Governor-General of the Bahamas
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is the representative of the Bahamian monarch. As The Queen cannot reside in all her realms, she appoints representatives to carry out her duties as Queen of the Bahamas. Governors-General serve their term at Her Majesty's pleasure five years, they are responsible for appointing the Prime Minister as well as other government Ministers after consultations with the Prime Minister. Government House in Nassau is the official residence of governors-general; the current Governor-General is Dame Marguerite Pindling. List of governors of the Bahamas List of Prime Ministers of the Bahamas Georgetown University
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states; the Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories. It was created as the British Commonwealth through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931; the current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community, established the member states as "free and equal". The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor, although the position is not technically hereditary.
The Queen is the head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 32 other members are republics and five others have different monarchs. Member states have no legal obligations to one another. Instead, they are united by English language, history and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law; these values are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games. The countries of the Commonwealth cover more than 29,958,050 km2, equivalent to 20% of the world's land area, span all six inhabited continents. Queen Elizabeth II, in her address to Canada on Dominion Day in 1959, pointed out that the confederation of Canada on 1 July 1867 had been the birth of the "first independent country within the British Empire", she declared: "So, it marks the beginning of that free association of independent states, now known as the Commonwealth of Nations." As long ago as 1884 Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia, had described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
Conferences of British and colonial prime ministers occurred periodically from the first one in 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in 1911. The Commonwealth developed from the imperial conferences. A specific proposal was presented by Jan Smuts in 1917 when he coined the term "the British Commonwealth of Nations" and envisioned the "future constitutional relations and readjustments in essence" at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, attended by delegates from the Dominions as well as Britain; the term first received imperial statutory recognition in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, when the term British Commonwealth of Nations was substituted for British Empire in the wording of the oath taken by members of parliament of the Irish Free State. In the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
The term "Commonwealth" was adopted to describe the community. These aspects to the relationship were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which applied to Canada without the need for ratification, but Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland had to ratify the statute for it to take effect. Newfoundland never did, as on 16 February 1934, with the consent of its parliament, the government of Newfoundland voluntarily ended and governance reverted to direct control from London. Newfoundland joined Canada as its 10th province in 1949. Australia and New Zealand ratified the Statute in 1947 respectively. Although the Union of South Africa was not among the Dominions that needed to adopt the Statute of Westminster for it to take effect, two laws—the Status of the Union Act, 1934, the Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act of 1934—were passed to confirm South Africa's status as a sovereign state. After the Second World War ended, the British Empire was dismantled. Most of its components have become independent countries, whether Commonwealth realms or republics, members of the Commonwealth.
There remain the 14 self-governing British overseas territories which retain some political association with the United Kingdom. In April 1949, following the London Declaration, the word "British" was dropped from the title of the Commonwealth to reflect its changing nature. Burma and Aden are the only states that were British colonies at the time of the war not to have joined the Commonwealth upon independence. Former British protectorates and mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Sudan, British Somaliland, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates; the postwar Commonwealth was given a fresh mission by Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas Day 1953 broadcast, in which she envisioned the Commonwealth as "an new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship and the desire for freedom and peace". Hoped for success was reinforced by such achievements as climbing Mount Everest in 1953, breaking the four-minute mile in 1954
In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. A modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries; the term is similar to the idea of a senate, synod or congress, is used in countries that are current or former monarchies, a form of government with a monarch as the head. Some contexts restrict the use of the word parliament to parliamentary systems, although it is used to describe the legislature in some presidential systems where it is not in the official name. Parliaments included various kinds of deliberative and judicial assemblies, e.g. mediaeval parlements. The English term is derived from Anglo-Norman and dates to the 14th century, coming from the 11th century Old French parlement, from parler, meaning "to talk"; the meaning evolved over time referring to any discussion, conversation, or negotiation through various kinds of deliberative or judicial groups summoned by a monarch.
By the 15th century, in Britain, it had come to mean the legislature. Since ancient times, when societies were tribal, there were councils or a headman whose decisions were assessed by village elders; this is called tribalism. Some scholars suggest that in ancient Mesopotamia there was a primitive democratic government where the kings were assessed by council; the same has been said about ancient India, where some form of deliberative assemblies existed, therefore there was some form of democracy. However, these claims are not accepted by most scholars, who see these forms of government as oligarchies. Ancient Athens was the cradle of democracy; the Athenian assembly was the most important institution, every free male citizen could take part in the discussions. Slaves and women could not. However, Athenian democracy was not representative, but rather direct, therefore the ekklesia was different from the parliamentary system; the Roman Republic had legislative assemblies, who had the final say regarding the election of magistrates, the enactment of new statutes, the carrying out of capital punishment, the declaration of war and peace, the creation of alliances.
