Scottish Parliament: Makkin yer voice heard in the Scottish Parliament (Scots)
Author(s): Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body
Copyright holder(s): Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body: © Scottish Parliamentary copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Queen's Printer for Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.
The Scottish Pairlament an You
The Scottish Pairlament is here tae mak a difference tae yer life, whitiver ye dae an whauriver ye bide in Scotland.
This leaflet tells ye aboot the Pairlament, whit it can dae for ye an hoo ye can mak yer voice heard.
Scottish Democracy in Action
Whit for shud I get involved? 1
Hoo can I get involved? 2
Wha are the MSPs an whit can they dae for me? 3
Whit for contack a committee? 4
Whit for submit a petition? 5
Hoo can I hae ma say in the rinnin o Scotland? 6
Scottish Pairlamentary Democracy at Wark
The Scottish Pairlament an the Scottish Executive in action 8
Hoo are new laws made? 9
Hoo can I find oot mair? 10
A wheen words explainit 12
Scottish Democracy in Action
Whit for shud I get involved?
The Scottish Pairlament maks laws an decisions on monie issues that affecks yer life. The issues that it can deal wi is kent as devolvit maitters an the main anes is …
• Agriculture, forestry an fisheries
• Economic development
• Health an social services
• Law an order
• Sport an the airts
Tae mak Scotland wark for ye, the Scottish Pairlament needs tae ken yer views on thir issues.
Issues sic as defence, employment law, genetics, immigration, international affairs, pensions an social security is kent as reservit maitters an is dealt wi by the Unitit Kingdom Pairlament in London. The Scottish Pairlament can debate reservit maitters but canna mak laws on them.
Hoo can I get involved?
There monie weys tae get involved wi the Scottish Pairlament.
Tae hae yer say ye can:
• Vote in the Scottish Pairlament elections
• Contack yer electit representatives
• Contribute tae the wark o committees
• Submit a petition
• Jine a Cross-Pairty Group
• Get involved in committee events
• Tak pairt in an on-line collogue
• Staund as a candidate for election
Tae find oot whit’s happenin in the Pairlament ye can:
• Contack the Scottish Pairlament Public Information Service
• Luik til the Scottish Pairlament wabsite www.scottish.parliament.uk
• Visit yer local Pairtner Library
• Attend a debate or a committee meetin
• Visit the Scottish Pairlament Visitor Centre in Edinburgh
• Watch debates live on the internet at www.scottishparliamentlive.com
Wha are the MSPs an whit can they dae for me?
MSPs are Members o the Scottish Pairlament. They mak laws an decisions on devolvit maitters.
Ivery 4 year elections til the Scottish Pairlament is hauden. In the election fowk in Scotland vote for candidates an the candidates that wins become MSPs.
There are 129 MSPs, made up o 73 constituency MSPs an 56 regional MSPs. Ye are representit by 1 constituency MSP an 7 regional MSPs.
Yer MSPs need tae ken whit maitters tae ye tae help the Scottish Pairlament wark for ye, suppose ye didna vote for them.
Gin ye contack an MSP anent something that concerns ye they micht:
• speak in a debate on a maitter ye hae raised
• introduce a Bill tae chynge the law
• lodge a motion for debate in the Pairlament
• speir the Scottish Executive anent a maitter ye hae raised
• lodge an amendment tae a Bill
• refer ye til anither bodie or organisation
• advise ye that nae faurer action can be taen
Ye can tryst tae meet yer MSPs at the Pairlament, in their local office or throu their regular surgeries in yer local area.
Tae find oot wha yer MSPs are an hoo tae contack them, ye can luik on the Scottish Pairlament wabsite, speir at yer local Pairtner Library or contack the Public Information Service (details is on the hinderend o this leaflet).
Whit for contack a committee?
Committees cairries oot some o the mair specialised wark o the Pairlament an wants tae ken yer views anent the subjects they are discussin.
Ilka committee is made up o 5 tae 15 MSPs. The MSPs is selectit tae refleck the balance o the sindry political pairties an independent MSPs in the Pairlament.
Monie o the committees deal wi specific devolvit areas sic as the environment or health an micht speir the Scottish Executive anent their wark an policies in thir areas. Ither committees luiks intil things sic as the rinnin o the Pairlament or the effeck o European laws on Scotland.
