ERS respond as Scottish Government release Citizens’ Assembly plans

Posted on the 18th June 2019

  • Statement from ERS Scotland, 18th June 2019
  • Contact mediaoffice@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07717211630 for further information or media bids
  • Read the ERS’ briefing on Citizens’ Assemblies: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/parliamentary-briefings/a-quick-guide-to-citizens-assemblies/

The Electoral Reform Society have welcomed the Scottish Government’s proposals for a Citizens’ Assembly looking at Scotland’s democratic future [1]. 

The ERS recently published a report on moving beyond the ‘Westminster model’ of politics [2] and has been working on public engagement and innovations in democracy in Scotland, through public events for several years [3].

Willie Sullivan, Director of ERS Scotland, said:

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has decided to use citizens’ assemblies to upgrade Scottish democracy.

“Old fashioned party politics and a binary vision have failed to provide solutions that Scots can unite around.

“The initial structure and the draft questions are a good start. Our campaign for more people power at a local level through our ‘Act As If You Own the Place’ initiative has taught us a great deal [3]. We know from our own experience and research that the assembly design and the way assemblies are run are crucial for their success.

“There is a lot of work to do on this and in making sure the Scottish people see the assembly as the trusted, independent institution that it should be.

“We are also glad the government are keen to hear from experiences here in Scotland and from around the world.

“Our verdict is so far so good – and we look forward to working with all partners on ensuring this is the best deliberative democratic process possible.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] https://www.gov.scot/news/citizens-assembly-of-scotland/

[2] https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/beyond-brexit-report-calls-for-end-to-westminster-model-of-governance-to-renew-faith-in-politics/

[3] Find out about the Our Democracy coalition: https://ourdemocracy.scot/ And Act As If You Own the Place: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/local-democracy-in-scotland-needs-all-of-us/

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