The Future of Scotland

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 9:49 am on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Nicol Stephen Nicol Stephen Liberal Democrat 9:49 am, 29th March 2007

I congratulate those nations and peoples on the success and power of their democracies for the future of those countries.

Scotland's past has not been as desperate, but our future can be even more exciting. Our place in the world is to ensure that we take the opportunity, in the third session of the Scottish Parliament, to look always to the future—the future of our communities, our country and our planet. We should go forward into our next four years with bold ambitions for that future. Our eyes and minds should be on the future, and we should take far greater notice of the people who have the biggest stake in it—the million young people in Scotland. We should have a Parliament that is ready to focus on young people, on the environment and on creating a dynamic Scottish economy.

Home rule is here and it is very solid. Only 6 per cent of the Scottish electorate would go back eight years to a Scotland run from London. However, we are not at an end point. Only 12 per cent of the Scottish electorate support the status quo, therefore devolution must develop. The Presiding Officer and I met the Scottish Youth Parliament last Saturday and heard about the plans of young people in Scotland for the future. Our task is to ensure that we have a Parliament that inspires young people to take part. That means that we must always show that we can get things done, that we can deliver and that voting really does make a difference to people in Scotland.