3-5 - Bicameralism Symmetric (Unites States) vs. Asymmetric...

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Bicameralism Symmetric (Unites States) vs. Asymmetric o Are powers of houses equal or unequal o Asymmetric (UK) = upper house can veto a law, or can only propose (usually lower house has upper hand) Congruent vs. Incongruent o Composition of upper and lower house o Exact same mode of election and constituencies (congruent) o Incongruent (US) different constituencies and terms (sometimes ethnic groups) Are some groups overrepresented (eg. small states) Strong bicameralism: symmetric and incongruent o Important because you shouldn’t replicate same house twice and if asymmetrical it’s representing different groups of people American Senate 20 smallest states elect 40 senators Together their population is 31.6 million (or 11% of total) Together they can block any law For comparison, California’s population is 33.9 million Problems of Bicameralism Allows minorities to block policies Problem of unequal representation o Not one person, one vote o One vote in Wyoming worth 70 in California Esp. in Latin America (with wealthy having more representation)
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course POLI_SCI 250 taught by Professor Roberts during the Winter '08 term at Northwestern.

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3-5 - Bicameralism Symmetric (Unites States) vs. Asymmetric...

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