Tasked with creating a vision for the future of Scotland the Citizens Assembly overwhelmingly called for a permanent Citizens Assembly in the Scottish Parliament, a so called “House of Citizens”.
The laws and policies we make lay down tracks that determine where we go as a country. A permanent citizens’ assembly would bring together people from all walks of life to hold our politicians to account and make sure Holyrood lays down tracks that get us where we need to be - a better future for everybody.
This is already happening in East Belgium which set up a permanent citizen’s assembly to work alongside the region’s parliament. Put us all in power and hardwire Scottish people into Scotland’s parliament now.
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The 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. 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. It is now up to the Scottish Government to take the next steps.