Committees taks tent tae evidence anent Bills gaun throu the Pairlament or anent an issue they are speirin oot. Forby, they wale throu Bills in detail an vote on amendments tae Bills.
Ye can scrieve til a committee giein yer pynt o view anent an issue, a speirin or a Bill. They micht bid ye tae come alang an speak til the committee.
Whiles committees gaes on fack-findin visits til places that is relevant tae their wark. Gin ye are pairt o a group that micht be o interest tae a committee, ye cud bid them tae meet in wi ye.
Individuals or organisations wi specialist ken o onie o the devolvit maitters can register as potential advisers tae the committees. Advisers helps the committees wi their speirins.
There ae committee in particular that gies ye a braw inlat tae get involved, the Public Petitions Committee.
Whit for submit a petition?
A petition is a signit statement speirin the Pairlament tae:
• luik intil a maitter o public interest or concern
• amend existin laws or introduce new laws.
Oniebodie can submit a petition til the Scottish Pairlament Public Petitions Committee. Efter the Pairlament has receivit yer petition the Public Petitions Committee will luik intil it an decide whit tae dae neist.
The committee micht:
• bid ye tae come in an speak til the committee
• speir anither committee or the Scottish Executive tae luik intil yer petition
• suggest that yer petition is debatit in the Pairlament
• agree tae tak nae faurer action an advise ye o this.
Monie petitions has resultit in action, includin chynges in the law.
There a suggestit format for submittin petitions, an fu details is available on the Pairlament's wabsite an fae the Public Information Service. Ye can submit a petition in onie language.
The Scottish Pairlament hosts petitions on its wabsite yaisin a system cried e-petitioner. Ye can yaise e-petitioner tae support an comment anent the issues mintit in petitions an read ither fowk’s comments. For mair speirins anent e-petitioning please see www.scottish.parliament.uk/e-petitions/index.htm
Hoo can I hae ma say in the rinnin o Scotland?
Get involved in a Cross-Pairty Group
Cross-Pairty Groups gies an inlat for MSPs, individuals an external organisations tae forgaither an discuss a shared interest or cause. Cross-Pairty Groups is concerned wi a wide reenge o devolvit an reservit maitters, for exaimple asthma or international development.
Haund in a petition til the Public Petitions Committee
Scrieve til yer MSPs or a committee
Attend committee events
Committees has hauden specific events tae discuss a subjeck wi the public. Gin ye are involved in a group wi an interest in a subjeck, the committee micht bid ye tae an event. For exaimple, the Education Committee discussed wi young fowk, youth warkers an parents an idea for a Commissioner for Bairns an Young Fowk.
Vote in the elections
Staund for election
Gin ye are mair nor 21 an think ye can mak a difference tae hoo Scotland is governed ye cud staund for election as an MSP. Ye can staund as an independent individual candidate or jine a political pairty an ettle tae become a candidate for them.
Haud a demonstration
Tak pairt in online collogues
The wabsite hosts collogues on some o the latest issues bein debatit. You can hae yer say an read whit ither fowk thinks. Whiles MSPs yaise the collogue tae find oot whit fowk thinks.
Scottish Pairlamentary Democracy at Wark
The Scottish Pairlament an the Scottish Executive in action
The Scottish Pairlament an the Scottish Executive is sindry organisations an has different roles in governin Scotland.
The Scottish Pairlament is a law makkin bodie made up o aw 129 MSPs. It gies the MSPs fae aw pairties an independent MSPs scowth tae mak new laws, tak tent o the wark of the Scottish Executive, tae debate issues o importance tae Scotland an tae heeze or lat doon taxes. The Pairlament is accoontable til the fowk o Scotland.
The Scottish Executive is the government for devolvit maitters in Scotland.
It maks policy on devolvit maitters an introduces new laws til the Scottish Pairlament. Forby, it rins ither public bodies an decides on public spendin on devolvit maitters in Scotland. The Executive is accoontable til the Pairlament an til the fowk o Scotland.
