The People’s Politics Model – the name given to the way a debate event was held by the Church of Scotland in April 2016.
Hundreds of people attended the unique Scottish Parliament election hustings event in Edinburgh last April.
Leading representatives from the country’s main political parties – Deputy First Minister John Swinney of the SNP, former Scottish Labour Party leader Iain Gray, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie and former Scottish Conservatives leader Annabel Goldie – responded directly to five ordinary people who spoke powerfully about their personal experiences and concerns on a broad range of issues including education, in-work poverty and community empowerment.
Georgina Shields, 22, Courtney McMurray, 18, Marie-Therese Martin and Tricia McConologue, who are all from Glasgow, and Blair Green from Bellshill spoke powerfully and passionately about their lives, prompting candidates to explain how they would use the Scottish Parliament’s powers and budget to improve society.
The People’s Politics event, attended by more than 400 people, was chaired by the Moderator of the General Assembly the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison.
He said that while the Church would never take sides in party politics it would always “speak truth to power” and give a loud and clear voice to people who were seldom heard.
The event was part of the Church of Scotland’s ‘Speak Out: 10,000 Voices for Change’ campaign, which last year asked people to identify the core issues which will enable Scotland – and the world – to become fairer, more equal and more just.