Alvis 3and the Christian Democratic Union ahead of upcoming elections.
And finally in theUnited States the Senate remains a focal point in efforts to obstruct President Obama'sagenda with reform of its archaic rules a strong desire for many activists and Senators.
This paper will examine the history and development of the concept of the upper house broadly before turning to examine in detail three different upper houses: theAmerican Senate, the German Bundestag, and the Canadian Senate by looking at their individual histories, composition, powers, and ways that each could be reformed.
II. A brief history of bicameralism
Legislative bodies of some sort have existed since pre-historic times. The RomanRepublic for instance, featured at least 4 distinct legislative bodies throughout itshistory.
While the Roman Empire and its successor states broadly ignored andmarginalized legislative bodies
the rise of feudalism in medieval Europe saw thecreation of many of the ancestral legislatures of modern Europe.
These bodies often differed from the looser Roman legislative arrangement in thatthere were strict relations and rules set between the various bodies.
Many though werenot bi-cameral, instead they were multi-cameral bodies such as the tri-cameral EstatesGeneral of France (consisting of the First, Second, and Third Estates representing theclergy, nobility, and commoners respectively)
the tetra-cameral Riksdag of the
8"Bundesrat Bringt Gesetzesentwurf Zur Homo-Ehe in Den Bundestag Ein," SPIEGEL ONLINE, March22, 2013, accessed May 17, 2013, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/bundesrat-bringt-gesetzesentwurf-zur-homo-ehe-in-den-bundestag-ein-a-890415.html9Sarah Binder, "Banning Filibusters: Is Nuclear Winter Coming to the Senate This Summer?," TheBrookings Institution, May 23, 2013, accessed May 23, 2013,http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2013/05/23-reid-nuclear-senate-ban-filibuster-binder 10Klaus Bringmann,
A History of the Roman Republic
(Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2007), 14, 45, 5, 8.11The Roman Senate, the
, and the
.12P. A. Brunt, "The Role of the Senate in the Augustan Regime," The Classical Quarterly 34, no. 02(1984): 423, http://www.jstor.org/stable/63830013And in some cases the actual legislature. Iceland's Althing for example has existed in some form since930. (http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/02/world/la-fg-iceland-free-speech-20110403) The ManxTynwald has met continuously as a parliamentary body since approximately the 13
century.(http://www.tynwald.org.im/Pages/default.aspx)14Senates, 215William Doyle, "The Estates General," in
The Oxford History of the French Revolution
(Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 2002), 86-112.