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"Unicameral" redirects here. Unicameralism_sentence_0

For other uses, see Unicameral (disambiguation). Unicameralism_sentence_1

In government, unicameralism (Latin uni, one + camera, chamber) is the practice of having a single legislative or parliamentary chamber. Unicameralism_sentence_2

Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house. Unicameralism_sentence_3

Concept Unicameralism_section_0

Unicameral legislatures exist when there is no widely perceived need for multicameralism. Unicameralism_sentence_4

Many multicameral legislatures were created to give separate voices to different sectors of society. Unicameralism_sentence_5

Multiple chambers allowed for guaranteed representation of different social classes (as in the Parliament of the United Kingdom or the French States-General), ethnic or regional interests, or subunits of a federation. Unicameralism_sentence_6

Where these factors are unimportant, in unitary states with limited regional autonomy, unicameralism often prevails. Unicameralism_sentence_7

Sometimes, as in New Zealand and Denmark, this comes about through the abolition of one of the two chambers, or, as in Sweden, through the merger of the two chambers into a single one, while in others a second chamber has never existed. Unicameralism_sentence_8

The principal advantage of a unicameral system is more efficient lawmaking, as the legislative process is simpler and there is no possibility of deadlock. Unicameralism_sentence_9

Proponents of unicameralism have also argued that it reduces costs, even if the number of legislators stay the same, since there are fewer institutions to maintain and support it. Unicameralism_sentence_10

However bicameral legislatures offer the opportunity to debate and correct errors in either chamber in parallel, and in some cases to introduce legislation in either chamber. Unicameralism_sentence_11

Bicameral legislatures often make provision for experts to participate in lawmaking without being professional politicians. Unicameralism_sentence_12

The main weakness of a unicameral system can be seen as the lack of restraint on the majority, particularly noticeable in parliamentary systems where the leaders of the parliamentary majority also dominate the executive. Unicameralism_sentence_13

There is also the risk that important sectors of society may not be adequately represented. Unicameralism_sentence_14

List of unicameral legislatures Unicameralism_section_1

Approximately half of the world's sovereign states are currently unicameral. Unicameralism_sentence_15

The People's Republic of China is somewhat in between, with a legislature and a formal advisory body. Unicameralism_sentence_16

China has a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference which meets alongside the National People's Congress, in many respects an advisory "upper house", so it is in reality neither bicameral nor fully unicameral. Unicameralism_sentence_17

Many subnational entities have unicameral legislatures. Unicameralism_sentence_18

These include the state of Nebraska and territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands in the United States, the Chinese special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, the Australian state of Queensland as well as the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, a majority of the provinces of Argentina, all of the provinces and territories in Canada, all of the German states, all of the regions of Italy, all of the Spanish autonomous communities, both the autonomous regions of Portugal, most of the states and union territories of India and all of the states of Brazil. Unicameralism_sentence_19

In the United Kingdom, the devolved Scottish Parliament, the Senedd, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the London Assembly are also unicameral. Unicameralism_sentence_20

National (UN member states and observers) Unicameralism_section_2

Federal Unicameralism_section_3


Unitary Unicameralism_section_4


Territorial Unicameralism_section_5


State parliaments with limited recognition Unicameralism_section_6


Subnational Unicameralism_section_7

Federations Unicameralism_section_8



Devolved governments Unicameralism_section_9


Other Unicameralism_section_10


List of historical unicameral legislatures Unicameralism_section_11

National Unicameralism_section_12


Subnational Unicameralism_section_13


Unicameralism in the United States Unicameralism_section_14

Within U.S. Unicameralism_sentence_21 states, Nebraska is currently the only state with a unicameral legislature; after a statewide vote, it changed from bicameral to unicameral in 1937. Unicameralism_sentence_22

A 2018 study found that efforts to adopt unicameralism in Ohio and Missouri failed due to rural opposition. Unicameralism_sentence_23

There was a fear in rural communities that unicameralism would diminish their influence in state government. Unicameralism_sentence_24

