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Bicameralism is the practice of having a
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature. Bicameralism is distinguished from
unicameralism In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by ...
, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group. , about 40% of world's national legislatures are bicameral, and about 60% are unicameral. Often, the members of the two chambers are elected or selected by different methods, which vary from country to country. This can often lead to the two chambers having very different compositions of members.
Enactment Enactment may refer to: Law * Enactment of a bill A bill is proposed legislation under consideration by a legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity su ...
of
primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legislation, the latter also called delegated legislation or subordinate legislation, are two forms of law, created respectively by the legislature ...
often requires a concurrent majority—the approval of a majority of members in each of the chambers of the legislature. When this is the case, the legislature may be called an example of perfect bicameralism. However, in many parliamentary and semi-presidential systems, the house to which the executive is responsible can overrule the other house and may be regarded as an example of imperfect bicameralism. Some legislatures lie in between these two positions, with one house able to overrule the other only under certain circumstances.


History of bicameral legislatures

The British Parliament is often referred to as the ''
Mother of Parliaments "The mother of parliaments" is a phrase In everyday speech, a phrase is any group of words, often carrying a special idiomatic meaning; in this sense it is synonymous with expression. In Linguistics#Analysis, linguistic analysis, a phrase is a gro ...
'' (in fact a misquotation of
John Bright John Bright (16 November 1811 – 27 March 1889) was a British Radicals (UK), Radical and Liberal Party (UK), Liberal statesman, one of the greatest orators of his generation and a promoter of free trade policies. A Quaker, Bright is most f ...

John Bright
, who remarked in 1865 that "England is the Mother of Parliaments") because the
British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...
has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, and its Acts have created many other parliaments. The origins of British bicameralism can be traced to 1341, when the Commons met separately from the nobility and clergy for the first time, creating what was effectively an Upper Chamber and a Lower Chamber, with the knights and burgesses sitting in the latter. This Upper Chamber became known as the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
from 1544 onward, and the Lower Chamber became known as the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...
, collectively known as the
Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliame ...

Houses of Parliament
. Many nations with parliaments have to some degree emulated the British "three-tier" model. Most countries in Europe and the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
have similarly organised parliaments with a largely ceremonial
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
who formally opens and closes parliament, a large elected lower house, and (unlike Britain) a smaller upper house. The
Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary Patriots (also known as Revolutionaries, Continentals, Rebels, or American Whigs) were those colonists of the Thi ...
also favoured a bicameral legislature. The idea was to have the Senate be wealthier and wiser. Benjamin Rush saw this though, and noted that "this type of dominion is almost always connected with opulence". The Senate was created to be a stabilising force, not elected by mass electors, but selected by the State legislators. Senators would be more knowledgeable and more deliberate—a sort of republican nobility—and a counter to what
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
saw as the "fickleness and passion" that could absorb the House. He noted further that "The use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system and with more wisdom, than the popular branch." Madison's argument led the Framers to grant the Senate prerogatives in foreign policy, an area where steadiness, discretion, and caution were deemed especially important. State legislators chose the Senate, and senators had to possess significant property to be deemed worthy and sensible enough for the position. In 1913, the 17th Amendment passed, which mandated choosing Senators by popular vote rather than State legislatures. As part of the
Great Compromise The Connecticut Compromise (also known as the Great Compromise of 1787 or Sherman Compromise) was an agreement reached during the Constitutional Convention (United States), Constitutional Convention of 1787 that in part defined the legislative st ...
, the Founding Fathers invented a new rationale for bicameralism in which the Senate had an equal number of delegates per state, and the House had representatives by relative populations.


