Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures
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Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures

Bicameralism under Pressure

Edited by Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone

Despite the importance of second chambers to the success of constitutional democracies around the world, today many fundamental questions about bicameralism remain understudied and undertheorized. What makes bicameral reform so difficult? Why choose bicameralism over unicameralism? What are the constitutional values of bicameralism? This innovative book addresses these questions and many more from comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical and theoretical perspectives.
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Chapter 13: The future of Polands second chamber: Is the Senate still needed?

Katarzyna Granat

Abstract

The chapter deals with the bicameral system of the Polish parliament consisting of the Sejm and Senate. It critically discusses possible reforms of the Senate in the light of experience of other bicameral systems. The chapter examines reform proposals relating to legislative, control, and elective functions of the parliament, as well as regarding its election system and term. Such reforms may enable the creation of a stronger bicameral system with more symmetrical powers and less congruent chambers. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether the reform of the Senate can be accomplished. In this respect, high thresholds for the constitutional amendment, and vested interests of the Sejm and the government present a potential obstacle to any reform of the Senate.

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