Lower house

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Dail Eireann Dail Chamber.jpg
Dáil Éireann

A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. [1]

A debate chamber is a room for people to discuss and debate. Debate chambers are used in governmental and educational bodies, such as a parliament, congress, city council, or a university, either for formal proceedings or for informal discourse, such as a deliberative assembly. When used for legislative purposes, a debate chamber may also be known as a council chamber, legislative chamber, or similar term. Some countries, such as New Zealand, use the term debating chamber as a formal name for the room that houses the national legislature.

A bicameral legislature has legislators in two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, and from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. As of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures are bicameral.

A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.

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Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide, the lower house has come to wield more power. The lower house typically is the larger of the two chambers, i.e. its members are more numerous. A legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.

In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house.

Common attributes

In comparison with the upper house, lower houses frequently display certain characteristics (though they vary per jurisdiction).

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Parliamentary system form of government

A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

A motion of no-confidence, alternatively vote of no confidence, or confidence motion, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility is no longer deemed fit to hold that position, perhaps because they are inadequate in some respect, are failing to carry out obligations, or are making decisions that other members feel detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in the appointed government. In some countries, if a no confidence motion is passed against an individual minister they have to resign along with the entire council of ministers.

A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.

Status of lower house
Administrative division A territorial entity for administration purposes

An administrative division, unit, entity, area or region, also referred to as a subnational entity, constituent unit, or country subdivision, is a portion of a country or other region delineated for the purpose of administration. Administrative divisions are granted a certain degree of autonomy and are usually required to manage themselves through their own local governments. Countries are divided up into these smaller units to make managing their land and the affairs of their people easier. A country may be divided into provinces, which, in turn, may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities.

Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party as their favorite, then roughly n% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result—not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats.

Election Process by which a population chooses the holder of a public office

An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government. This process is also used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations.

The government of the day is usually required to present its budget to the lower house, which must approve the budget. It is a widespread practice for revenue (ie., appropriation) bills to originate in the lower house.

Titles of lower houses

Australian House of Representatives Australian House of Representatives - Parliament of Australia.jpg
Australian House of Representatives

Many lower houses are named in manners such as these:

See also

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References

  1. Bicameralism (1997) by George Tsebelis.