Rationale for bicameralism and criticism

There have been a number of rationales put forward in favour of bicameralism. Federal states have often adopted it, and the solution remains popular when regional differences or sensitivities require more explicit representation, with the second chamber representing the constituent states. Nevertheless, the older justification for second chambers—providing opportunities for second thoughts about legislation—has survived. For states considering a different constitutional arrangement that may shift power to new groupings, bicameralism could be demanded by currently hegemonic groups who would otherwise prevent any structural shift (e.g. military dictatorships, aristocracies). The growing awareness of the complexity of the notion of representation and the multi-functional nature of modern legislatures may be affording incipient new rationales for second chambers, though these do generally remain contested institutions in ways that first chambers are not. An example of political controversy regarding a second chamber has been the debate over the powers of the
Senate of Canada The Senate of Canada (french: region=CA, Sénat du Canada) is the upper house of the Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliame ...

Senate of Canada
or the election of the
Senate of France The Senate (french: Sénat, ) is the upper house of the French Parliament, which, along with the National Assembly (France), National Assembly—the lower chamber—constitutes the legislature of France. It is made up of 348 senators (''séna ...
. The relationship between the two chambers varies: in some cases, they have equal power, while in others, one chamber is clearly superior in its powers. The first tends to be the case in federal systems and those with presidential governments. The second tends to be the case in unitary states with
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
s. There are two streams of thought: critics believe bicameralism makes meaningful political reforms more difficult to achieve and increases the risk of gridlock—particularly in cases where both chambers have similar powers—while proponents argue the merits of the "
checks and balances Separation of powers refers to the division of a state (polity), state's government into branches, each with separate, independent power (social and political), powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict ...
" provided by the bicameral model, which they believe help prevent ill-considered legislation.


Communication between houses

Formal communication between houses is by various methods, including: ;Sending messages: Formal notices, such as of
resolution Resolution(s) may refer to: Common meanings * Resolution (debate), the statement which is debated in policy debate * Resolution (law), a written motion adopted by a deliberative body * New Year's resolution, a commitment that an individual make ...
s or the passing of bills, usually done in writing, via the
clerk A clerk ( or ) is a white-collar worker A white-collar worker is a person who performs professional, desk, managerial, or administrative work. White-collar work may be performed in an office or other administrative setting. White-collar worker ...
and
speaker Speaker may refer to: Roles * Speaker (politics), the presiding officer in a legislative assembly * Public speaker, one who gives a speech or lecture * A person producing speech, sometimes also called a speaker-hearer Electronics * Loudspeaker, a ...
of each house. ;Transmission: of bills or amendment to bills requiring agreement from the other house. ;
Joint session A joint session or joint convention is, most broadly, when two normally separate decision-making groups meet together, often in a special session or other extraordinary meeting, for a specific purpose. Most often it refers to when both houses of ...
: a
plenary session A plenary session or plenum is a session of a conference A conference is a meeting of people who "confer" about a topic. Conference types include: * Academic conference, in science and academic, a formal event where researchers present resu ...
of both houses at the same time and place. ;
Joint committees A joint committee is a committee made up of members of the two chambers of a bicameral legislature. In other contexts, it refers to a committee with members from more than one organization. Germany A joint committee ('' Gemeinsamer Ausschuss'') c ...
:which may be formed by committees of each house agreeing to join, or by joint resolution of each house. The
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
has
conference committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons that is subordinate to a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure i ...
s to resolve discrepancies between House and Senate versions of a bill, similar to "Conferences" in Westminster parliaments. ;Conferences:Conferences of the Houses of the English (later British) Parliament met in the
Painted Chamber The Painted Chamber was part of the medieval Palace of Westminster. It was gutted by fire in 1834, and has been described as "perhaps the greatest artistic treasure lost in the fire". The room was re-roofed and re-furnished to be used temporaril ...
of the
Palace of Westminster The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Towns ...

Palace of Westminster
. Historically there were two distinct types: "ordinary" and "free". The British Parliament last held an ordinary conference in 1860—its elaborate procedure yielding to the simpler sending of messages. A free conference resolves a dispute through "managers" meeting less formally in private. The last free conference at Westminster was in 1836 on an amendment to the
Municipal Corporations Act 1835 The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 (5 & 6 Wm. IV., c.76), sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Ki ...
; the previous one had been in 1740—with not much more success than ordinary conferences, the free type yielded to the greater transparency of messages. In the
Parliament of Australia The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the legislative branch A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...

