarbaraSmyth Independent, Longford. Goal €3.500

Campaigns for Seanad
Lynn Ruane TCD panel.

Crowdfunding fees
icrowdfund 4 - 6% and 3% transaction +25c.
Gofundme 5% fee and 1.4% stripe transaction = 6.4%
Indiegogo 5% fee and 3% + 30c transaction. 8-10%
Paypal 3.4% for direct donation with Paypal.
Nationbuilder $29 minimun for complete campaigning service. 'No transaction fees'.

Party Donation
Sinn Fein
Anti-Austerty Alliance
Green Party
Fine Gael
Fianna Fail
People before Profit
Paul Murphy's posters

Best to make clear that you have to be an
Irish resident or Irish citizen to donate

Small donors meet candidates’ running costs Aaran Rogers Times Ireland January 9 2016.

Money makes the world go roundRTE Election 2016 Podcast 29/01/2016. Claire Byrne is joined by SIPO's Paddy Walsh, former FF TD Mary Wallace, and Prof Iain McMenamin.

Former FF TD Mary Wallace suggesting at 23 minutes into the podcast that Independent candidates can spend more on elections,but thats party spends for partty candidates, which is a benefit not a disadvantage. Paddy Walsh from SIPO seems to presuming that online crowdfunding would be anonymous, most people using credit cards, or credit card linked payment system you'd have to go to some lengths to donate anonymously to a candidates and the candidate can simply reject it if its over the anonymous limit.

There was a Irish politics specific crowdfunding website Icampaign.ie setup for the 2014 Local Elections with a few candidates using it but it didn't take off.

This is a blog version of thread I started Political Candidates Crowdfunding by Agents or Committees 3rd November 2015

Monday, 4 January 2016

Ireland's part of the Global Coalition against ISIS

Wednesday Dec 2 2015, ISIL released a video threatening 'coalition of devils' , see the Irish Times.

Security expert calls for alert public in case of terrorist attack
Peter Murtagh Irish Times 12/2/2015

Sadhbh McCarthy of the pointed out that the video chose the flags based on the 'Global Coalition against ISIS'.

The Irish Times asked the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for comment,

Responding to questions from The Irish Times, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that the list was of countries “that have participated in discussions with them on international co-operation to address the Isil terrorist threat”.

“Ireland along with other EU member states, and the EU itself, participate in those discussions,” the statement said.

“There are no obligations arising from our participation in the global coalition, which involves sharing of information and views . . .The contribution of different countries varies according to their circumstances and policies. Ireland’s primary focus is on the political and humanitarian spheres.”

The Global Coalition to Counter ISIL US Department of State 9/10/2014
On September 10, 2014, President Obama announced the formation of a broad international coalition to defeat The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) emphasizing, “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”

Joint Statement Issued by Partners at the Counter-ISIL Coalition Ministerial Meeting
1. Sixty partners met at the invitation of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for substantive deliberations at the first ministerial-level plenary session for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Brussels, Belgium.

The Irish ambassadaor to Belgium is Ireland's Head of the Liason office to NATO's Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and it was he that represented us in NATO's HQ when we joined the The Global Coalition to Counter ISIL in Winter 2014 which is the reason we appeared in that video as the 'coalition of devils'.

In a Parliamentary Written answers
Thursday, 17 December 2015
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Charles Flanagan pretends not to know why the Irish flag was included even though the Department acknowledge the link to the Irish Times,
The Irish flag is one of 60 flags that appear in the video to which the Deputy refers. The basis on which flags appear, including those of Ireland and other neutral states, is not explained by the makers of the video and it is not possible to draw conclusions in this regard.

in respone to question on the British attacks on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria during Parliamentary Written answers Tuesday, 15 December 2015,

Ireland fully supports the removal of the threat to international peace and security posed by the Daesh, group, consistent with international law. The recent attacks in Paris, Tunisia, Lebanon and elsewhere, including those in which Irish citizens have been murdered and wounded, show that Daesh’s terrorist crimes are an international and indiscriminate phenomenon which does not respect borders or nationality.

The threat posed by international terrorism requires a coordinated response from the international community. An effective response also requires a comprehensive approach which addresses root causes and contributory factors, promotes a counter-narrative, prevents radicalisation, deters and disrupts terrorist travel, addresses terrorist financing and brings perpetrators to justice.

