Concern about perceived citizen disengagement from traditional representative democracies has prompted an upsurge in interest in the idea of deliberative democracy in many western countries. In Scotland, the establishment of a new Parliament in 1999 offered the opportunity to create what leading politicians at the time said would be a new democracy — with much greater participation from those disillusioned with, or traditionally excluded from, the democratic process. This article examines the role of Scotland's daily quality press in helping to achieve that goal of a new democracy. In particular, it discusses the extent to which newspaper opinion columns contribute to an inclusive, rational debate about policy issues which are under the control of the Scottish Parliament. The findings suggest that the opinion pages in Scotland's two daily quality national newspapers offer only limited evidence for those who hoped the Scottish press would contribute to a new democratic culture, which could in turn act as an example for proponents of deliberative democracy elsewhere.