Parliament of Australia
there have been two formal conferences, in 1930 and 1931, but many informal conferences. the "Conference of Managers" remains the usual procedure for dispute resolution in the
Parliament of South Australia The Parliament of South Australia is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of South Australia. It consists of the 47-seat South Australian House of Assembly, House of Assembly (lower house) and the 22-seat South Australian Legislativ ...
. In the
Parliament of New South Wales The Parliament of New South Wales is a Bicameralism, bicameral legislature in the Australian States and territories of Australia, state of New South Wales (NSW), consisting of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly (lower house) and the New So ...
in 2011, the
Legislative Assembly Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. ...
requested a free conference with the
Legislative Council A legislative council is the legislature, or one of the legislative chambers, of a nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared terri ...
over a bill on graffiti; after a year the Council refused, describing the mechanism as archaic and inappropriate. The two houses of the
Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and is composed of three parts: the Monarch, the Senate of Canada, Senate, and the House of C ...

Parliament of Canada
have also used conferences, but not since 1947 (although they retain the option).


Examples of bicameralism at the national level


Federal

Some countries, such as
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
,
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
,
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
,
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
,
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
, and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, link their bicameral systems to their
federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of government characterized by both a central (federal) government and states or ...

federal
political structure. In the United States, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Nepal for example, each state or province is given the same number of seats in one of the houses of the legislature, despite variance between the populations of the states or provinces. This is intended to ensure that smaller states are not overshadowed by larger states, which may have more representation in the other house of the legislature.


Canada

Canada's elected lower house, the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...
, comprises Members of Parliament (MPs) from single-member "ridings" based mainly on population (updated every 10 years using Census data). The Commons is democratically elected every four years (constitutionally up to five years). In contrast, in , Senators are appointed to serve until age 75 by the Governor General on the advice of the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
. The Government (i.e. executive) is responsible to and must maintain the confidence of the elected House of Commons. Although the two chambers formally have many of the same powers, this accountability clearly makes the Commons dominant—determining which party is in power, approving its proposed budget and (largely) the laws enacted. The Senate primarily acts as a chamber of revision: it almost never rejects bills passed by the Commons but does regularly amend them; such amendments respect each bill's purpose, so they are usually acceptable to the Commons. Occasionally, the two houses cannot come to an agreement on an amendment, which results in rare instances of a key Government bill failing. The Senate's power to investigate issues of concern to Canada can raise their profile (sometimes sharply) on voters' political agendas.


Australia

The bicameral
Parliament of Australia The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the legislative branch A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...

Parliament of Australia
consists of two Houses: the
lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community in Apache County *Chambers, Nebraska *Chambers, We ...
is called the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...

House of Representatives
and the upper house is named the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
. The lower house currently has 151 members, each elected from single member constituencies, known as electoral divisions (commonly referred to as "electorates" or "seats") using full-preference
instant-runoff voting Instant-runoff voting (IRV) is a type of Ranked voting, ranked preferential electoral system, vote counting method used in single-seat elections with more than two candidates. IRV is also sometimes referred to as the alternative vote (AV), pre ...
. This tends to lead to the chamber being dominated by two major groups, the
Liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
/
National National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...
Coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
and the
Labor Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
. The government of the day must achieve the confidence of this House to gain and hold power. The upper house, the Senate, is also popularly elected, under the
single transferable vote Single transferable vote (STV) is a type of ranked preferential electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are de ...
system of
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
. There are a total of 76 senators: 12 senators are elected from each of the 6
Australian state The States and Territories of Australia are the regional governments in Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Aust ...
s (regardless of population) and 2 from each of the 2 autonomous internal territories (the
Australian Capital Territory The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), known as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) until 1938, is a federal territory A federal territory is an area under the direct and usually exclusive jurisdiction of a federation's central or national ...
and the
Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, ...
). This makes the total number 76, i.e. 6×12 + 2×2. Unlike upper houses in most Westminster parliamentary systems, the Australian Senate is vested with significant power, including the capacity to block legislation initiated by the government in the House of Representatives, making it a distinctive hybrid of British Westminster bicameralism and US-style bicameralism. As a result of proportional representation, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power. The governing party or coalition, which must maintain the confidence of the lower house, rarely has a majority in the Senate and usually needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed.


