THE voices of the people must be heard in Parliament following Scotland’s unprecedented voter turn-out at the Referendum, says Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick.
Leading Time for Reflection, at the first meeting of the Scottish Parliament since Thursday’s vote, Mrs Marwick said the “power to be heard” was ever more pressing and further parliamentary reform to strengthen participation will follow.
In a rallying call to MSPs, the Presiding Officer said more must be done to engage the people in Parliament’s business, particularly young women and people from deprived communities.
With parliamentary reform already implemented on Holyrood’s sitting patterns, the Presiding Officer said renewed ways of engaging the public will be the next phase of her reform programme.
In her speech The Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, Presiding Officer said:
“Over 3.6 million people in Scotland made their mark on a piece of paper and, in so doing, ensured their voice was heard.
“I have been truly humbled by the clear wish of so many of our fellow Scots to be involved, many for the first time. How often have we heard people say they were not going to bother voting because it wouldn’t make any difference?
“Not this time. Let us be clear about the scale of this unprecedented level of involvement and what it means for all of us. It is now for us to embrace and nurture that desire for political expression.
“There are challenges for politicians, for political parties and for institutions.
“It is now our duty to make sure that all those who have expressed their wish for the power to be heard, are heard in this Parliament and by this Parliament.”