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From dKosopedia

A country which comprises the Northern part of the island of Britain.

Scotland was a distinct nation from about 1050 until 1707, as a monarchy, although a Scottish Parliament, held in Edinburgh, operated later.

The 'Act of Union' (1707) joined Scotland with its 'Auld Enemy' to the south, England, politically, whereby both countries would be run from Westminster (UK parliament), thus disbanding the Scottish Parliament. This was seen as a positive move, as both countries had shared a monarch for the previous 100 years. The Act of Union, however, guaranteed that Scotland would maintain unique legal and education systems, and a distinct national church (the presbyterian 'Church of Scotland', as opposed to the episcopalian 'Church of England')

In 1997, a referendum set up a new Parliament, which has responiblilty for most areas of government, with notable exceptions including defense and foreign policy.

Politically, Scotland tends to lean left compared to the rest of the UK. The Labour Party (UK, centre-left) tends to do very well, especially in the industrial central lowlands, including Scotland's largest city, Glasgow (About half of Scotlands population live in or near Glasgow), although recent national policies such as the Iraq war and PPP (Public/Private partnerships) have seriously dented their support. As the descendents of the Socialist movement, they have a natural empathy with many in Scotland.

The Conservative Party (UK, right) has been haemorrhaging support since the dark days (at least in Scotland) of Thatcher. Thatcher had little support in Scotland, and hence she did little to help, and much to destroy, Scotlands traditional industries. In 1997, not a single one of the 72 MPs Scotland sent to Westminster represented the Conservative party. A small revival has taken place recently, thanks, ironically, to the Scottish Parliament which uses a proportional voting system to elect its members (The Conservative party strongly opposed it originally). In Scotland, the party is often called the 'Conservative and Unionist Party'.

The Liberal Democrats (UK, centre-left) do well in rural areas, away from Labour's heartland. Currently Scotland is run by a coalition government consisting of Labour and the Liberal Democrats. (The Liberal Democrats were set up as a marriage of the old Liberal Party, and the Social Democratic Party - which split away from Labour in the early eightes, as a protest against the reassertion of Labour's socialist principles)

The Scottish National Party (Scotland, left) gained in popularity in the seventies after the discovery of oil in the North Sea. Scotland has seen little of the wealth that the oil was supposed to bring - and this, coupled with the attitude of the UK government during the Thatcher Years brought stronger and stronger calls for a Scottish Parliament. Originally, the SNP consisted of people from all parts of the political spectrum, united by the idea of a Scottish Parliament. In more recent years, it has taken on a left wing identity, as to its policies on education, health etc. It now advocates full independence for Scotland. Though still the second largest party in Scotland, after Labour, it has struggled to assert its ideals now that Scotland has its Parliament.

Other parties who are represented in the Scottish Parliament include the Scottish Socialist Party (Scotland, left) and the Scottish Green Party (UK, left, environmentalists).

Retrieved from "http://localhost../../../s/c/o/Scotland.html"

This page was last modified 19:56, 17 April 2006 by dKosopedia user Allamakee Democrat. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) Reddays and Sabregolly. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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