Our Plan for Scotland

The right to participate in our democracy

The right to participate in our democracy

We support a more open and engaged democracy that is more reflective of the people of Scotland and will use new powers to promote equalities in public services in Scotland. We will:

  • Use the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to enable political parties to balance lists of candidates for election equally between women and men;
  • Ensure that future public appointments move the composition of public boards to balance the number of women and men – with every board expected to have achieved balance by the end of the next cycle of appointments - and to reflect better the wider diversity in society;
  • Use the influence of the Scottish Government to eliminate the gender pay gap;
  • Extend, wherever we can, the right to vote to young people aged 16 and 17;
  • Make it easier for young people to register to vote, including supplying information and registration forms to schools;
  • We will change the code of conduct for MSPs to make sure they declare earnings or future earnings from the moment they sign a contract for external employment;
  • Start a project with stakeholder groups to propose new ways to tackle the barriers to fair representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people in senior roles in the police and education services;
  • Protect free speech, investigative journalism and academic peer-reviewed publishing through reform of the law on defamation to ensure it is suitable for the digital age, has a ‘public interest’ defence, and is available for genuine cases and not used to curtail free expression.