Public meeting: A state fit for the 21st century

Constitutional Commission will hold a public meeting to discuss the nature and shape of a reconstituted Scottish state on Thursday 28th June at the Scottish Parliament. Please see below for details.

A state fit for the 21st century

‘Knowledge will forever govern over ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.’ James Madison

A meeting to discuss the nature and shape of a reconstituted Scottish state.

Now that the Scottish Parliament has committed itself to independence, and to the notion that sovereignty rests with the people, it is essential to consider what sort of state the people feel is desirable.

Enjoy a distinguished panel at a Question Time style meeting to discuss the issues. Each speaker will outline the elements of a Scottish state that they feel are important; then there will be opportunities to put questions to the panel.

The meeting is sponsored by the Constitutional Commission, a non-partisan, independent charity. One of the main aims of the Commission is to spread understanding of constitutional matters across the country.

Committee Room 1 of the Scottish Parliament.

Thursday 28th June, 2012.  Doors open at 1800 for 1830 start, and the meeting will close at 2000.

This is a free but ticketed event, so if you want to attend, please register here

Panel members

NOTE: There have been some changes to our line-up. The new panel will be as follows:

Lesley Riddoch,                 - Writer and broadcaster
Patrick Harvie MSP,          - Co-convener Scottish Green Party
Elliot Bulmer,                     - Author of  A
Model Constitution for Scotland: Making Democracy Work in an Independent State
Sally Foster Fulton,           - Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council.
Kate Higgins,                     - Blogger, campaigner & commentator on Scottish social justice issues;
Ross Martin,                      - Policy Director at Centre for Scottish Public Policy
Willie Sullivan                    - Scottish Director of Electoral Reform Society.(speaking in a personal capacity)

John Drummond   - Chair

16 Responses to Public meeting: A state fit for the 21st century

  1. Dr. Lorna J. Waite says:

    Dear Commission,
    As women make up 50per cent of the Scottish population and are affected more adversely than men in the current economic situation, I am disappointed, again, that only one woman is mentioned as appearing on your panel. Many women in Scotland, academics, writers, women in the peace movement, have a significant contribution to make regarding defence, economics and equality. I would like to see a panel composed equally of women and men. This gender inequality is unacceptable.

  2. Alan Smart says:

    Can I 100% agree with Lorna. One woman on a panel of seven is an appalling oversight. This is 2012, not 1912 But I doubt even in 1912 the organisers would have been so dumb. Please get this fixed.

  3. Graham Ennis says:

    I agree with Dr White. This is nearly as bad as the infamous Inverness Question Time program, in terms of balance. I cannot believe, even at this hour, that it is not possible to find another, well known Scots Women, to even things out a bit.

    • Moira Dunworth says:

      If this is the gendered shape of Scotland to come we are just looking at the status quo, are we not?

  4. Lewis White says:

    I just wanted to add my voice to the previous three comments, and complain about the very apparent lack of diversity on the panel here. Whilst the speakers look interesting and have varied politics, im sure such variety and interest could be maintained without having an almost entirel white male panel. Surely this can be rectified.

  5. Jane Bell says:

    I agree entirely with the above comments. Surely it is not too late to rectify this situation and have a panel more representative of the population?

  6. Sheena Wellington says:

    This is shocking. I understand Lesley Riddoch has pulled out in protest at the lack of gender balance. We are in serious danger of allowing this important debate to become the preserve of a handful of white middle-aged males. There are so many articulate and thoughtful people who could contribute.

  7. Julia Lamb Tod says:

    The panel you have constituted for this discussion is weighted toward male voices having only invited Lesley Riddoch to give a female voice; surely that is not showing respect to the women of Scotalnd and must be rectified, especially since Lesley has withdrawn from the panel in protest. Scotland has a wealth of women with a great deal to offer this discussion…please use the time between now and 28th to add womens voices to this discussion.

  8. Jeane Freeman says:

    Now 2 of your published panel members have rightly, pulled out because of the astonishing lack of diversity on your panel. I hope the others do the same. ‘non party, non partisan’ should not mean ignoring over 50% of the population. And the young people, the new Scots???

  9. Daye Tucker says:

    I agree with all previous commentators. The debate will be diminished in the absence of a contribution enhanced by the female perspective. Can I propose that Carol Craig be invited, preferably to join, but in the absence of a change of heart by Lesley, to fill the void that her absence will create.

  10. maggie clibborn says:

    Gender equality does matter, however the objective of this specific debate is that concerning constitutional design as a whole. I feel that the CC chose their speakers because of their views and specific knowledge. The CC is a group of people who want to start a discussion – not replicate a failing system or be prescriptive. At this point in time, perhaps what needs to be said is more important than who says it?

  11. bill watson says:

    With respect’ maybe other women have been invited to sit on the S.C.C. panel. But declined to attend for other reason’s. If not then am sure the S.C.C. will get the gender balance right next time. Give them a chance.

  12. mrbfaethedee says:

    Perhaps the organisers could request that each of the current male invitees find and nominate a woman who could take their place. Short notice, I know, but maybe worth a try.

    Hopefully the Constitutional Commission will take this experience and transform it into model practice by which other organisations may learn in future.

  13. Helene Witcher says:

    Thanks for running this worthwhile event highlighting the complexity of both the constitutional issues and the strongly held views that surround them. Given that the CC was hosting/chairing the event, I would have valued a concise summing up from the chair with an indication of possible next steps. As it was, we heard support in principle for ‘a roadshow’ and litle else. Given the speakers (some of whom spoke very well indeed), most could/should have been urged to offer more than just a verbal ‘okay’ to the roadshow idea but to commit something of their own contacts/organisations to support a consultation/process of involvement. This would have established a basis that could be built upon. One enthusiastic attendee asked for ‘a plan’. The paucity of responses was telling … its pretty clear that noone has thought much about this apart perhaps from Elliot (haven’t read the book yet) with what appears to be a pragmatic approach to a potentially imminent challenge.

    So, overall … well done, making a start. What’s next?

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