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Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature

Legislature refers to the law making body of a state. It is the first organ of the government. It has the power to make or change laws and oversee the administration of the government. The legislature can be of two types: unicameral and bicameral. Let us see how they differ from each other!

Unicameral Legislature:

Unicameral legislature refers to the practice of having only one parliamentary or legislative chamber to perform legislative activities or functions like passing a budget, enacting laws, oversee the administration, discussing matters of national or international importance. Most of the countries in the world have a unicameral legislature, e.g. Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Iran, Hungary, China, Sri Lanka etc.

This type of legislature is considered the most effective legislature as the lawmaking procedure is simple and there are fewer chances of deadlocks or gridlocks. Furthermore, a single chamber government need fewer resources and can be managed by fewer representatives that help save a lot of money and time of the government. The members of the unicameral legislature are directly elected by the people of the country.

Bicameral Legislature:

The bicameral legislature refers to the lawmaking body of a country that has two separate houses, assemblies or chambers to perform legislative functions like enacting laws, passing the budget, etc. Its main objective is to represent people from all the sectors or societies of the country. Some of the countries where the bicameral legislature is adopted include India, Canada, Japan, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom etc. Each country follows its own specific procedure to select members of the two houses. These chambers or houses are different from each other in terms of the number of seats, powers, voting process and so on. The bicameral system may not be as efficient as the unicameral system as there are two chambers for lawmaking so it may take a more time to a pass a law since the law needs to be approved by both the chambers.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between Unicameral and Bicameral legislature are as follows:

Unicameral Legislature Bicameral Legislature
It has only one house, assembly or chamber for lawmaking. It has two houses, assemblies or chambers for lawmaking.
It is suitable for small countries. It is suitable for large countries.
Countries with unicameral legislature are China, Iran, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden etc. Countries with bicameral legislature include India, the United States, France, Canada, Italy etc.
It is more efficient in passing laws as it needs approval from only one house to pass a law. It is less efficient as the approval from two houses is needed to pass a law which may take more time.
It may not have members from different segments of the society. So it does not fairly represent different sectors of society. It generally represents different segments of the society.
There are less chances of a deadlock situation in a unicameral legislature. Deadlock or gridlock situations are common in a bicameral legislature.
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