The First Meenister is the heid o the Scottish Executive an is walit by the Scottish Pairlament. Syne the First Meenister wales the Scottish Meenisters that is in chairge o a devolvit area. The First Meenister an the Scottish Meenisters is MSPs fae the pairty that has the maist MSPs electit til the Scottish Pairlament or fae a coalition o pairties.
Hoo are new laws made?
A proposal for a new law is cried a Bill.
Gin ye want tae express yer views anent a Bill gaun throu the Pairlament ye can contack yer MSPs or the committee seein aboot the Bill.
Maist bills is introducit by the Scottish Executive. Hooiver, committees an individual MSPs can introduce Bills an aw. Forby members o the public can mak suggestions anent new laws or chynges tae the law.
Bills maun gae throu sindry stages afore they can be passed by the Pairlament an become law.
The process warks like this for ordinar:
Stage 1 The relevant committee luiks intil the general principles o the Bill an yaisually seeks evidence fae interestit fowk. The Bill is debatit by the Pairlament. The Pairlament decides gin the Bill shud gae on til Stage 2.
Stage 2 The Bill gaes back til the relevant committee tae be owerluikit in detail. The committee wales throu the Bill line by line an micht mak amendments tae its wordin.
Stage 3 The Pairlament luiks intil the Bill agane. Faurer amendments micht be made tae the text o the Bill afore aw MSPs debates the Bill as a hail an decides gin tae pass it.
Gin the Bill is passed, it is sent til the Queen tae receive Royal Assent. Efter it has receivit Royal Assent, the Bill becomes an Act o the Scottish Pairlament an it becomes law.
Bills includes sections that states whan they will come intil effeck an hoo they will be pit intae practice gin they become the law.
Hoo can I find oot mair?
It is aften yaisefu tae ken aboot the Pairlament an whit is gaun on in it afore ye get involved or hae yer say. There sindry weys tae get mair speirins anent the Pairlament or oniething in this leaflet.
1. Contack the Pairlament’s Public Information Service
The Public Information staff is gey helpfu an can answer speirins an buik tickets tae see the Pairlament or a committee in action. Ye can contack them by phone, email, fax or in scrievin; details is on the hinderend o this leaflet.
2. Visit the Pairlament wabsite www.scottish.parliament.uk
A hantle o information anent the Pairlament is available.
Some yaisefu sections includes:
• Whit’s happenin
• Anent the Pairlament
3. Visit yer local Pairtner Library
There ae Pairtner Library in ilka constituency in Scotland. Thon is public libraries that hauds information anent the Pairlament. Aw offer internet facilities, sae ye can access the Pairlament wabsite or email yer MSP. Ye can find oot whaur yer nearest Pairtner Library is by contactin the Public Information Service, luikin on the wabsite or speirin in yer local library.
4. Attend a debate or a committee meetin
Ye can get tickets tae see MSPs at wark in the Debatin Chaumer or in committee meetins by contactin the Public Information Service.
MSPs forgaithers in the Debatin Chaumer in Edinburgh tae debate an vote on Bills an issues o importance tae Scotland. Forby they hae scowth tae speir at the First Meenister an Scottish Meenisters.
Committees forgaithers for ordinar in wee’er rooms in the Scottish Pairlament in Edinburgh. Hooiver, they forgaither in ither pairts o Scotland gin they are discussin issues that affeck a particular place.
Gin ye wud like an interpreter tae convoy ye on a visit, please tell the Public Information staff least 2 week afore ye mint tae visit.
5. Come til the Scottish Pairlament Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre has braw visual an interactive displays that lats ye explore information anent the Pairlament at yer ain raik.
The Visitor Centre is staffed by Public Enquiry Officers that can answer yer speirins on the Pairlament an buik ye tickets for the Debatin Chaumer an committee meetins. Ye will get a reenge of yaisefu speirins includin fackfiles an quizzes for young visitors.
6. Watch the Pairlament on the internet
Gin ye canna come alang til the Pairlament ye can watch debates an committee meetins live on the internet at www.scottishparliamentlive.com
A wheen words explainit
Accoontable: Tae be accoontable til a bodie or an organisation is tae hae tae explain yer actions til them an tae be responsible for the effeck o yer actions.
Act: A law passed by the Scottish Pairlament that has receivit Royal Assent.