Others

In German, Indian, and Pakistani systems, the upper houses (the Bundesrat, the
Rajya Sabha The Rajya Sabha, constitutionally A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Huma ...

Rajya Sabha
, and the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
respectively) are even more closely linked with the federal system, being appointed or elected directly by the governments or legislatures of each
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
or
Indian state India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second ...
, or Pakistani province. This was also the case in the United States before the Seventeenth Amendment was adopted. Because of this coupling to the
executive branch The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government that enforces law, and has Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. In political systems based on the principle ...
, German legal doctrine does not treat the ''Bundesrat'' as the second chamber of a bicameral system formally. Rather, it sees the ''Bundesrat'' and the ''
Bundestag The Bundestag (, "Federal diet (assembly), Diet") is the Germany, German Federalism, federal parliament. It is the only body that is directly elected by the German people on the federal level. It can be compared to a lower house similar to the ...

Bundestag
'' as independent constitutional bodies. Only the directly elected ''Bundestag'' is considered the parliament. In the German ''Bundesrat'', the various ''Länder'' have between three and six votes; thus, while the less populated states have a lower weight, they still have a stronger voting power than would be the case in a system based proportionately on population, as the most populous ''Land'' currently has about 27 times the population of the least populous. The Indian upper house does not have the states represented equally, but on the basis of their population. There is also bicameralism in countries that are not federations, but have upper houses with representation on a territorial basis. For example, in South Africa, the
National Council of Provinces The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) is the upper house of the Parliament of South Africa The Parliament of South Africa is South Africa's legislature; under the present Constitution of South Africa, the bicameral Parliament comprises a N ...
(and before 1997, the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
) has its members chosen by each
Province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
's legislature. In Spain the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...

Senate
functions as a ''de facto'' territorially based upper house, and there has been some pressure from the
Autonomous Communities In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spanish constitution of 1978, with the ...
to reform it into a strictly territorial chamber. The
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
maintains a somewhat close to bicameral legislative system consisting of the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of three Legislature, legislative branches of the European Union and one of its seven Institutions of the European Union, institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union, it adopts European legi ...

European Parliament
, which is elected in elections on the basis of universal suffrage, and the
Council of the European Union A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A ...

Council of the European Union
, which consists of one representative for each Government of member countries, who are competent for a relevant field of legislation. Though the European Union has a highly unusual character in terms of legislature, one could say that the closest point of equivalency lies within Bicameral legislatures. The European Union is considered neither a country nor a state, but it enjoys the power to address national Governments in many areas.


Aristocratic and post-aristocratic

In a few countries, bicameralism involves the juxtaposition of democratic and aristocratic elements.