The Roman Senate controlled money and the details of foreign policy. Some Muslim scholars argue. However, others highlight what they consider fundamental differences between the shura system and the parliamentary system. Although there are documented councils held in 873, 1020, 1050 and 1063, there was no representation of commoners. What is considered to be the first parliament, the Cortes of León, was held in the Kingdom of León in 1188. According to the UNESCO, the Decreta of Leon of 1188 is the oldest documentary manifestation of the European parliamentary system. In addition, UNESCO granted the 1188 Cortes of Alfonso IX the title of "Memory of the World" and the city of Leon has been recognized as the "Cradle of Parliamentarism". After coming to power, King Alfonso IX, facing an attack by his two neighbors and Portugal, decided to summon the "Royal Curia"; this was a medieval organisation composed of aristocrats and bishops but because of the seriousness of the situation and the need to maximise political support, Alfonso IX took the decision to call the representatives of the urban middle class from the most important cities of the kingdom to the assembly.
León's Cortes dealt with matters like the right to private property, the inviolability of domicile, the right to appeal to justice opposite the King and the obligation of the King to consult the Cortes before entering a war. Prelates and commoners met separately in the three estates of the Cortes. In this meeting new laws were approved to protect commoners against the arbitrarities of nobles and the king; this important set of laws is known as the Carta Magna Leonesa. Following this event, new Cortes would appear in the other different territories that would make up Spain: Principality of Catalonia in 1192, the Kingdom of Castile in 1250, Kingdom of Aragon in 1274, Kingdom of Valencia in 1283 and Kingdom of Navarre in 1300. After the union of the Kingdoms of Leon and Castile under the Crown of Castile, their Cortes were united as well in 1258; the Castilian Cortes had representatives from Burgos, Toledo, León, Seville, Córdoba, Murcia, Jaén, Segovia, Ávila, Cuenca, Valladolid, Madrid and Granada.
The Cortes' assent was required to pass new taxes, could advise the king on other matters. The comunero rebels intended a stronger role for the Cortes, but were defeated by the forces of Habsburg Emperor Charles V in 1521; the Cortes maintained some power, though it became more of a consultative entity. However, by the time of King Philip II, Charles's son, the Castilian Cortes had come under functionally complete royal control, with its delegates dependent on the Crown for their income; the Cortes of the Crown of Aragon kingdoms retained their power to control the king's spending with regard to the finances of those kingdoms. But after the War of the Spanish Succession and the victory of another royal house – the Bourbons – and King Philip V, their Cortes were suppressed. Claims that Spain was united under the Catholic Monarchs in the late 15th century are belied by these facts.
Charles II of England
Charles II was king of England and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, king of England and Ireland from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 until his death. Charles II's father, Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War. Although the Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II king on 5 February 1649, England entered the period known as the English Interregnum or the English Commonwealth, the country was a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell defeated Charles II at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, Charles fled to mainland Europe. Cromwell became virtual dictator of England and Ireland. Charles spent the next nine years in exile in France, the Dutch Republic and the Spanish Netherlands. A political crisis that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy, Charles was invited to return to Britain. On 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday, he was received in London to public acclaim.
After 1660, all legal documents were dated as if he had succeeded his father as king in 1649. Charles's English parliament enacted laws known as the Clarendon Code, designed to shore up the position of the re-established Church of England. Charles acquiesced to the Clarendon Code though he favoured a policy of religious tolerance; the major foreign policy issue of his early reign was the Second Anglo-Dutch War. In 1670, he entered into the Treaty of Dover, an alliance with his first cousin King Louis XIV of France. Louis agreed to aid him in the Third Anglo-Dutch War and pay him a pension, Charles secretly promised to convert to Catholicism at an unspecified future date. Charles attempted to introduce religious freedom for Catholics and Protestant dissenters with his 1672 Royal Declaration of Indulgence, but the English Parliament forced him to withdraw it. In 1679, Titus Oates's revelations of a supposed Popish Plot sparked the Exclusion Crisis when it was revealed that Charles's brother and heir, Duke of York, was a Catholic.
The crisis saw the birth of anti-exclusion Tory parties. Charles sided with the Tories, following the discovery of the Rye House Plot to murder Charles and James in 1683, some Whig leaders were executed or forced into exile. Charles dissolved the English Parliament in 1681, ruled alone until his death on 6 February 1685, he was received into the Catholic Church on his deathbed. Charles was one of the most popular and beloved kings of England, known as the Merry Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism of his court and the general relief at the return to normality after over a decade of rule by Cromwell and the Puritans. Charles's wife, Catherine of Braganza, bore no live children, but Charles acknowledged at least twelve illegitimate children by various mistresses, he was succeeded by his brother James. Charles II was born at St James's Palace on 29 May 1630, his parents were Charles I, who ruled the three kingdoms of England and Ireland, Henrietta Maria, the sister of the French king Louis XIII.
