Recall that a unicameral legislature refers to the type of legislature in which there is only one house or chamber. To put it another way, in a unicameral legislature, all the legislators can be found in one house. Let’s highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of unicameral legislature.
Advantages of Unicameral Legislature
- One advantage of a unicameral legislature is that it is democratic. Democratic tenets postulate that people who make laws for the masses must be elected in a free and fair election. Members of a unicameral chamber are directly elected by the people, which makes it democratic.
- Also, unicameral legislature does not allow filibusters to carry out their nefarious activities as they do when there is a two chamber legislature.
- Unicameral legislature is easy to maintain, that is, it is cheaper to run than bicameral legislature, since there is no second chamber to maintain.
- Unicameral legislature is also known to be ideal for unitary states.
- In a bicameral legislature, some form of rivalry is present and unavoidable as the two chambers struggle for superiority. Unicameral legislature prevents squabbles as to which of the houses is upper and which is lower.
- Unicameral legislature provides room for a faster process of law making and is applicable in moments of emergency.
Disadvantages of Unicameral Legislature
- Unicameral legislature does not make room for adequate and equal representation in a country as large as Nigeria.
- A unicameral legislature creates room for the emergence of a dictatorial head of state because it does not check excesses as well as a bicameral legislature. The absence of a second chamber removes those moments of sober reflection on laws that are passed. It also creates the opportunity for a government to use the single chamber to force obnoxious laws through, especially if it has majority in the chamber.
- Another disadvantage of a unicameral legislature is that the members of the chamber can be unduly influenced especially by a ruling government that has majority in parliament but sometimes also by the minority party.
- Unicameral legislatures do not allow bills to be properly debated before they hastily passed.
- In a unicameral legislature, it is only one chamber that does all the work. There is no opportunity for assistance from a second chamber.