|Legislatures by country|
Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide, the lower house has come to wield more power.
A legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.
In comparison with the upper house, lower houses frequently display certain characteristics:
- In a parliamentary system:
- Much more power, usually based on restrictions against the upper house.
- Able to override the upper house in some ways.
- Can vote a motion of no confidence against the government.
- Exception is Australia, where the Senate has considerable power approximate to that of the House of Representatives
- In a presidential system:
- Somewhat less power, as the upper house alone gives advice and consent to some executives decisions (e.g. appointments).
- Given the sole power to impeach the executive (the upper house then tries the impeachment)
- Always elected directly, while the upper house may be elected indirectly, or not elected at all.
- Its members may be elected with a different voting system to the upper house.
- Most populated administrative divisions are better represented than in the upper house; representation is usually proportional to population.
- Elected more frequently.
- Elected all at once, not by staggered terms.
- In a parliamentary system, can be dissolved by the executive.
- More members.
- Has total or original control over budget and monetary laws.
- Lower age of candidacy than the upper house.
Titles of lower houses
Many lower houses are named in the following manner: House/Chamber of Representatives/the People/Commons/Deputies.
- Chamber of Deputies
- Chamber of Representatives
- House of Assembly
- House of Representatives
- House of Commons
- House of Delegates
- Legislative Assembly
- National Assembly
- Lok Sabha (India)
- Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (Indonesia)
- Dáil Éireann (Ireland)
- Dewan Rakyat (Malaysia)
- Congress of Deputies (Spain)
- Mazhilis (Kazakhstan)
- House of Keys (Isle of Man)
- Sejm (Republic of Poland) (not to be confused with the Great Sejm)
- State Duma (Russia)
- Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber) (Netherlands)
Notes and references
- Bicameralism (1997) by George Tsebelis