This consultation is focused the quality of democracy in Scotland can be improved by encouraging wider engagement and participation in elections. It primarily reflects responses to the 2012 local government elections. But the focus is not restricted local government elections. Some of the points made and the proposals set out in this consultation could equally apply to other elections in Scotland. This may be particularly relevant for the next Scottish Parliament elections in 2016 as responsibility for the administration of these elections are soon to pass to the Scottish Government under the provisions of the Scotland Act 2012.
Some of the suggestions in this consultation paper relate to technical changes to electoral legislation which could be made relatively quickly and come into effect immediately. Others are more long-term and ambitious.
This consultation is part of the continuing process to make voting more meaningful for Scotland’s people and communities. The Scottish Government is committed to a strong Scottish Parliament, diverse local authorities and confident, proactive communities. By means of flexible and robust democratic mechanisms it is Scotland's people who will deliver a more successful future for the nation.