Schedule time in the Chamber for questions from the public

Schedule time in the Chamber for questions from the public

Schedule specific time in the debating Chamber for individual public questions to be asked. We recognise that there would need to be a process to filter questions and ensure they were relevant and to determine who asked the questions and how.


Not sure. This could be difficult as you might get people hijacking limited parliamentary time. If it occurs, it should be carefully regulated and controlled, so appropriate questions are asked and meetings are not hijacked.

JustCitizens considers this a priority that should be seriously considered as an option. Current rules to ask questions in the Chamber make it incredibly complicated for individuals to ask questions and it discourages them from engagement. This would need to be accessible and inclusive, and also designed in a way that fosters constructive communication between members of the public and MSPs.

Give due regard as to what would happen if and when this proposal, if implemented, exposed individual members of the public to media attention and reporting (including negative coverage) and social media attention (including trolling and bullying)? Would there be any support or duty of care to the individual, who may not have encountered this before? The Scottish Parliament should also give due regard and thought to how invasive the vetting process for this of members of the public would need to be, privacy rights, and what happens in the event of a perceived failure of vetting and resultant public outcry at an individual (of deeply problematic reputation or association) being given a platform to ask MSPs a question. How might this affect public trust and perceptions of credibility and legitimacy? Also, some individuals with political ambitions, business interests or other interests and connections could seek to use such a process for self promotion, lobbying or other ulterior motive.

No - I'd argue the Parliament is for parliamentarians, elected by the people. Citizens' forums etc could be encouraged outwith the Parliament, perhaps in conjunction with local councils.

This should be disabled friendly so people can phone in to put their questions forward - not just email or use online website. It could be part of the process that a member of a People's Panel are able to ask a question that came out of their Panel discussions directly to the chamber. We would need a clear process of choosing the questions that are asked and avoid the same people asking similar questions all of the time.

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