Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The Justification of Bicameralism

William H. Riker
International Political Science Review / Revue internationale de science politique
Vol. 13, No. 1, Applications of Political Theory in the Study of Politics. Applications de la théorie politique à l'étude du politique (Jan., 1992), pp. 101-116
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1601440
Page Count: 16
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($40.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available

Abstract

The main disadvantage of unicameral legislatures operating by simple majority rule is that, when politics is two-dimensional, they allow the adoption of out-of-equilibrium policies. Since in such cases a majority opposed to what a majority has adopted, the result is majority tyranny. To minimize such tyranny, it is necessary to delay action until a true majority in society is arrived at. Of the several methods of delay -- supermajorityism, multipartyism, multicameralism -- the best is multicameralism because it allows for simple majority rule when politics is one-dimensional (and hence when a median voter equilibrium is likely to exist) yet discourages decision when politics is two-dimensional (and hence when, almost certainly, no equilibrium exists). /// Les systèmes parlementaires à chambre unique ont pour défaut majeur de permettre l'adoption de politiques 'déséquilibrées' lorsque la loi de la majorité s'impose à des systèmes d'opinion à deux dimensions. Le bicaméralisme réduit les risques de tyrannie de la majorité car l'existence de deux chambres permet de repousser les décisions jusqu'à ce que se soit forgée une majorité véritable. Parmi les différents moyens de repousser les décisions -- majorités qualifiées, multipartisme, multicaméralisme -- ce dernier est préférable car il s'accommode de la simple majorité lorsque le système politique est unidimensionnel tout en faisant obstacle à la décision trop rapide lorsque ce dernier est à deux dimensions.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[101]
    [101]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
102
    102
  • Thumbnail: Page 
103
    103
  • Thumbnail: Page 
104
    104
  • Thumbnail: Page 
105
    105
  • Thumbnail: Page 
106
    106
  • Thumbnail: Page 
107
    107
  • Thumbnail: Page 
108
    108
  • Thumbnail: Page 
109
    109
  • Thumbnail: Page 
110
    110
  • Thumbnail: Page 
111
    111
  • Thumbnail: Page 
112
    112
  • Thumbnail: Page 
113
    113
  • Thumbnail: Page 
114
    114
  • Thumbnail: Page 
115
    115
  • Thumbnail: Page 
116
    116