Scotland’s first citizens’ assembly on Wednesday called for rent caps, more powers for Edinburgh and a crackdown on tax evasion in a number of proposals that offer a test case for alternative forms of democracy in the UK.
The report from the assembly of 100 people, who were randomly selected to be broadly representative of the people of Scotland in demography, geography and political views, comes amid growing international interest in the potential for such bodies to tackle thorny political problems.
An Irish citizens’ assembly has been credited with charting the way to 2018 reform of Ireland’s abortion laws, while on Wednesday Germany’s first official citizens’ assembly began discussions intended to advise the federal parliament on the country’s international role.
“Scotland really is at the forefront of democratic innovation,” said Kate Wimpress, convener of the Scottish assembly, which was set up by the government in Edinburgh but operated independently.
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