Permanent citizens' assembly needed to 'embed real people power in Scottish politics'

Leaders are being urged to “embed real people power in Scottish politics” by creating a permanent Citizens’ Assembly.

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the creation of a House of Citizens, which it is claimed could stand in stark contrast to the House of Lords at Westminster.

It comes after the SNP’s election manifesto included a commitment to hold an annual Citizens’ Assembly to look at “some of the more complex issues we face as a country”.

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Meanwhile, the Citizens’ Assembly established by the previous SNP Government concluded this kind of body should be made a permanent feature of Scottish politics, to scrutinise legislation and hold MSPs to account.

Michael Gettins, a mental health support worker who took part in the Citizens Assembly of Scotland, said: “I think it’s great that the Scottish National Party are taking the views of ordinary Scottish people seriously. But if they believe, as I do, that citizens’ assemblies can act as a voice of Scottish people in Parliament, then that means listening to what they say.

“Our assembly put forward a recommendation for a permanent second chamber at Holyrood, run as a citizens’ assembly, to scrutinise bills and hold Members of the Scottish Parliament to account.

“We need a commitment from the politicians now to embed real people power into Scottish politics.”

Measures debate at the Scotland’s Climate Assembly earlier this year had included ending use of fossil fuels, reducing the amount of meat in our diets, switching to low-carbon transport, rolling out high-speed broadband, investing in innovative technologies and cutting the amount of new goods we buy.

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