The 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) at Holyrood take decisions on issues including health, education, transport, tourism and the environment. However, Westminster still makes decisions on defence, foreign policy, social security and major economic issues. Proposed bills are discussed and voted on in the debating chamber. If successful, they are considered further by an all-party committee, and then amended bills are voted on again before becoming law.
This clip could be used as an introduction to the difference between Holyrood and Westminster. Students could compare methods of representation, parliamentary process and levels of power and decision making. To what extent is devolved government successful? How different or similar are the two parliaments, and how effective are they? What are the benefits or drawbacks compared to full independence?
The Scottish Parliament has a clear aim of being transparent and accessible. How successful is it in this? What lessons could Westminster learn? This background information could act as a useful primer to a visit to the Scottish Parliament.