House of Lords of the United Kingdom

The best known example is the British
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
, which includes a number of
hereditary peer The hereditary peers form part of the peerage in the United Kingdom. As of November 2021, there are 809 hereditary peers: 30 dukes (including six royal dukes), 34 marquesses, 191 earls, 111 viscounts, and 443 barons (disregarding subsidiary ...
s. The House of Lords is a vestige of the aristocratic system that once predominated in British politics, while the other house, the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...
, is entirely elected. Over the years, some have proposed reforms to the House of Lords, some of which have been at least partly successful. The
House of Lords Act 1999 The House of Lords Act 1999 (c. 34) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that was given Royal Assent on 11 November 1999. The Act Lords Reform, reformed the House of Lords, one of the chambers of Parliament. For ...
limited the number of hereditary peers (as opposed to
life peer In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefe ...
s, appointed by the
Monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...
on the advice of the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
) to 92, down from around 700. Of these 92, one is the
Earl Marshal Earl Marshal (alternatively Marschal or Marischal) is a hereditary Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduct ...
, a hereditary office always held by the
Duke of Norfolk The Duke of Norfolk is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke of Norfolk is, moreover, the Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England. The seat of the Duke of Norfolk is Arundel ...
, one is the
Lord Great Chamberlain The Lord Great Chamberlain of England is the sixth of the Great Officers of State (United Kingdom), Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Privy Seal and above the Lord High Constable of England, Lord High Constable. The Lord Great Ch ...
, a hereditary office held by turns, currently by the
Marquess of Cholmondeley Marquess of Cholmondeley ( ) is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1815 for George Cholmondeley, 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley, George Cholmondeley, 4th Earl of Cholmondeley. History The Cholmondeley family desce ...
, and the other 90 are elected by all sitting peers. Hereditary peers elected by the House to sit as representative peers sit for life; when a representative peer dies, there is a by-election to fill the vacancy. The power of the House of Lords to block legislation is curtailed by the
Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 are two Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom ...
. Peers can introduce bills except Money Bills, and all legislation must be passed by both
Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Informally known as the Houses of Parliame ...
. If not passed within two sessions, the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
can override the Lords′ delay by invoking the ''Parliament Act''. Certain legislation, however, must be approved by both Houses without being forced by the Commons under the ''Parliament Act''. These include any bill that would extend the time length of a Parliament, private bills, bills sent to the House of Lords less than one month before the end of a session, and bills that originated in the House of Lords. Life Peers are appointed either by recommendation of the Appointment Commission (the independent body that vets non-partisan peers, typically from academia, business or culture) or by Dissolution Honours, which take place at the end of every Parliamentary term when leaving MPs may be offered a seat to keep their institutional memory. It is traditional to offer a peerage to every outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons. Further reform of the Lords has been proposed; however, no proposed reforms have been able to achieve public consensus or government support. Members of the House of Lords all have an aristocratic title, or are from the
Clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established s. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's s and practices. Some of the terms used for ind ...
. 26 Archbishops and Bishops of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
sit as
Lords Spiritual The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...
(the
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
,
Archbishop of York The Archbishop of York is a senior bishop in the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a List of Christian denominations, Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most ...
, the
Bishop of London The Bishop of London is the Ordinary (church officer), ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the Thames, River Thames (historically the ...
, the
Bishop of Durham The Bishop of Durham is the Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junc ...
, the
Bishop of Winchester The Bishop of Winchester is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Winchester The Diocese of Winchester forms part of the Province of Canterbury The Province of Canterbury, or less formally the Southern Province, is one of two ecclesiastical ...
and the next 21 longest-serving Bishops). It is usual that retiring Archbishops, and certain other Bishops, are appointed to the
Crossbenches A crossbencher is an independent or minor party member of some Legislature, legislatures, such as the British House of Lords and the Parliament of Australia. They take their name from the crossbenches, between and perpendicular to the government ...
and given a life peerage. Until 2009, 12
Lords of Appeal in Ordinary Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, commonly known as Law Lords, were judges appointed under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 The Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 ( 39 & 40 Vict. c.59) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The ...
sat in the House as the highest court in the land; they subsequently became justices of the newly created
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom The Supreme Court (initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical ...
. As of 16 February 2021, 803 people sit in the House of Lords, with 92 Hereditary Peers, 26 Lords Spiritual and 685 Life Peers. Membership is not fixed and decreases only on the death, retirement or resignation of a peer.


Japan's former House of Peers

Another example of aristocratic bicameralism was the Japanese House of Peers, abolished after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and replaced with the present
House of Councillors The is the upper house of the National Diet The is Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Se ...
.


