What an exciting and enjoyable first day it has been at the 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP) sitting in Victoria, British Columbia.

Meeting various young parliamentarians has been an absolute pleasure and to represent Scotland as a whole, has been an honour and I am eternally grateful for this opportunity. 

As a membership, before being placed into our two parties - the government and opposition - we enjoyed an inspiring and informative opening of the 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament in the legislative Chamber in the Victoria Parliament buildings. 

Elder Mary Ann Thomas delivered blessing that can only be described as a fascinating outlook on human nature and kindness. She encouraged all young parliamentarians to seek to find the good in all people, to always be kind and respect your fellow man and woman and ultimately to go to sleep at night with a clear conscious, knowing that you may not be perfect, but that you always do the best you can. This was an empowering and inspiring message which resonated throughout the chamber.

Education Session 1 introduced us to the key procedures of the CYP. Deputy Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd discussed with us, the stages of a bill, from its first reading to its royal assent which was very interesting as it showed us how, in particular, the UK Parliament, debates and passes new legislation. 

The main event of the day was the Caucus Meetings. We chose our party leader, deputy leader and whip. We also chose our party name: Progressive Party. As we are the party of government we thought this best-described the style of politics we wish to carry forward. Thereafter, the newly elected party leader choose her cabinet. I expressed interest in becoming the minister for social development and also the position of minister for justice. Unfortunately, I was not chosen for either position however I remain an eager back-bencher who seeks to get involved in the upcoming debates in the next few days, and I look forward to the enjoyment and education experience that will bring. 

The highlight of the first day for me was when I addressed the chamber in my response to the “Speech from the Throne” which was made by The Honourable Rick Hansen, Lieutenant Governor.

In my speech, I thanked the CYP for the opportunity to represent Scotland in Victoria this year, as I described it as “A great honour.” I went on to describe why our respective government at the CYP’s healthcare system plans, post-secondary education training opportunities and public sector investments and infrastructure were good policies. 

In preparation for tomorrow, I will be preparing a 2-minute speech which will be used as my introduction speech to the chamber. I will speak about representing Scotland, the responsibly that brings and I shall definitely throw in a shout out to my beautiful home constituency of Argyll & Bute. I will also discuss the work of the Scottish Youth Parliament and the campaigns which we run. 

That is it from me for today, and I like to finish by reiterating how much of an honour it is to be able to represent Scotland at the 8th CYP sitting. 

Thank you,

Day two was another huge success! 

I spoke to the chamber twice today which again, was an enjoyable and educational experience. 

First of all, I was able to convey my gratitude at being placed in a unique position, where I have the opportunity to showcase the political spectrum in Scotland, and meet with representatives from around the commonwealth, which allowed me to gain an invaluable understanding of a variety of political processes. I took the chance at having a 2-minute introduction speech in the prestigious Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to describe the work of our Scottish Youth Parliament as well as the beauty of my local constituency Argyll & Bute. I described Argyll & Bute as a fascinating area with a rich history and I encouraged all members, if the opportunity were to presents itself, to please take a trip to Argyll and Bute.

The video link to that speech will be coming soon! 

I also spoke to the chamber in support of the Commonwealth Youth Parliaments Second Reading of the Apprenticeships and Internship Act. The video can be found here: http://videoarchive.leg.bc.ca/…/Po…/PowerBrowserV2/0/0/3593… and I speak at approximately 1:06:40 into the video! 

I also had the opportunity to hear from three members of parliament from around the Commonwealth, including our very own Member of the Scottish Parliament, Kate Forbes! They offered all young parliamentarians an insight into how government and opposition deal with question period as well as how politicians deal with the media. It was very interesting.

I was also asked to speak at the closing dinner, of which I have now prepared a speech for and will be delivering it at the dinner on Wednesday night at Government House, which I will post tomorrow! 



Day three of the Commonwealth Youth Parliament sitting in Victoria, British Columbia was my favourite. 

Although I did not have the opportunity to speak in the chamber on this day, I did have the great honour of speaking to all youth parliamentarians, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association staff and Her Honour the Honourable Judith Guichon, 29th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia at Her Honours official residence of Government House. I delivered one of the closing remark speeches. 

I have posted the video of my statement I delivered to the chamber where I discussed the work of the Scottish Youth Parliament, the beauty of Argyll and Bute and I conveyed the honour I felt at being selected to represent Scotland! I hope you enjoy the video and I apologise for the occasional stutter: as you can imagine, it's difficult to articulate yourself when you have a Scottish accent. An accent I am happy to have indecently. 

In addition, the video of my response to the governments' bill speech will be posted soon. In this speech, I support the CYP's governments stance on apprenticeships and internships for young people. 

I hope you enjoy the video clip and I look forward to posted my closing remarks speech in the coming days along with all of my favourite photos from my time in Canada! 


My Commonwealth Youth Parliament Experience - Jamie Murray MSYP

My Introduction Statement to the Chamber

Good afternoon, Madame speaker and may I thank you for this opportunity to speak at the 8th sitting of the Commonwealth Youth Parliament.

I am pleased to rise in support of this bill.

As you may have gathered, Madame speaker, and colleagues across these prestigious benches may have gathered, the progressive party are fully committed to  benefiting the life's of the young people we represent. 

