TPP Passes Second Reading – From Perspective of US Citizen Living in New Zealand

Posted by | International Affairs, Politics | 0 |

That is interesting that Cote (how to you type that accent circonflexe on the “o” – special French keyboard or setting?) d’Ivoire is going the other way. How is it more modern and what does that mean actually, i.e. being more modern. Having lived here in a unicameral system with a Prime Minister who forms a coalition to rule, when necessary, I think there are some advantages. Speed is a major advantage. We have no upper house in NZ. But there is a bicameral system in Germany but the roles of the two bodies seem to be defined differently. Below is a passage on the Bundesrat.

This election, I think, will demonstrate the pitfalls of the bicameral system in the US. Hillary Clinton will be President and you will have a House of Representatives that tries to undermine or impeach her. This is not possible in Germany as Angela Merkel’s party winning a majority of votes in the general election by definition means they control the Bundestag.

Changes to the constitution in Germany in 1949, from I understand, which changed the role of the Bundesrat, should be considered in the United States, I think. This would mean that States with smaller populations get fewer seats in the Senate. With these changes, legislative gridlock could be reduced, I think.

” The composition of the Bundesrat is different from other similar legislative bodies representing states (such as the Russian Federation Council or the U.S. Senate). Bundesrat members are not elected—either by popular vote or by the state parliaments—but are delegated by the respective state government.
Diagram of the Bundesrat as 11 August 2016

Normally, a state delegation consists of the minister-president (First Mayor in Bremen and Hamburg, Governing Mayor of Berlin) and other cabinet ministers (senators in the city states). The state cabinet may appoint as many delegates as the state has votes (all other ministers/senators are usually appointed as deputy delegates), but may also send just a single delegate to exercise all of the state’s votes. In any case, the state has to cast its votes en bloc, i.e., without vote splitting. As state elections are not coordinated across Germany and can occur at any time, the majority distributions in the Bundesrat can change after any such election.
The number of votes a state is allocated is based on a form of degressive proportionality according to its population. This way, smaller states have more votes than a distribution proportional to the population would grant. The allocation of votes is regulated by the German constitution (Grundgesetz).[3] All of a state’s votes are cast en bloc—either for or against or in abstention of a proposal. Each state is allocated at least three votes, and a maximum of six. States with more than

  • 2 million inhabitants have 4 votes,
  • 6 million inhabitants have 5 votes,
  • 7 million inhabitants have 6 votes.

On 7/11/2016, at 6:40 AM, Daniel Langenkamp <daniellangenkamp> wrote:

We have a good reason for a bicameral system. It was a comprimise that balanced the senate, which gave lots of power to small states, with the congress, which gave more power to the large states. That need for balance still holds. I guess it depends on what kind of states or provinces you have. If they all have equal populations, you wouldn’t need a bicameral system.

In Côte d’Ivoire we are going to a bicameral system and it is being touted as more “modern.”

In any event, I agree that our system is broken.

Dan Langenkamp
202-957-2261
From my iPhone. Please forgive any typos.

On Nov 3, 2016, at 19:41, Matthew Langenkamp <mlangenkamp> wrote:

Did you now much of the current system was modelled on Germany now the UK?

Matthew

On 4/11/2016, at 7:42 AM, Dobie Langenkamp <rdlangenkamp> wrote:

The issue of a unicameral system has never been raised in my lifetime in the US –but a good case can be made for it. Perhaps the Madisonian idea of checks and balances has been overdone. Ivory Coast is going the other way from Unicameral to Bicameral.—Love ,Dad

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