The Scottish Parliament, like many Parliaments, is based on a system called Democracy. That’s a long word but it just means that everyone who lives in a particular country can get involved in the way that country is run.
Adults can vote and some may even decide to stand for election to be a Member of the Scottish Parliament themselves – that’s a terrific way to get involved and maybe that’s something you’ll do yourself one day. But there’s plenty of other ways that younger people can get involved.
Why not write to your MSPs and ask them to visit your school or one of your after-school clubs? It is part of an MSP’s job to find out what is important to the people who live in their area and so it would be a great way to tell them about the things that are important to you and your friends.
If there’s a particularly big issue that interests or worries you, and you think a change needs to be made, you could submit a petition. A petition is a document which explains what you want changed. If you submit it online, other people can sign it too if they feel the same way. Discussing petitions is another way that the Parliament finds out what is important to the Scottish people.
Another terrific way to find out more about democracy is to visit the Scottish Parliament yourself. There are visits for schools and often free tours for families. You can see the Committee Rooms where the MSPs work and have a look in the Debating Chamber where all the big decisions are made.
If that gets too noisy – you can enjoy the beautiful gardens and amazing architecture. Some people think that the main building looks like boats turned upside down, and everywhere are plants and flowers from different parts of Scotland.
> Visit the Inside Scottish Parliament Homepage
> Download the free Inside Scottish Parliament podcast from iTunes
With support from the Scottish Parliament. Visit www.scottish.parliament.uk to learn more about the Scottish Parliament!