Ireland, in common with all other UN Member States has a duty to implement relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and we have taken steps to do so. These Resolutions include UNSCR 2161 on freezing the funds and other assets of terrorist groupings and UNSCR 2178 on measures to suppress the recruiting, organising, transporting or equipping of individuals who travel to another State in order to perpetrate, plan or participate in terrorist acts or training. We are coordinating our national efforts to counter Daesh, in particular by responding to the international threat from foreign terrorist fighters and addressing humanitarian needs, with a global coalition of international partners.a

It is for individual States to determine in what way they might best contribute to the concerted international effort underway to tackle the threat posed by Daesh, and other UN-designated terrorist groups. Security Council resolution 2249 calls upon UN Member States to “take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Daesh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Daesh, as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the Statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria."

Ireland is not and will not be participating in any international military action to combat Daesh.

Defeating Daesh cannot be separated from resolving the Syrian conflict. Ireland supports the efforts of the UN to renew political negotiations based on the 2012 Geneva Communiqué and the statements of the International Syria Support Group of 30 October and 14 November. We urge all parties to expedite steps to end the conflict, to support the UN’s efforts and to commit themselves to a nationwide ceasefire and a negotiated peace agreement.
Ireland is not and will not be participating in any international military action to combat Daesh.
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald keeps stating ISIS wants to attack democracy when its really power, resources and land they want.

Ireland's main part in this would be continueing to allow foreign military flights and sharing intelligence .

Mick Wallce TD (Member of Parliament) said during Leaders Question on in the Dail (Irish Parliament) on Thursday, 17 December 2015,
Is the Tánaiste prepared to stop Shannon Airport being used as a US military aircraft base? The dogs on the street know we are not neutral any more and we have taken sides. We facilitate the war-mongering of the Americans, as 2.5 million troops have passed through Shannon Airport, with arms and munitions of a quantity we cannot even imagine because we are not searching the planes. They have caused untold destruction. Conservative research has put the deaths of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001 at 2 million - 2 million innocent civilians. Many of those troops, bullets and bombs came through Shannon Airport. Why will the Government not search the planes and why will the Tánaiste not take a position on it? If she says that we are for peace and neutrality, we would not allow one of our airports to be used as a military base by anybody. We are allowing Shannon Airport to be used as a US military base to bomb the homes of people and destroy untold lives and countries. A total of 33 million people have been displaced today because of war and whether the Tánaiste likes it or not, the US military machine and the western allies are the cause of most of it. We are complicit by allowing them to use Shannon Airport to do so. Before the election, will the Tánaiste promise that if she is re-elected, she will insist on US military planes being searched? We need Shannon Airport to be a civilian airport again. The Irish people do not want it to be a military base for the US war machine.

The Tanaiste (Irish Deputy Primeminster) said that talking about is dangerous.
...in other words, he is basically implying that there are utterly illegal actions by authorities in Ireland. He is suggesting that Shannon is a military airport, which is fanciful in the extreme. Does he understand what the consequences of his statements might be in terms of the safety of people in Ireland?
Foreign Military flights
Sharing Intelligence

Reaction to France attacks... article 27? etc.

Activation of Article 42(7) TEU: France's request for assistance and Member States’ responses European Parliament Think Tank 10-12-2015

Newspapers get it wrong on Article 42.7 of the Treaty of Lisbon

For some unknown reason both the New York Times and the Irish times decided to say Ireland voted on something when it didn't.

For France, an Alliance Against ISIS May Be Easier Said Than Done By STEVEN ERLANGER and PETER BAKERNOV. 18, 2015

It says 'The European Union countries voted unanimously to support France'.

and in the Irish Times Lara Marlowe wrote wrote Cameron offers air base as Hollande builds coalition against Isis Nov 23, 2015

And EU defence ministers voted unanimously on November 17th to assist France under article 42.7 of the Treaty of Lisbon.

did they actually vote? I don't think so.

Foreign Affairs Council, 16-17/11/2015
Outcome of Council meeting

Mutual Assistance Clause (Article 42/7 TEU)

Defence ministers discussed the reaction to the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015. French President François Hollande had invoked article 42(7) of the Treaty of the European Union, requesting aid and assistance from the other EU member states. Ministers expressed their unanimous and full support to France and their readiness to provide all the necessary aid and assistance. In the coming days France will have contacts with other member states.
As pointed out by High Representative, offers may consist of material assistance and of support in theatres of operation where France is engaged. No formal decision or conclusion by the Council will be required to implement article 42(7). The High Representative underlined that this is not a CSDP operation, but an activation of aid and assistance.

is expressed support a 'vote'? Theres always a need to be clarity on whether a vote was actually taken, its a particular thing.

Military intervention against ISIL