David Barton

I’m a master’s graduate in international politics. I’ve obviously been interested in politics for a long time and it’s been trying to see how this new way of doing things through a Citizens’ Assembly could work. It’s been interesting to be on the inside of that and rather than looking at it academically I thought that would be very interesting. It’s a historic experience in general as well to be part of the very first attempt at the sort of deliberative democratic body that we’ve ever tried in Scotland.

The most memorable thing was the very first time we all walked in to the big meeting hall in Edinburgh when you just saw the entire assembly for the first time and you got a sense of scale. Before, it was kind of this vague concept that there was going to be a hundred people and they were going to be from across Scotland and it’s going to be broadly representing the diversity of Scotland. To actually see that in person was very memorable and I think it stuck with everybody. I think that’s part of one of the big reasons why everyone stayed around, because we actually saw: this is like a mini Scotland, there’s people from all over here.

There was a really good night where a lot of the members who played musical instruments did a little jam session together which was a lot of fun for everyone who played and I think it was a lot of fun for everyone who listened as well!

Climate change and sustainability is really the biggest thing we have to deal with as a country. We have a lot of other issues which we’ve talked about and those all need to be sorted as well but the environment sort of has a as a limiting factor. If we don’t sort that out then we don’t have the time to sort everything else.

It will be good for the next assembly to be focused on one specific issue because it will give members a lot more time to dig in to specific issues. What this assembly has been really good at is sort of figuring out what is Scotland, what does it want to be, and what do we need to do in order to get to where we want to be from where we are?

Man with glasses