Federations and Second Chambers

Federations and Second Chambers

[Taken from   FEDERALIAM TEACHING MATERIAL( JLSRI)  by Dr. Assefa Fissha]

…It  is  argued  that  a  second chamber based on a different composition and representing the interests of states, more specifically  less populous states, is an  institution that reflects the normative diversity  inherent  in  federalism.  It  is  also suggested  that  second  chambers reflecting  the  entrenched  representation  of  the  states  distinguishes  federations from  other  types  of  polities.  This  chapter,  comparative  in  its  approach, commences by considering  the underlying  rationale  for having second chambers and then proceeds to their manner of composition, election and more importantly,
the powers entrusted upon them by their respective constitutions. The main point that the author develops is the idea that the Ethiopian Constitution, by establishing a  non-legislative  upper  house,  runs  the  risk  of  concentration  of  power  at  the center, to the exclusion of the states, and consequently leaves the states alone. The Constitution fails to ensure the constituent units‟ proper place in the institutions of power sharing as well as  in  the process of policy-making at  federal  level and  by doing so it betrays the federal idea significantly..

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