Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 15, 2022, 14:01

The legislature is a branch of government with the capacity to enact legislation and oversee government operations. There are two types of legislatures in use around the world: unicameral and bicameral legislatures. A unicameral legislature is a form of government in which a single central institution has sole authority to pass laws and make policy decisions.

A bicameral legislature, on the other hand, is one in which there are two chambers of Parliament, one representing the states and the other representing the people of the country. The two houses of the legislature share power under this sort of legislature. Let's have a look at this article to see the difference between Unicameral and Bicameral.

What is the Unicameral Legislature?

When there is only one house in a parliamentary system to perform all of the legislative functions, such as enacting laws, passing budgets, overseeing the administration, and debating developmental plans, international relations, national plans, and so on, this is referred to as a Unicameral legislature or Unicameralism.

In the case of a unicameral legislature, the members are directly elected by the people, and so it represents all of them. Furthermore, there are fewer chances of a deadlock situation due to its simplicity.

New Zealand, Iran, Norway, Sweden, China, Hungary, and others are among the countries that use a unicameral legislature.

What is Bicameral Legislature?

The bicameral legislature, also known as bicameralism, refers to a country's legislative body, which is made up of two different chambers, the Upper and Lower houses, which share authority. Its main goal is to ensure that all sectors or segments of society are represented in the Parliament in a just and equitable manner.

The bicameral system is used in the UK, US, India, Canada, Spain, Japan, and Italy, among other countries.

Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral

The following distinctions between unicameral and bicameral legislatures can be identified clearly:

  1. The unicameral legislature often called unicameralism is a legislative system in which there is only one chamber or assembly. Whereas a bicameral legislature is a form of government in which powers and authority are split between two chambers.
  2. The functions of a unicameral government are concentrated in a single body of Parliament. In a bicameral government, on the other hand, the powers are shared between the Upper and Lower Houses.
  3. When a country is organized on a unitary form of government, the unicameral legislature is used. On the contrary, in a country with a federal system of government, the bicameral legislature is used.
  4. In comparison to the bicameral legislature, the unicameral legislature is more efficient in making policy and lawmaking decisions. Because there is only one house in a unicameral legislature, passing legislation takes less time. In a bicameral legislature, however, the bill must be enacted by both houses of parliament in order to become an act.
  5. The possibilities of a deadlock situation in a unicameral legislature are slim to none. In the case of a bicameral legislature, however, the impasse is common when the two houses disagree on an ordinary bill. In such a circumstance, the President convenes a joint session of both chambers to break the deadlock.
  6. Smaller countries benefit from having a unicameral legislature. The bicameral legislature, on the other hand, is ideal for large countries.

The unicameral legislature is popular in countries where a bicameral legislature is not required, and the principal advantage is that lawmaking is simple. Many countries around the world have chosen a bicameral legislature to provide all social groups and industries with a voice. As a result, it ensures that all socioeconomic groups are represented. Furthermore, it prevents power concentration but may result in deadlocks, making legislation harder to pass. Hope this article helped you better understand the difference between Unicameral and Bicameral.

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FAQS on Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral

Q.1) Does bicameral have any advantages over unicameral legislature?

Stability, more diverse representation and the passage of quality legislation are all advantages of a bicameral legislature. 

Q.2) Bicameral and unicameral legislatures, what is the significant difference?

The unicameral legislature, also known as unicameralism, is a legislative system in which only one house or assembly is present. Whereas a bicameral legislature is a form of government in which power is split between two houses.

Q.3) Are there any downsides of the bicameral legislature?

Deadlock and unequal representation are two downsides.

Q.4) Which legislature prevents abuse of power and how?

Bicameral legislature helps prevent the legislative branch from wielding too much power by splitting power within the legislative branch.