Posted by / Wednesday, 23 November 2016 / No comments

The disadvantages of a Bicameral Legislature

A bicameral legislature refers to that system in there is another legislature quite apart from the one that representatives have been directly elected into. In a bicameral legislature, the second chamber is referred to variously as the House of Lords in Britain, the Senate in the united States of America and Nigeria.

Operationally more expensive
The existence of the second chamber means that financial resources must be made available for the salaries and emoluments. This can put an undue pressure on the national purse at the expense of other urgent needs of the state.

Duplicates functions
It has been argued that the work that is done by the first chamber is thorough enough not to warrant the scrutiny of another body. The work of the second chamber is therefore described as a duplication of functions. This being so, the existence of the second chamber is just a waste of the human resource of the state. The existence of the second house is therefore frivolous.

May delay the wheel of governance
Laws are needed to regulate the conduct of people and to allow government business to flourish. Every government needs time to accomplish its plans. However, the existence of a second chamber tends to unduly slow down the speed at which bills are passed into law and subsequently reduces the number of things the government is capable of accomplishing.

Problem of composition
Various countries use different methods in the composition of the second chamber. While some use the elective principle or appointment, others just inherit their membership. These methods may be suitable for the countries that use it but it does not mean they are without disadvantages.

There could be conflicts
Sometimes, in the operation of bicameralism there could be deadlocks. This is especially so when the second chamber thinks some changes must effected on a bill and the first chamber thinks otherwise. It could develop into a display of power. The presence of such conflicts does not arguer well for the smooth administration of the state.

Location of responsibility
The involvement of both the elective and non-elective body of legislature in the passage of laws into bill makes it difficult to see exactly who is responsible for a particular legislation.

1. Highlight six disadvantages of a bicameral legislature. [12 marks]

2. Advance six reasons why some countries do not like the bicameral system of government. [12 marks]

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