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 Schwerpunkt  Bicameralism and its Discontents

Ireland’s Senate: An Introduction

Eoin Carolan

When the current Government proposed its abolition in a referendum in 2013, perhaps the most notable feature of the debate was the consensus on all sides that there is little, if any, justification for the retention of the Seanad in its current form. In a result that contradicted pre-referendum opinion polls, voters rejected the proposed abolition. Given the widespread agreement during the campaign about the inadequacy of the current institution, attention naturally turned to the question of how the Seanad might be reformed. Weiterlesen

270 Eoin Carolan
 Schwerpunkt  Bicameralism and its Discontents

The UK House of Lords

Dawn Oliver

The UK does not have a supreme court with power to strike down laws that are contrary to the constitution, human rights and so on. Instead the system relies heavily on intra-parliamentary mechanisms, operating in the House of Lords. While the current unelected composition of the Lords is controversial and difficult to justify rationally, it is widely agreed across the political spectrum that the Chamber discharges its functions in legislative scrutiny and examination of public polices well. Weiterlesen

268 Dawn Oliver
 Schwerpunkt  Bicameralism and its Discontents

The Canadian Senate and the (Im)Possibilities of Reform

Hoi Kong

The framers of Canada’s Constitution had a vision for the Senate as a complementary, deliberative body bringing regional perspectives to national issues and genuine powers of oversight and sober second thought. It is widely agreed, though, that the Senate’s constitutional configuration stains Canada’s public institutions. The Senate needs change, but the impulse to reform is stifled by the reluctance of officials to open the constitutional amending formula. Weiterlesen

266 Hoi Kong
 Schwerpunkt  Bicameralism and its Discontents

Bicameralism and its Discontents

Johannes Bethge

Parliamentary second chambers are a common, yet peculiar feature of constitutions worldwide. Their diversity of design and the assorted roles they play in majoritarian democracies are reason enough for a comparative analysis, but there is more: Bicameralism – and its discontents – is in the air. Countries within and outside of Europe have recently made attempts to reform or abolish their respective upper houses. We have asked distinguished scholars from all of these nations to provide us with accounts of the debates in their countries. Weiterlesen

168 Johannes Bethge