Essay about Scotland´s Devolved Parliament

Essay about Scotland´s Devolved Parliament

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Devolution is an organised system where particular powers within a government are shared and put into operation by different parliaments within and around the surrounding countries, allowing for the establishment of local laws and legislation. When devolution happens, there is no loss of sovereignty or authority for the senior parliament, which still has the power to create and over rule any law in the country. Like many countries, Scotland’s plan for power sharing has been shaped by various historical and economical events, many of which are still very important in current politics.

One of the first events that influenced Scotland to want a devolved parliament was when a Scotland bill was introduced into the House of Commons just before the 1979 referendum. The Scotland bill was established because Scotland had a particularly poor network of MP’s in place within the parliament, and during the passing of the legislation, Labour MP George Cunningham made a significant change, in that all proposals would be approved by not only the majority of Scottish voters, but also by 40 per cent of the Scottish electorate. This basically meant that those at home would be classed as no voters. However, although this bill enabled Scotland to have slightly more hope when voting was concerned, the Labour government was particularly unpopular due to the winter of discontent. The winter of discontent caused major economic and industrial concerns in Britain, and because of this, it was seen as a ridiculous idea to introduce any more policies involving the Labour party. The outcome of the election therefore resulted in a win for the Conservatives, the rise of the new Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1979, and the establishment of a campaign called ...

... middle of paper ... representation for women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. In Scotland, the number of women elected in 2011 was 45, resulting in the second lowest number of women MSPs in four Scottish Parliament elections at 35%, a slight improvement from the 2007 election (McCaffrey & Egerton, 2011).
However, on the downside, it is unfair and is not always proportional and distorts election results so no individual party can always form the government. For example, in 1997, Labour won 44.33 % of the vote, which was the equivalent of 419 seats in the House of Commons. This figure was then calculated as 63.58%, which is clearly not in proportion to the percentage of votes. The additional Member System also disenfranchises the numbers of voters who don’t support the winner within their constituency; therefore the votes are pretty much useless (Barkham, 2005).

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