Listen to the Scottish people: We need a House of Citizens

Democracy isn’t just something that happens at election time every five years. But the way politics works in Scotland right now, that’s often how it feels.

The Citizens' Assembly of Scotland has proposed an idea that could ensure all of Scotland is reflected in Holyrood - a permanent citizens assembly, or 'House of Citizens', to be representative of the whole country and improve our laws. It's time to step our democracy up a gear - back the call today.

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The recent Citizens' Assembly of Scotland has shown what we can achieve when everyday citizens – selected at random to be representative of Scotland – come together to discuss the crucial issues facing this country, complimenting the work of elected representatives.

With so many feeling locked out of politics, we cannot leave every single decision to 129 members of the Scottish Parliament.

That’s why we're backing the Citizens' Assembly's overwhelming call for a new House of Citizens – selected randomly to reflect all of Scotland – to hold our laws and politicians to account, and step our democracy up a gear.

Journey to the House of Citizens

Citizens AssemblyThe Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland was a group of 100 citizens from across Scotland who were broadly representative of the population brought together to address what kind of country we are seeking to build in the 21st century. Following the conclusion of the assembly there was broad support among the assembly members for the further use of citizens' assemblies in future. A key recommendation from their report was for the creation of a permanent citizens' assembly (with a rotating membership) at the Scottish Parliament. 

While this would not be the first such body, (the Ostbelgien Parliament in Belgium established a permanent Citizens Council in 2019) it would place Scotland at the forefront of democratic innovation and make it a global leader in citizen empowerment and engagement.

Citizens' assemblies have been used around the world and are a tried and tested democratic tool. A coalition of democracy organisations have put together a proposal for how the House of Citizens could work, with options for different levels of powers, and review processes to make sure the new chamber is working as intended. It is now up to the Scottish Government to take the next steps.