Opinion Former Article

Unlock Democracy: Scotland welcomes Labour calls for constitutional commission

Unlock Democracy Scotland has welcomed Wendy Alexander's proposal for the Scottish Parliament to establish a Constitutional Commission.

The Commission would receive evidence from the people of Scotland regarding the impact of the devolution settlement on their life and work and their sense of security within the United Kingdom, in order to determine what further constitutional changes are needed.

Terry Myers, Chair of Unlock Democracy Scotland, commented:

"We warmly support Wendy Alexander's proposal for a Constitutional Commission. This would formalise Alex Salmond's 'national conversation' and ensure that the government cannot merely pick and choose from the evidence it receives.

"We do have some reservations about the Commission's proposed composition and remit. Ms Alexander's proposal specifies that the Commission would draw experts from a broad spectrum of society to 'consider the operation of the settlement.' It does not consider whether the Commission might itself recommend what constitutional changes are required. This misses the essential point of a Constitutional Convention, which it appears to replace, that the authority for constitutional change rests ultimately with the people affected by it.

"We therefore urge Ms Alexander to consider the possibility of bringing forward to the Scottish Parliament a Bill drafted along similar lines to that of the Citizens' Convention Bill which has been tabled in the Parliament at Westminster."

ENDS

Notes:

Unlock Democracy, incorporating Charter 88, is the UK's leading campaign for democratic renewal and active engagement in the political process.

For more information, a quote or an interview, please contact James Graham on 020 7278 4443 or 07966 237550.

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