Second chambers in modern democracies
Second chambers have been created by modern democracies to check on the powers of the assembly. These second chambers are able to criticize, amend and even reject any procedures passed by the other chamber. The second chambers help to check and control any events by the other chamber (Russell 2001a, p. 445). When the American States drafted its constitutions they purposely introduced the second chamber in replication of the British Parliament. Most countries have followed the same procedure.
All these countries created the second chamber which was aimed at reviewing the measures passed by the house so as to avoid unnecessary rush in passing of important laws. It also helped to focus each plan of law to amendment which might bring in improvement in variety of ways. Discussion Second chambers can be created in a number of ways in these different countries. Federal government created a second chamber for a representation purpose of the several communities which made up the federation.
In the Unitary countries some gave the head of the executive the authority to nominate any person deemed fit for the second chamber. Some other countries restricted those powers of the executive in nominating in terms of age and maybe the offices they held before, the property one possesses. Some chambers are elected by voters possessing a low property requirement. In other countries the second chamber openly elected by the people (Patterson 1999). Second chambers elected on common suffrage like the American Senate and Australian Senate have equal influence both lawfully and practically to the first House.
Russell (2001a, p. 443-445) argues that there is a difference between the two houses primarily on matters of finance. Those who are not elected by the tax-payer are not entitled to equal powers with those that are elected by the tax-payer. The second chamber’s powers differ depending with the manner in which it was formed. The second chamber that is popular has more power than those that are not popular. Second chamber that are elected by voters secures a representative quality the same as to that of the other chamber.
When the second house is elected at the same time with the first House it more likely to be controlled by the political party but if they are elected at different times the one that comes later will be deemed the one that truly represent the people’s desires. Whichever way members of the second chamber are nominated, it has it defects. The power of the second chamber determines the structure of this chamber. Likewise the structure of this chamber will also affect the powers of this chamber.
This means that if the chamber is given broad powers then the second chamber will need to be constructed in such away that it will fit these powers and this means that the chamber should be tough to be able to exercise those powers. But if the powers are narrow then the chamber can be constructed in such a manner to exercise narrow powers. The second chamber can derive its powers from the traditional respect felt for it by the people. If the members of the second chamber have a noble history this will mean that they belong to an influential class and enjoy societal merit.
The second chamber can also enjoy power derived from its representative’s characters. If the second chamber was elected by the people then it will mean that it serves the wish of the people. Those chambers that are not directly elected by the people believe to be weaker as compared to the first chamber because they are deemed not to serve the best interest of people. The members of the second chamber from their personal merit and rational eminence can help them have the influence and this will compensate for the deficiency of popular election from people and it will make their decisions and argument hold weight with the country.