Unitary states

Many
unitary state A unitary state is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...
s like the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to ...
, the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
have bicameral systems. In countries such as these, the upper house generally focuses on scrutinizing and possibly vetoing the decisions of the lower house.


Italian Parliament

On the other hand, in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
the
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
consists of two chambers that have the same role and power: the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
(Senate of the Republic, commonly considered the ''upper house'') and the
Chamber of Deputies The chamber of deputies is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community in Apach ...
(considered the ''lower house''). The main difference among the two chambers is the way the two chambers are composed: the deputies, in fact, are elected on a nationwide basis, whilst the members of the Senate are elected on a regional basis: this may lead to different majorities among the two chambers because, for example, a party may be the first nationally but second or third in some regions. Considering that in the Italian Republic the Government needs to win confidence votes in both the chambers, it may happen that a Government has a strong majority (usually) in the Chamber of Deputies and a weak one (or no majority at all) in the Senate. This has led sometimes to legislative deadlocks, and has caused instability in the Italian Government.


Indirectly elected Upper Houses (France, Ireland, Netherlands)

In some of these countries, the upper house is indirectly elected. Members of France's
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
and Ireland's
Seanad Éireann Seanad Éireann ( , ; "Senate of Ireland") is the upper house of the Oireachtas (the Irish legislature), which also comprises the President of Ireland and Dáil Éireann (the lower house). It is commonly called the Seanad or Senate and its me ...

Seanad Éireann
are chosen by
electoral college An electoral college is a set of Voting, electors who are selected to elect a candidate to particular offices. Often these represent different organizations, political parties or Legal entity, entities, with each organization, political party or ...
s, the latter's consisting of members of the lower house, local councillors, the
Taoiseach The Taoiseach is the prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a p ...
, and graduates of selected universities, while the Netherlands'
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
is chosen by members of provincial assemblies (who, in turn, are directly elected).


Semi-bicameral (Hong Kong, Northern Ireland; earlier in Norway, the Netherlands)

In
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
, members of the unicameral
Legislative Council A legislative council is the legislature, or one of the legislative chambers, of a nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared terri ...
returned from the democratically-elected geographical constituencies and partially democratic functional constituencies are required to vote separately since 1998 on motions, bills or amendments to government bills not introduced by the government. The passage of these motions, bills or amendments to government motions or bills requires double majority in both groups simultaneously. (Before 2004, when elections to the Legislative Council from the
Election Committee The Election Committee is a Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administrative regions of China, special admini ...
was abolished, members returned through the Election Committee vote with members returned from geographical constituencies.) The double majority requirement does not apply to motions, bills and amendments introduced by the
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
. Another similar situation are
cross-community vote A cross-community vote or cross-community support is a form of voting Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an , in order to make a collective or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or . elect holders o ...
s in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
when the ''petition of concern'' procedure is invoked.
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
had a kind of semi-bicameral legislature with two chambers, or departments, within the same elected body, the
Storting The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) is the supreme legislature of Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standa ...

Storting
. These were called the Odelsting and were abolished after the general election of 2009. According to Morten Søberg, there was a related system in the 1798 constitution of the Batavian Republic.


Examples of bicameralism in subnational entities

In some countries with federal systems, individual states (like those of the U.S. state, United States, Provinces of Argentina, Argentina, States and territories of Australia, Australia and States and territories of India, India) may also have bicameral legislatures. A few such states as Nebraska in the U.S., Queensland in Australia, Bavaria in Germany, and Tucumán Province, Tucumán and Córdoba Province, Argentina, Córdoba in Argentina have later adopted unicameral systems. (States of Brazil, Brazilian states and Provinces of Canada, Canadian provinces all abolished upper houses).


