The best of Democratic Audit’s 2014 coverage of Scotland’s democratic future

2014 was a momentous year for democracy north of the border, with long serving Alex Salmond stepping down to be replaced by the first female First Minister Nichola Sturgeon. More dramatically still, the country decided its future, opting to stay within the UK, despite a spirited ‘Yes’ campaign which can legimitamtely claim to have changed the face and character of Scottish politics. Here are some of the best Democratic Audit UK articles on Scotland from 2014.


Holyrood (credit: Spencer Means, CC BY ND 2.0)

The changing relationship between England and Scotland could confuse equality provision north of the border

Is the Smith Commission report on the future of the governance of Scotland ‘woman friendly’? Christine Bell carries out a ‘gender audit’ of the document, and concludes that equality provision may become confused owing to the changing balance of legislative power between Holyrood and Westminster.


3379659065_d2919860da_zThe vow delivered? Experts respond to the publication of the Smith Commission’s recommendations

The Smith Commission, the body tasked with recommending reforms to the governance of Scotland released its final report at the end of November. Democratic Audit asked Scottish constitutional and political experts John Curtice, Katie Boyle and Stephen Tierney, and Sionaidh Douglas-Scott to respond. (Part 1 can be found here).


Credit: Irekia, CC BY 2.0

In constructing her first Cabinet, Nicola Sturgeon has shown a commitment to sending ‘a strong, positive message to girls and young women’

In November, Nicola Sturgeon announced her new Cabinet. Following her selection as Scotland’s first female First Minister, she told the Scottish Parliament that she hoped her presence in the top job would send ‘a strong, positive message to girls and young women – indeed, to all women – across our land’. But, asks Emily Andrews, is the composition of her Cabinet, and her Party, sending the same message? And is the SNP winning the race to become the most representative party in Scotland?


3488297720_940e2fdb9e_zThe Smith Commission Report is short, but packs a big punch

The Smith Commission recently announced its recommendations for the future of Scottish governance. Iain McLean argues that the Commission has astutely wrought concessions from the main political parties involved, and packs quite a punch for a short (28 page) document.


2473783476_44d51527d1_z“Not bad for a 28-page report”: Experts respond to the Smith Commission’s proposals on Scottish governance

The Smith Commission yesterday published its official recommendations for the future of Scottish governance following the Scottish independence referendum. Democratic Audit asked Iain McLean, Coree Brown, Norman Bonney, Craig McAngus and Paul Cairney to give their views on the proposals and their implications. (Part 2 can be found here.)


Credit: Tom Page, CC BY ND 2.0

The Smith Commission: will greater powers come with greater democratic accountability?

The Scottish independence referendum set in motion a chain of events which looks likely to lead to a greater degree of devolution to Scotland, with a commission chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin set to report shortly with recommendations for exactly what form the relationship between Holyrood and Westminster should take. Paul Cairney, a noted expert on Scottish government, poses a key question: will greater powers for Scotland equate to greater democratic responsibility?

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