Bicameralism is a form of governance where there are two legislative bodies entrusted with the duty of making laws. Lawmaking is the right and sole purpose of legislatives. Instead of having one legislative, the whole apparatus is divided into an upper house and a lower house. Like the British House of Commons and House of Lords or the Senate and the House of Representatives in the United States, many countries have adopted bicameralism or a bicameral legislature. Like all forms of governance or government, there are some substantial bicameralism pros and cons.
List of Pros of Bicameralism
1. Representative Democracy
Bicameralism is a manifestation of representative democracy. Large countries that have big states or provinces, which are populous and have people from various races or ethnicities, belonging to different strata of the society with diverse culture and financial strength, there should be enough elected people representing all the masses, each and every section. In a unicameral legislature, it is quite possible that some people or some sections will not have true representation and may be excluded from the focuses of lawmakers. By having every denomination represented through the larger lower house, whether it is House of Commons or House of Representatives, even the last hamlet with its last citizen can be represented.
2. Holistic Policies
The senate or upper house has almost always comprised of people who are deemed to be from the elite or from the fraternity that has traditionally been privileged. They are not always seen as people from the grassroots although people with humble beginnings have made it to the upper house or senate. The policies made by the elite are often seen and also turn out to be in favor of the elite. With bicameralism, one can find the balance between populism and pragmatism. Courtesy holistic policies, industry or commerce and the economy can grow parallel to the social programs meant for the poor or underprivileged.
List of Cons of Bicameralism
1. Policy Deadlocks
While neither the upper house nor the lower house gets a free run to pass any laws they feel like and a balance is attained by compelling the houses to reach a consensus, this can lead to policy deadlocks. The lower house can block legislature that it deems unfit or unsuitable given their interests and goals. The upper house can block policies that don’t suit their endgame. This can lead to policy paralysis.
2. Lobbying & Wastage of Funds
Far too much lobbying is invested in. Wasting time and resources in both houses without much business can lead to wasting funds, which is essentially taxpayer money.