We were elected on a mandate for change. That change, specifically was reducing the the percentage of youths who are currently unemployed. This is an issue, not least across the commonwealth land, and we have a solution to this pressing issue. 

This bill, proposed by this government ultimately addresses a market failure. Businesses are simply not currently providing these opportunities to young people. These apprenticeships and internships do not exist. Make no mistake about it, this will have a detrimental impact on the young people of commonwealth land. This governments bill absolutely stimulates job creation and amplifies opportunity. The oppositions plan, well, if only we knew what it was, then we could comment on it. 

It's also imperative to discuss the fact that we do have pre-existing legislation on employment. We have a set minimum wage and we are building on such policies to improve young people's life's. No piece of legislation works in isolation. This bill will compliment our existing workplace legislation. This includes employment benefits and health and safety protections.

This government is committed to improving the prospects of young people. To repeat the words of the finance minister, proportional taxing is a method we can employ moving forward to bring this bill into practice. It's also important to mention here we aim to partner with our businesses, to create a working relationship with them where we combine our means, to ensure all young people are considered, assisted and listen to. Because after all, as a government we listen to those who speak rather than criticise on those who act. 

We have a plan and we will use our proposed methods. It's not members here who will benefit, it's the young people we represent.

My Commonwealth Youth Parliament Experience - Jamie Murray MSYP

My Closing Remarks Speech Delievered at Government House

My Commonwealth Youth Parliament Experience - Jamie Murray MSYP

My Response to the Bill Speech

My Commonwealth Youth Parliament Experience - Jamie Murray MSYP

Day 1: Monday 7th of November 2016 

Thank you madame speaker,

Meeting various young parliamentarians has been no short of an absolute pleasure and can I please reiterate my words from yesterday, madame speaker, when I said, to represent Scotland as a whole, is an absolute honour and a privilege and I’d like to take this chance to convey how eternally grateful I truly am this wonderful opportunity. 

I was duly elected as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament on the 15th of March, 2015. It’s was and still is a huge honour to represent the young people of Argyll & Bute, my local constituency within Scotland. I would like now to highlight the beauty of my local constituency Argyll & Bute. From tiree to tarbet, from Oban to Rothesay. It is a fascinating area with a rich history and I would encourage all members, if the opportunity presents itself, please take a trip to Argyll and Bute.

The Scottish Youth Parliament represents all of Scotland's young people. Our vision for Scotland is of a nation that actively listens to and values the meaningful participation of its children and young people. We have approximately 160 democratically elected members who listen to and recognise the issues that are most important to young people, ensuring their voices are heard by decision-makers. In Scotland, we exist to provide a national platform for young people to discuss the issues that are important to them, and campaign to effect the change we wish to see. Currently, as a youth parliament, our campaign focusses on the mental health of young people and is called Speak Your Mind. 

I think I speak for many of the young parliamentarians here today when I say it’s fascinating, learning how other countries and organisations operate around the commonwealth. The different means of engaging young people and involving them in the political process. The vital relationships many young parliamentarians have with their respective elected government. Alsho, the passion that every person here has to improving the lives of young people. I think it’s inspiring, empowering and truly education

I’d like to finish by thanking the CYP for what has been so far an invaluable experience and I look forward to the proceedings ahead.

Thank you. 

My Commonwealth Youth Parliament Experience - Jamie Murray MSYP

Day 3: Wednesday 9th of November 2016 

My Commonwealth Youth Parliament Experience - Jamie Murray MSYP

Day 2: Tuesday 8th of November 2016 

Your honour, Madame Speaker Reid, Madame Speaker Moses-Scatliffe, Mr James, Mrs Evans, Mentors, Fellow Youth Parliamentarians and Guests.

What a fantastic three days we have had together.

As I said in my induction speech in the legislative chamber, meeting various young parliamentarians has been no short of an absolute pleasure and the opportunity to represent Scotland as a whole, is an honour and a privilege and I’d like to take this chance, once again to convey how eternally grateful I truly am for this wonderful opportunity. 

We all have thus far, had the opportunity to meet colleagues from around the commonwealth to share experiences from our homelands, to explain what matters most to our young people and also what matters most to us. It's the variety in our vast experiences in life that aid us with the opinions we have, and the values that we hold dear to us.

I've spoken to many of my fellow youth parliamentarians, and in writing this speech I asked some of you to give me feedback as I feel it's important to share those experiences this evening.

I asked for one word, from a variety of people to describe their time here at the 8th commonwealth youth parliament sitting. Nicolas Hawkes from the Isle of Man described the experience as enlightening. Jody Aldridge from the Falkland Islands said it has been educational. Oliver Nacey from New Zealand explained how eye-opening his experience was and my colleague from Scotland, Erin McAuley described her experience at the CYP as insightful. I'd like to associate myself with all these descriptions and say that I completely agree. I hope that we take these experiences back to out home countries and use them for good.

I'd like to now repeat the heartfelt words of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Aaron McDonnell who, like myself comes from a rural area, when he said yesterday, it's our friends and family that provide us with the encouragement and the strength to go on and continue to do what we do and to achieve the great things that we have and continue to achieve. 

I have met new friends, from across the commonwealth this week. And moving forward, I look to build on these friendships. Lastly, the passion that every person here has to improve the lives of young people. I think it’s truly inspiring.

Your honour, thank you.