View Poll Results: Legislative Chambers: Unicameral or Bicameral?

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  • Unicameral.

    0 0%
  • Bicameral.

    3 60.00%
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    2 40.00%
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Thread: Legislative Chambers: Unicameral or Bicameral?

  1. #1
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    Legislative Chambers: Unicameral or Bicameral?

    This Sunday there was a voting here about changing the parliament from bicameral to unicameral.

    What would you have voted? In your view, should legislative chambers be unicameral or bicameral? Why?

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    For the United States:

    The bicameral model is correct for the federal government because the US is suppose to be a federation of states. Each state is equal in the Senate (2 members each) but the House of Representatives is base on population.

    The individual states is a different matter. As it currently stands (because of the Supreme Court) each house of every state legislature must be equally appportioned by population. Where as in the US Senate, a senator may represent 600,000 (Vermont) or 38 million (California), in the various state legislatures the senates must have approximate equally populated districts, depending on the state. This makes the bicameral legislature redundant. In Arizona for example, each legislative district elects one senator & 2 represenatives. It would make sense to eliminate one house & make due with a unicameral legislature. But it is not likely that lawmakers will vote to put at least 1/3 of their colleagues out of work.

    Nebraska does have a unicameral legislature & functions just fine.

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    It depends on what interests are present in the population, how they are distributed and how real power is divided between them. The idea of any parliamentary system must in order for it to be stable and to render decisions acceptable to the society be to in its representation mirror the interests and political groupings of the wider society. If the parliamentary representation does not match the actual distribution of power there will be strife and efforts to bring about a more representative representation. Sometimes it is also important for the system to offer the power of veto to a certain group, this is esp. so in federations like the EU. So we must differentiate between the power to initiate legislation and the power of veto or delay.

    Thus there is nothing that says that unicameral is better than bicameral or vice versa. It all depends on how power and influence is divided between the different groups. In much of Europe we had, in the old days, both three and four chambers (the different estates) in the legislative bodies.

    It could turn out that the optimal parliamentary system would be one chamber elected by the whole people, one chamber according to geography and one according to wealth. Or some other system. But to believe that there is ONE ideal system for all times and circumstances is just ludicrous.

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