SELF-GOVERNANCE is normal: it’s about being in charge of how we live, so we can better face the challenges and maximise the opportunities for future generations. It provides the opportunity to make the changes needed to enable improvements in our economy, pensions, public, social and care services, national infrastructure, environment, defence and general wellbeing.

A constitution belongs to everyone who chooses to live in Scotland. It outlines the job specification for parliamentarians. It shapes the nation and holds those who govern us to account and scrutiny.

You might consider that a constitution is just a dry document concerning academics and politicians, but the reality is that it involves and impacts on all aspects of society – both public and private, your wellbeing and what’s in your pocket. Today, the internet enables us all to have our say. Popular sovereignty is no longer a theoretical aspiration, it has become reality.

When people are trying to imagine how Scotland could be different, a written constitution helps define how the country will work and which social principles will be upheld. At this critical time, a clear vision will also help answer the doorstep questions. In this series of articles, we will be summarising each article of a model constitution provided by the registered charity Constitution for Scotland. We aim to stimulate all interested citizens to provide their opinions on its content and to participate in the online public consultation available via the fully independent and transparent website.

You will find that the model constitution is deliberately written in plain language and easy to read by everyone. If enough of us take part and vote on its content, then we become impossible to ignore.

When you open up our website you are entering an interactive platform – where you can move seamlessly around after you register and sign in.

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The core of the consultation is the model constitution that is set out in two parts – a summary and the full detailed interactive constitution.

The interactive constitution consists of a framework of articles with sections, each of which has a seamless link to greater detail and onward links to the interactive hub where you can post comments, propose amendments to sections and participate in a voting process which will automatically rank all the amendments by popular vote.

You can choose to invest just a few minutes by scanning the summary and using your quick vote, to indicate your general support or, by following the guidelines, you will be able to add your own ideas and comment on those of others. The choice is yours and the process is intuitive.

If you are interested in a specific topic – for example, currency – a search reveals every time this is mentioned.

You can return to the site again and again to see the latest vote counts and rankings or to update your own input and vote.

A sample of the 15 articles:

- Article 3. The selection, rights and duties of the head of state

- Article 6. Recall an MP, initiate a public petition.

- Article 8. Public finances – domestic currency, central bank, funding and taxation.

- Article 12. Local government – Autonomy, decisions at local level, funding.

Our next article in the series will focus on your rights as a citizen, sovereignty of the people, the territory of Scotland and immigration. In addition, we’ll report on issues emerging from the consultation.

We are encouraged to act as though we are living in the early days of a new nation. Drafting the constitution is our opportunity to shape that nation. So, get involved in taking these first steps and have your say in developing a written constitution for a modern and progressive Scotland!