UnicameralismUnicameralism is the practice of having only one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Most states have two houses, for instance the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, France, Italy and others.
Countries that possess a single chamber parliament or legislature include the People's Republic of China (the National People's Congress), the Republic of China (Taiwan), Croatia, Iceland, Sweden, Portugal, and New Zealand. Subnational entities with unicameral legislatures include Nebraska in the United States, Queensland in Australia, and all of the provinces and territories in Canada. In the United Kingdom, the devolved Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly are also unicameral.
Many countries with unicameral legislatures are small, unitary states, which consider an upper house or second chamber to be unnecessary, in many instances having abolished the second chamber where one existed. This is either because an elected upper house has duplicated the lower house and obstructed the passing of legislation, like the Landsting in Denmark (abolished in 1953), or because an appointed chamber has proven ineffectual, like the Legislative Council in New Zealand, (abolished in 1951). Unicameralists argue that the functions of a second chamber, such as reviewing or revising legislation, can be performed by parliamentary committees, while further constitutional safeguards can be provided by a written Constitution.
See also: Bicameralism