Argentina

In the Argentine Republic, eight Provinces of Argentina, provinces have bicameral legislatures, with a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies: Buenos Aires Province, Buenos Aires, Catamarca Province, Catamarca, Corrientes Province, Corrientes, Entre Ríos Province, Entre Ríos, Mendoza Province, Mendoza, Salta Province, Salta, San Luis Province, San Luis (since 1987) and Santa Fe Province, Santa Fe. Tucumán Province, Tucumán and Córdoba Province, Argentina, Córdoba changed to unicameral systems in 1990 and 2001 respectively. Santiago del Estero Province, Santiago del Estero changed to a bicameral legislature in 1884, but changed back to a unicameral system in 1903.


Australia

When the Australian states were founded as British colonies in the 19th century, they each had a bicameral Parliament. The lower house was traditionally elected based on the one-vote-one-value principle, with universal male suffrage, later expanded to women, whereas the upper house was either appointed on the advice of the government or elected, with a strong bias towards country voters and landowners. After Federation of Australia, Federation, these became the state Parliaments. In Queensland, the appointed Queensland Legislative Council, upper house was abolished in 1922, while in New South Wales there were similar attempts at abolition, before the New South Wales Legislative Council, upper house was reformed in the 1970s to provide for direct election. Beginning in the 1970s, Australian states began to reform their upper houses to introduce proportional representation in line with the Federal Senate. The first was the South Australian Legislative Council in 1973, which initially used a Party-list proportional representation, party list system (replaced with STV in 1982), followed by the Single Transferable Vote being introduced for the New South Wales Legislative Council in 1978, the Western Australian Legislative Council in 1987 and the Victorian Legislative Council in 2003. Nowadays, the upper house both federally and in most states is elected using
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
while the lower house uses Instant-runoff voting in single member electorates. This is reversed in the state of Tasmania, where proportional representation is used for the Tasmania House of Assembly, lower house and single member electorates for the Tasmania Legislative Council, upper house.


Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Legislature of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the two entities of
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
, is a bicameral legislative body. It consists of two chambers. The House of Representatives has 98 delegates, elected for four-year terms by proportional representation. The House of Peoples has 58 members, 17 delegates from among each of the constituent peoples of the Federation, and 7 delegates from among the other peoples. Republika Srpska, the other entity, has a unicameral parliament, known as the National Assembly (Republika Srpska), National Assembly, but there is also a Council of Peoples who is ''de facto'' other house of legislative.


Germany

The German federal state of Bavaria had a bicameral legislature from 1946 to 1999, when the Senate of Bavaria, Senate was abolished by a referendum amending the state's constitution. The other 15 states have used a unicameral system since their founding.


India

Out of 28 States and 8 Union Territories that India has, only 6 Indian states, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, have bicameral Legislatures, the rest all have Unicameral Legislatures. In these 6 states with Bicameral Legislature, the upper house is called State Legislative Council (India), State Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad), one-third of whose members are elected every two years. Among the members of state legislative councils: *One third are elected by the members of local bodies in the state such as Municipal governance in India, municipalities, Gram panchayats, Panchayat samiti, block development councils and the District Councils of India, district councils of India. *One third are elected by the members of State Legislative Assembly (India), State Legislative Assembly (Vidhan sabha) of the state from among the persons who are not members of the State Legislative Assembly. *One sixth are nominated by the Governor (India), governor of the state from persons having knowledge or practical experience in fields such as literature, science, arts, the Cooperative, co-operative movement and Social work, social service. *One twelfth are elected by persons who are College graduate, graduates of three years' standing residing in that state. *One twelfth are elected by persons engaged for at least three years in teaching in Education in India, educational institutions within the state not lower than secondary schools, including colleges and University, universities. From 1956 to 1958 the Andhra Pradesh Legislature was unicameral. In 1958, when the State Legislative Council was formed, it became bicameral until 1 June 1985 when it was abolished. This continued until March 2007 when the State Legislative Council was reestablished and elections were held for its seats. Since then the Andhra Pradesh Legislature has become once again bicameral. In Tamil Nadu, a resolution was passed on 14 May 1986 and the State Legislative Council was dissolved on 1 November 1986. Again on 12 April 2010, a resolution was passed to bring it back bicameral but became unsuccessful in 2011. Similarly, the states of Assam, Jammu and Kashmir (state), Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, India, Punjab, and West Bengal have also dissolved the upper house of their State Legislature (India), state legislature.


