Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature - Unicameral vs Bicameral

By K Balaji|Updated : January 21st, 2023

The Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature is that a Unicameral Legislature has one decision-making chamber while a Bicameral Legislature has two compartments, frequently with separate rules and authority, that eventually must cooperate to make decisions and carry out other legislative duties. The two types of State legislatures, Unicameral and Bicameral, are important organs of the Government that are responsible to assist law-making in any country.

Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature PDF

Members are selected/elected in the legislature and are entrusted with responsibilities to achieve various operations. Aspirants for the UPSC have frequently been perplexed by the ‘difference between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature," thus, this post will help candidates with their UPSC exam preparation in understanding the fundamental meaning and differences between the two.

Table of Content

Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature

In a Unicameral Legislature, only one set of decision-makers must hear a measure before approval. On the other hand, in a Bicameral Legislature, both chambers must discuss and approve a bill before it can become law.

Unicameral vs Bicameral

The difference between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature are shown in the table below:

Bicameral Legislature

Unicameral Legislature

A Bicameral Legislature is characterized as a system of government in which the power to enact laws is shared between two separate houses or assemblies.

A Unicameral Legislature is distinguished because all of a state's legislative functions are carried out in only one chamber.

An upper house and a lower house, which comprise the parliament, each have a portion of the power to enact laws in a Bicameral Legislature.

Legislative power is centralized in a single house of parliament under a Unicameral Legislature.

A federal government with shared state powers and responsibilities between the federal government and the states is said to have a Bicameral Legislature.

It is a distinctive feature of a unitary form of government, which vests all authority in one central institution.

It takes longer to operate since both chambers must approve a bill to become law.

Since the ability to pass legislation is concentrated in a single house or assembly, it is often thought to be more effective than a Bicameral one. This is because it allows for quicker decisions than a Bicameral Legislature.

When deadlocks are common, a Bicameral Legislature is not the case. Since the two houses of parliament have equal power, when they disagree, an impasse results, which is then addressed by a joint session of both houses.

A deadlock in a Unicameral Legislature is extremely uncommon because only one authority can make laws in such a body.

A Bicameral Legislature is preferable for larger nations that need a division of authority between the federal and state levels.

For smaller countries, a Unicameral Legislature is preferred.

Unicameral and Bicameral 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, due to its simplicity, there are fewer chances of a deadlock situation.
  • New Zealand, Iran, Norway, Sweden, China, Hungary, and others are among the countries that use a Unicameral Legislature.

The Bicameral Legislature, also known as bicameralism, refers to a country's legislative body, which comprises 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 Legislature is used in the UK, US, India, Canada, Spain, Japan, and Italy, among other countries.

Bicameral Legislature States in India

Only 6 of India's 28 states and 8 union territories, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh, are Bicameral States in India. These 6 are the only states having bicameral legislature.

  • The members of the lower houses, referred to as Legislative Assemblies, are chosen by universal adult suffrage from single-member constituencies in state elections known as Vidhana Sabha, typically held every five years.
  • The upper chamber, known as the Legislative Council or Vidhana Parishad in the six states with Bicameral Legislatures, comprises one-third of elected officials who serve two-year terms.

Unicameral States in India

Indian states are the best examples to learn about the Unicameral Legislature. Aspirants may be aware that some of the state legislatures in India are Unicameral, meaning they have just one house to pass laws.

  • There are 24 states with a Unicameral Legislature in India out of 28 Indian States.
  • The Unicameral Legislature states in India are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Puducherry, Punjab, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Uttarakhand.

Conclusion:

Key Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature

The main benefit of a Unicameral Legislature is that passing law is straightforward, making it popular in countries where a Bicameral Legislature is unnecessary.

  • Several countries worldwide have selected Bicameralism in India to give all socioeconomic classes and businesses a voice.
  • It thus guarantees the representation of all socioeconomic classes.
  • Additionally, it avoids the concentration of power but could lead to impasses that make it more difficult to pass legislation.
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FAQs on Difference Between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature

  • The difference between Unicameral and Bicameral Legislature is that a unicameral legislature concentrates legislative power in just one chamber. On the other hand, in a bicameral legislature, the upper and lower house, which make up the parliament, share the power to enact laws.

  • To prevent hurried and harsh legislation, to restrict democracy, and to ensure debate, we need a Bicameral Legislature.

    • Every decision can be reevaluated because of a Bicameral Legislature.
    • This implies that each bill and policy would undergo two rounds of discussion.
    • It makes sure that everything is double-checked.
  • A federal state's Bicameral Legislature allows for adequate and equal representation of the populace. In contrast to a Unicameral Legislature, a Bicameral Legislature has a second chamber that checks and prohibits rash and poorly thought-out bill passage.

  • The disadvantage of a Unicameral Legislature is that the members of the unicameral chamber can occasionally be overly affected by the minority party as well as the majority government, which can result in legislation that is undemocratic and highly biased.

  • Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh are the only six of India's 28 states and 8 union territories to have Bicameral Legislatures.

  • The Articles of Indian Constitution created a unicameral legislature, called Congress, without a distinct executive and judicial branch. Individuals who wrote the Constitution in 1787 denied this structure; many of the Congress powers under the Articles became the powers of Congress under the Constitution.

  • Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Puducherry, Punjab, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, and Uttarakhand are the Indian states with Unicameral Legislatures.

  • The parliament is a Bicameral legislature because both the Houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) are involved in making legislation. Bicameral means 'two-Chamber' and contains two independent assemblies that must consent when new laws are created.

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