Posted by / Wednesday 23 November 2016 / No comments

The disadvantages of a Unicameral Legislature

Definition of unicameral legislature
A unicameral legislature refers to the type of legislature in which there is only one house or chamber. In other words, all the legislators can be found in one house.

Legislation may be hastily passed
The absence of a second chamber robs the first chamber of the cool head that is needed in the passage of bills. In the absence of the second chamber, there is the danger of passing bad laws.

No representation for unique interests
The second chamber is useful for bringing into government people with expert knowledge, who otherwise would not have found themselves in government because they do not want to go through all the drudgery of political campaign. This advantage is absent in a unicameral legislature.

Can be dictatorial
The absence of a second chamber removes those moments of sober reflection on laws that are passed. It also creates the opportunity for a government to use the single chamber to force obnoxious laws through, especially if it has majority in the chamber.

The work load is greater
In a unicameral legislature, it is only one chamber that does all the work. There is no opportunity for assistance from a second chamber. As a result, the work load becomes too heavy on the shoulders of the chamber.

Not applicable in federal systems of government
In a federal system of government, a second chamber allows for the equal representation of interests within the state. For this reason, unicameral legislature is not suitable for a federal system. 

Susceptible to party influence
Another disadvantage of a unicameral legislature is that the members of the chamber can be unduly influenced especially by a ruling government that has majority in parliament but sometimes also by the minority party. The members could be influenced to vote on a particular direction without recourse to their own conscience.

1. Highlight six disadvantages of a unicameral legislature.

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