In unicameral systems, there is one legislative body or chamber. Frequently used in unitary systems, there are many small countries that turn to unicameral when writing a new constitution. Unicameral legislatures, like that of Portugal, are comprised of a single, popularly elected chamber. In bicameral systems, there are two chambers of the legislature. Larger democracies use a bicameral system. In the United States, the congress (legislative branch) is comprised of the House and the Senate, making it a bicameral system. Aside from the number of chambers, the two have several differences. First, unicameral systems have the ability to quickly enact a bill. This is because there is no need for an absolute compromise between two chambers of the legislature. It is highly efficient in getting legislation passed. Bicameral systems, however, do not have this ability. One drawback of bicameral systems is that the passing of legislation is a long and drawn-out process. In the United States, the House will propose a bill, vote on the language, and send it to the Senate. If the Senate does not agree with the language ...
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...is a more effective system?
In terms of effectiveness, unicameral is significantly better. Because it does not require two branches to adopt exactly the same bill, it is much easier to have legislation passed in a unicameral system. Citizens of the United States are used to turning on the news and hearing stories about an opposition congress, a laying duck president, and a frozen legislative branch. The two branches of congress have become polarized to the extent where they simply do not govern together. In a unicameral system, this is not a possibility. Though fewer voices are heard, the legislative body can act as one and govern more effectively. Money is not spent foolishly: paying many different people to do the same job. In unicameral systems, the legislature simply functions better. Bicameral systems, though more equal, are not effective forms of government.
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