Russia

Under Soviet regime regional and local Soviet (council), Soviets were unicameral. After the adoption of Constitution of Russia, 1993 Russian Constitution bicameralism was introduced in some regions. Bicameral regional legislatures are still technically allowed by federal law but this clause is dormant now. The last region to switch from bicameralism to unicameralism was Sverdlovsk Oblast in 2012.


United States

During the 1930s, the Legislature of the State of Nebraska was reduced from bicameral to unicameral with the 43 members that once comprised that state's Senate. One of the arguments used to sell the idea at the time to Nebraska voters was that by adopting a unicameral system, the perceived evils of the "conference committee" process would be eliminated. A conference committee is appointed when the two chambers cannot agree on the same wording of a proposal, and consists of a small number of legislators from each chamber. This tends to place much power in the hands of only a small number of legislators. Whatever legislation, if any, the conference committee finalizes is presented in an unamendable "take-it-or-leave-it" manner by both chambers. During his term as governor of the State of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura proposed converting the Minnesotan legislature to a single chamber with
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
, as a reform that he felt would solve many legislative difficulties and impinge upon legislative corruption. In his book on political issues, ''Do I Stand Alone?'', Ventura argued that bicameral legislatures for provincial and local areas were excessive and unnecessary, and discussed unicameralism as a reform that could address many legislative and budgetary problems for states.


Reform


Arab political reform

A 2005 report on democratic reform in the Arab world by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations co-sponsored by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged Arab states to adopt bicameralism, with upper chambers appointed on a 'specialized basis'. The Council claimed that this would protect against the 'Tyranny of the majority', expressing concerns that without a system of checks and balances extremists would use the single chamber parliaments to restrict the rights of minority group, minority groups. In 2002, Bahrain adopted a bicameral system with an elected lower chamber and an appointed upper house. This led to a boycott of parliamentary elections that year by the Al Wefaq party, who said that the government would use the upper house to veto their plans. Many secular critics of bicameralism were won around to its benefits in 2005, after many MPs in the lower house voted for the introduction of so-called morality police.


Romania

A 2009 Romanian parliamentary reform referendum, referendum on introducing a unicameral Parliament instead of the current bicameral Parliament of Romania, Parliament was held in
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
on 22 November 2009. The turnout rate was 50.95%, with 77.78% of "Yes" votes for a unicameral Parliament. This referendum had a consultative role, thus requiring a parliamentary initiative and another referendum to ratify the new proposed changes.


Ivory Coast

A 2016 Ivorian constitutional referendum, referendum on a new Constitution of Ivory Coast#2016 Constitution (proposed), constitution was held on 30 October 2016. The constitution draft would create a bicameral Parliament of Ivory Coast, Parliament instead of the current unicameral. The Senate (Ivory Coast), Senate is expected to represent the interests of territorial collectivities and Ivoirians living abroad. Two thirds of the Senate is to be elected at the same time as the general election. The remaining one third is appointed by the president elect.


Examples


Current

Note : The map is slightly outdated, with Mauritania being unicameral since 2018, and with Egypt and Turkmenistan being bicameral respectively since 2020 and 2021.


Federal


Unitary


Historical


See also

*List of abolished upper houses


References


Further reading

*


External links


''Noncontemporaneous Lawmaking: Can the 110th Senate Enact a Bill Passed by the 109th House?''
16 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 331 (2007).
Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl, ''Against Mix-and-Match Lawmaking
', 16 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 349 (2007).
''Defending the (Not So) Indefensible: A Reply to Professor Aaron-Andrew P. Bruhl''
16 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 363 (2007). {{Authority control Bicameral legislatures, *