Amendment: A chynge that is suggestit tae the wordin o a Bill or motion.
Bill: A set o proposals that micht become law, gin the Pairlament passes it.
Candidate: A bodie that staunds for election aither as a member o a political pairty or as an independent individual.
Coalition: A formal arrangement atween mair nor ae political pairty/group; for exaimple tae form the Scottish Executive. This micht happen if nae single pairty wins mair nor hauf the total nummer o seats in the Pairlament.
Committee: Ilka committee is made up o 5 tae 15 MSPs. The MSPs is selectit tae refleck the balance o the sindry political pairties an independent MSPs in the Pairlament. Committees luiks til specific issues in detail.
Constituency: Scotland is dividit intil 73 local areas for elections; ilka area is kent as a constituency. Ilka constituency elects 1 MSP, kent as a constituency MSP.
Cross-Pairty: A group made up o MSPs fae sindry pairties, independent MSPs an Group individuals an organisations fae ootwi the Pairlament. They share an interest in a subjeck or issue.
Debate: A collogue that taks place atween MSPs that will aften lead til a vote. Debates is hauden for ordinar in the Debatin Chaumer.
Devolution: The transfer o pooer fae a central body til local bodies. This lats decisions be made at a level nearaboot the pynt whaur they will hae an impact.
First Meenister: The First Meenister is the heid o the Scottish Executive. He or she is an MSP walit an nominatit by the Pairlament an appyntit by The Queen.
Motion: A statement lodged by an MSP for consideration, debate an decision by the Pairlament or a committee.
MSP: Member o the Scottish Pairlament. The MSPs is the individuals electit tae serve an represent the fowk o Scotland in the Scottish Pairlament. There 129 MSPs.
Public Petition: A signit statement addressed til the Pairlament fae a bodie or group o fowk speirin the Pairlament tae dae something anent a particular issue or law.
Region: Scotland is dividit intil 8 muckle areas for elections; ilka area is kent as a region. Ilka region elects 7 MSPs that is kent as regional MSPs.
Reservit Maitters: The issues affectin Scotland that is decidit at the Unitit Kingdom Pairlament in London.
Royal Assent: Whan a Bill has been passed by the Scottish Pairlament, the Queen is speirit for her appruival. Whan it has been signit by her, it becomes an Act o the Scottish Pairlament.
Scottish Executive: The maist successfu pairty in an election or a coalition o pairties forms the Executive. It is the devolvit government o Scotland that consists o the Scottish Meenisters an the Laird Advocate an Solicitor General for Scotland. It introduces maist new laws an is responsible for important areas o public policy.
Scottish Meenister: Ilka Scottish Meenister is the heid o a department in the Scottish Executive, for exaimple education or justice, an micht be supportit by a Deputy Scottish Meenister. The Scottish Meenisters an Deputy Scottish Meenisters is MSPs that is walit by the First Meenister.
Surgery: The regular sederunts hauden by MSPs in their constituency or region in a local place sic as a community ha, a library or a supermercat. Ye can gang til thir meetins tae discuss issues that concerns ye wi yer MSPs.
For mair information anent the Pairlament or oniething in this leaflet ye can visit oor wabsite at www.scottish.parliament.uk or contack the Public Information Service:
Telephone: 0131 348 5000 or 0845 278 1999 (local rate).
Caws via RNID Typetalk/TextDirect: 18001 0131 348 5000
Textphone: 0131 348 5415
Fax: 0131 348 5601
Scrieve: Public Information Service, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP
For a copy o this leaflet in languages forby English or in Braille, muckle prent, on audio tape or in sindry computer formats please contack the Public Information Service. We walcome correspondence scrievit in onie language. We can ainly accep phone caws presently in English an Gaelic.
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The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.
Cite this Document
Scottish Parliament: Makkin yer voice heard in the Scottish Parliament (Scots). 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved October 2023, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1058.
"Scottish Parliament: Makkin yer voice heard in the Scottish Parliament (Scots)." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. October 2023. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1058.
The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scottish Parliament: Makkin yer voice heard in the Scottish Parliament (Scots)," accessed October 2023, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1058.
If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:
The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2023. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk.