We, the people of Scotland, present this report to the Scottish Government and to the Scottish Parliament for consideration, action and delivery.
The world has changed and Scotland now faces many new and different problems. We, as ordinary people, have been challenged to think of other ways to plan and make decisions. Scotland has convened a Citizens’ Assembly to help formulate new policies to shape the country and consider the following questions:
- What kind of country are we seeking to build?
- How best can we overcome the challenges Scotland and the world face in the 21st century, including those arising from Brexit?
- What further work should be carried out to give us the information we need to make informed choices about the future of the country?
Scotland is a modern country made up of many ages, abilities, cultures, languages, beliefs, geography and interests. The Assembly has sought to represent all of those people, all of those views and all of those interests.
We are ordinary people that came together and found a way to work together. A Code of Conduct was agreed by all members present. Everyone had the chance to express their own views and opinions, share life experiences, explore new ideas and even to change their minds. Everything that has been done over the past year has been done by consensus, supported by balanced evidence and shared learning.
As the Citizens’ Assembly work began, we as members were empowered to assist and direct how the process evolved, where we got evidence from and how we would agree the way forward.
Citizens’ assemblies are new to Scotland and we hope that our report is well received. We want people to know that politics doesn’t have to be about the politicians, it is about us as citizens of Scotland. Recent years have seen us lose confidence and trust in politics and we wanted to hear the facts, the honest reality, the truth of how Scotland is governed and the difficult choices that we face, to help us think about the future, how to plan ahead and achieve good outcomes with a positive mind set.
The recommendations in this report are to be commenced after the election of the next parliament in May 2021 and we understand that this is not an overnight thing but is a long term plan that may take many years to achieve.
Too often discussions are about what other people should do for me, but they should be about what I can do and what I can contribute. This is not just about the government, we should all be working together as one nation. The onus is on us – everyone.
We gathered, talked and agreed. We believe our vision and recommendations represent all of the people of Scotland. We ask the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government to consider our words as they plan and decide our future, and to listen closely to what we have said.
The work we have completed through the Citizens’ Assembly is an example of a fair Scotland, filled with pride and hope and one that others can look to and follow.