The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament is Scotland’s unicameral legislature that is located in Edinburgh’s Holyrood area.  Informally the parliament is often referred to as Holyrood, and is comprised of 129 members that are collectively called the Members of the Scottish Parliament.

Each member of the Scottish Parliament is elected for a four year term according to a mixed member proportional representation system.  This results in 73 of the members responsible for different geographical constituencies that are elected via the plurality system.  An additional 56 of the MSPs are elected from eight outside member regions, out of which, each are given seven MSPs to represent them.

The last general election of the Scottish parliament was held on May 3, 2007, which means that the next election will fall on the first Tuesday of May 2011.

After a referendum that was passed in 1997, the Scottish Parliament was given powers as a devolved legislature.  This means that they can make laws although not every matter is the responsibility of the Parliament it simply depends on the area of law that it concerns.

It was determined when it was set up, that the UK Parliament has the ability to amend the powers of the Scottish Parliament as it sees fit.