Local government legislatures of counties, cities, or other political subdivisions within states are usually unicameral and have limited lawmaking powers compared to their state and federal counterparts. Unicameralism_sentence_25

Some of the 13 colonies which became independent, such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New Hampshire had initially introduced strong unicameral legislature and (relatively) less powerful governors with no veto power. Unicameralism_sentence_26

Pennsylvania's constitution lasted only 14 years. Unicameralism_sentence_27

In 1790, conservatives gained power in the state legislature, called a new constitutional convention, and rewrote the constitution. Unicameralism_sentence_28

The new constitution substantially reduced universal male suffrage, gave the governor veto power and patronage appointment authority, and added an upper house with substantial wealth qualifications to the unicameral legislature. Unicameralism_sentence_29

Thomas Paine called it a constitution unworthy of America. Unicameralism_sentence_30

In 1999, Governor Jesse Ventura proposed converting the Minnesota Legislature into a single chamber. Unicameralism_sentence_31

Although debated, the idea was never adopted. Unicameralism_sentence_32

Seven U.S. states, Arizona, Idaho, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington, effectively have two-house unicamerals. Unicameralism_sentence_33

In these states, districts in the upper house and the lower house are combined into a single constituency, a practice known as nesting. Unicameralism_sentence_34

The U.S. Unicameralism_sentence_35 territory of Puerto Rico held a non-binding referendum in 2005. Unicameralism_sentence_36

Voters approved changing its Legislative Assembly to a unicameral body by 456,267 votes in favor (83.7%) versus 88,720 against (16.3%). Unicameralism_sentence_37

If both the territory's House of Representatives and Senate had approved by a ​⁄3 vote the specific amendments to the Puerto Rico Constitution that are required for the change to a unicameral legislature, another referendum would have been held in the territory to approve such amendments. Unicameralism_sentence_38

If those constitutional changes had been approved, Puerto Rico could have switched to a unicameral legislature as early as 2015. Unicameralism_sentence_39

On June 9, 2009, the Maine House of Representatives voted to form a unicameral legislature, but the measure did not pass the Senate. Unicameralism_sentence_40

Because of legislative gridlock in 2009, former Congressman Rick Lazio, a prospective candidate for governor, has proposed that New York adopt unicameralism. Unicameralism_sentence_41

The United States as a whole was subject to a unicameral Congress during the years 1781–1788, when the Articles of Confederation were in effect. Unicameralism_sentence_42

The Confederate States of America, pursuant to its Provisional Constitution, in effect from February 8, 1861, to February 22, 1862, was governed by a unicameral Congress. Unicameralism_sentence_43

Unicameralism in the Philippines Unicameralism_section_15

Though the current Congress of the Philippines is bicameral, the country experienced unicameralism in 1898 and 1899 (during the First Philippine Republic), from 1935 to 1941 ( the Commonwealth era) and from 1943 to 1944 (during the Japanese occupation). Unicameralism_sentence_44

Under the 1973 Constitution, the legislative body was called Batasang Pambansa, which functioned also a unicameral legislature within a semi-presidential system form of government until 1986. Unicameralism_sentence_45

The ongoing process of amending or revising the current Constitution and form of government is popularly known as Charter Change. Unicameralism_sentence_46

A shift to a unicameral parliament was included in the proposals of the constitutional commission created by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Unicameralism_sentence_47

Unlike in the United States, senators in the Senate of the Philippines are elected not per district and state but nationally; the Philippines is a unitary state. Unicameralism_sentence_48

The Philippine government's decision-making process, relative to the United States, is more rigid, highly centralised, much slower and susceptible to political gridlock. Unicameralism_sentence_49

As a result, the trend for unicameralism as well as other political system reforms are more contentious in the Philippines. Unicameralism_sentence_50

While Congress is bicameral, all local legislatures are unicameral: the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Boards), Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Councils), Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Councils), Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay Councils) and the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Councils). Unicameralism_sentence_51

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicameralism.