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Scottish Parliament Visitor Centre (Edinburgh)

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The Scottish Parliament (Scottish Gaelic: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba; Scots: Scots Pairlament) is the national unicameral legislature of Scotland, in the Holyrood area of the capital Edinburgh. The Parliament, which is informally referred to as "Holyrood" (cf. "Westminster"), is a democratically elected body comprised of 129 members who are known as Members of the Scottish Parliament or MSPs. Members are elected for four year terms under the proportional representation system. As a result, 73 MSPs represent individual geographical constituencies elected by the plurality (first past the post) system, with a further 56 returned from eight additional member regions, each electing seven MSPs.

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      25.04.2001 00:35
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      I am sorry but this is the most boring Visitor Centre that I have ever been to. We thought that with the Scottish Parliament still being relatively new this exhibition would be interesting and the literature we had picked up beforehand did make it sound alright. When you enter the centre you are met by a number of members of staff who insist that you place anything metallic in a box before walking through a scanner. The metal buckle on my son’s belt threw the staff into panic, so he had to be scanned individually with a hand held metal detector. This security check was the most exciting bit of the whole visit! You then enter a display area that basically is just one large room. The centre just consists of a lot of wall displays with some inter-active computer screens with information about the Scottish Parliament and the buildings. I suppose if you have a particular interest in the Parliament then this could be interesting, but as a tourist attraction it fails miserably. There is an information desk, but the lady there looked very bored. There were no other visitors there during our visit. There is a shop selling souvenirs of your visit, but these were just corny items like bars of Scottish Parliament chocolate. That is it, there is nothing else. The security check took longer than our visit. Computer graphics can be very good, but on standard size monitors they are not the tool to be used for a visitor centre. It is free though. Just a few hints that I think would make the centre more interesting: * A model of the whole parliament building. * A video display showing some of the ceremonial events of the parliament. * A mock-up of a small part of the chamber where children could sit and read from transactions of the parliament. * Larger computer screens. Perhaps other members may have ideas that could make this place more interesting. I shall watch the comments section with interest.

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