AN MP stated recently that due to the lack of visible effort to prepare for self-governance over the past seven years, the Westminster Government does not consider the SNP leadership are serious about independence. This is a viewpoint shared by some MSPs and by other folks in Scotland.

However, what is not as yet being publicised in the media, or publicly acknowledged by the Scottish Government, is the work of competent agencies within Civic Scotland which have researched, developed and are in possession of available proposals for all the essential preparations necessary for self-governance.

Across Scotland, there is growing awareness of the need for a form of constitution, to provide the authority for the governance of Scotland when we achieve independence.

The Scottish Government would gain much credibility by supporting active public participation in drafting a constitution that will by necessity involve a wide cross-section of the nation.

Scots are becoming more politically aware and many now want to have more say in the decisions about the issues that affect them on a day-to-day basis.

A written constitution sets out the conditions under which the people agree to be governed. It lays down the basic principles of the state, the structures, and processes of government. It defines the limits within which our politicians, at all levels, must operate, and the fundamental rights of citizens – all as a higher fundamental law that cannot be unilaterally changed by an ordinary legislative Act of Parliament.

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The citizens’ assemblies that have been held in Scotland were highly successful, providing a wider range of meaningful proposals unlikely to germinate in political parties alone.

We also have the recent report of the Social Justice and Fairness Commission that supports a range of much-needed proposals to transform Scotland over the long-term. For, as the report also states: “Governments come and go, but there are values and shared goals that endure throughout these changes.”

The report goes on to state: “A written constitution that enshrines the rights of our citizens is therefore a crucial part of a renewed social contract.”

To re-assure the Scottish people that we are ready to run our own country there needs to be a well-thought-out visible programme for improved national management, ready for implementation on Independence Day. A well-prepared constitution could go a long way towards meeting such a need.

On Independence Day, the Scottish Government must have the authority to govern, and that authority can only come from the Scottish people. As we make this transition, developing a constitution with the participation of the people would meet such a need.

The closest we currently have to people participation in the consultation for a future Scottish constitution is the internet-based interactive consultation run by the charity Constitution for Scotland (CfS). The CfS public consultation (currently with more than 10,000 visitors and participants) is open to everyone who wants to share their opinion on what should be in a written constitution for an independent, sovereign Scotland.

The resulting opinions expressed in the CfS consultation, provided by a summary of the most voted on amendments, would be an informed basis upon which a constitutional convention could conduct its task of debate, deliberation, and recommendation for a definitive constitution.

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The Scots have a well-deserved reputation for entrepreneurial achievements across many areas of society and the innovative use of citizens’ assemblies can be viewed as being on that level of entrepreneurial achievement. They are demonstrating a practical way of improving the participative connection between those who govern and those who are governed.

Among areas that would benefit from more public participation is Scotland’s over-centralised system of governance coupled to local authorities that are too remote and do not facilitate community participation in local decision-making.

The use of citizens’ assemblies, with their broader-based variety of skills and experience to supplement the generally short-term political thinking, would provide for an improved quality of governance at all levels. The implementation of the conclusions reached in the citizens’ assemblies would increase respect for the Scottish Government and politicians generally. is a registered Scottish charity with the aim of advancing participative democracy within the community of Scotland. Why not take a look and express your opinion on issues that concern or interest you?

To interested groups, the Constitution for Scotland team offers a “guest speaker” introduction, demonstration and Q&A session within your own Zoom meeting, please contact to arrange