The Holyrood system is broken – we need a revising chamber

I WRITE with regard to the “House of Citizens” second chamber proposed last week by a coalition of pro-democracy groups and supported by 53% of positive respondents to the YouGov poll on the need for a revising chamber at Holyrood.

This is welcome as an input to an overdue debate about the radical constitutional change needed to move Scotland forward. Our view, as we expressed when we launched Scotia Future two months ago and after more than a year in debate, is that the Westminster and Holyrood systems of government are broken.

Both are too centralised, one in London and the other in Edinburgh, the former with an unelected second chamber, the House of Lords, and the latter with party-based review committees comprising some constituency and some regional list MSPs.

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We wish to have independence for Scotland but it is incumbent on us, as with others, to have a vision and a programme for our country after independence and to propose the organisation as to how we will achieve that programme for fundamental change.

Scotia Future wishes to have a written constitution incorporating a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and to deliver those a key policy will be to create a bicameral parliament with an elected Senate in Edinburgh and a new elected House of Representatives based in Glasgow.

Our almost convergence with the House of Citizens proposal is that the House of Representatives should be more representative of community and corporate Scotland and thus more independent as a revising chamber.

The current centralising culture at Holyrood has not been good for our either our communities or our businesses.

Such a change, which is only one of several we propose, with a revising chamber will secure giving real power back to local areas.

Chic BrodieLeader, Scotia Future

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