Charles was their second child. Their first son died within a day. England and Ireland were predominantly Anglican and Catholic. Charles was baptised in the Chapel Royal, on 27 June, by the Anglican Bishop of London, William Laud, he was brought up in the care of the Protestant Countess of Dorset, though his godparents included his maternal uncle Louis XIII and his maternal grandmother, Marie de' Medici, the Dowager Queen of France, both of whom were Catholics. At birth, Charles automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, along with several other associated titles. At or around his eighth birthday, he was designated Prince of Wales, though he was never formally invested. During the 1640s, when Charles was still young, his father fought Parliamentary and Puritan forces in the English Civil War. Charles accompanied his father during the Battle of Edgehill and, at the age of fourteen, participated in the campaigns of 1645, when he was made titular commander of the English forces in the West Country.
By spring 1646, his father was losing the war, Charles left England due to fears for his safety. Setting off from Falmouth after staying at Pendennis Castle, he went first to the Isles of Scilly to Jersey, to France, where his mother was living in exile and his first cousin, eight-year-old Louis XIV, was king. Charles I surrendered into captivity in May 1646. In 1648, during the Second English Civil War, Charles moved to The Hague, where his sister Mary and his brother-in-law William II, Prince of Orange, seemed more to provide substantial aid to the royalist cause than his mother's French relations. However, the royalist fleet that came under Charles's control was not used to any advantage, did not reach Scotland in time to join up with the royalist Engager army of the Duke of Hamilton before it was defeated at the Battle of Preston by the Parliamentarians. At The Hague, Charles had a brief affair with Lucy Walter, who falsely claimed that they had secretly married, her son, James Crofts, was one of Charles's many illegitimate children who became prominent in British society.
Despite his son's diplomatic efforts to save him, King Charles I was beheaded in January 1649, England became a republic. On 5 February, the Covenanter Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II "King of Great Britain and Ireland" at the Mercat Cross, but refused to allow him to enter Scotland unless he accepted the imposition of Presbyterianism throughout Britain and Ireland; when negotiations with the Scot
Nassau is the capital and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has an estimated population of 274,400 as of 2016, just over 70% of the population of the country. Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for the Bahamas, is located about 16 kilometres west of Nassau city centre, has daily flights to major cities in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States; the city is located on the island of New Providence. Nassau is the site of the House of Assembly and various judicial departments and was considered to be a stronghold of pirates; the city was named in honour of William III of England, Prince of Orange-Nassau, deriving its name from Nassau, Germany. Nassau's modern growth began in the late eighteenth century, with the influx of thousands of American Loyalists and their slaves to the Bahamas following the American War of Independence. Many of them settled in Nassau and came to outnumber the original inhabitants; as the population of Nassau grew, so did its populated areas.
Today the city dominates its satellite, Paradise Island. However, until the post-Second World War era, the outer suburbs scarcely existed. Most of New Providence was uncultivated bush until Loyalists were resettled there following the American Revolutionary War. Slaves were imported as labour. After the British abolished the international slave trade in 1807, they resettled thousands of Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy on New Providence, along with other islands such as Grand Bahama, Exuma and Inagua. In addition, slaves freed from American ships, such as the Creole case in 1841, were allowed to settle there; the largest concentration of Africans lived in the "Over-the-Hill" suburbs of Grants Town and Bain Town to the south of the city of Nassau, while most of the inhabitants of European descent lived on the island's northern coastal ridges. Nassau was known as Charles Town. During the Raid on Charles Town the town was burned to the ground by the Spanish in 1684 during one of their frequent wars with the English.
It was rebuilt and renamed to Nassau in 1695 under Governor Nicholas Trott in honour of the Dutch Stadtholder and also King of England and Ireland, William III who belonged to a branch of the House of Nassau, from which the city takes its name. The name Nassau derives from the town of Nassau in Germany. Due to a lack of effective governors, Nassau fell on hard times. In 1703 Spanish and French allied forces occupied Nassau. From 1703 to 1718 there was no governor in the colony and by 1713, the sparsely settled Bahamas had become a pirate haven; the Governor of Bermuda stated that there were over 1,000 pirates in Nassau and that they outnumbered the mere hundred inhabitants of the town. They proclaimed Nassau a pirate republic, establishing themselves as "governors". Examples of pirates that used Nassau as their base are Charles Vane, Thomas Barrow, Benjamin Hornigold, Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, the infamous Edward Teach, better known as "Blackbeard". In 1718, the British sought to regain control of the islands and appointed Captain Woodes Rogers as Royal governor.
He clamped down on the pirates, reformed the civil administration, restored commerce. Rogers rebuilt the fort, using his own wealth to try to overcome problems. In 1720 the Spanish made an unsuccessful attempt to capture Nassau. During the wars in the Thirteen Colonies, Nassau experienced an economic boom. With funds from privateering, a new fort, street lights and over 2300 sumptuous houses were built and Nassau was extended. In addition to this, mosquito breeding swamps were filled. In 1776, the Battle of Nassau resulted in a brief occupation by American Continental Marines during the American War of Independence, where the Marines staged their first amphibious raid on Fort Montague after attempting to sneak up on Fort Nassau. In 1778 after an overnight invasion, American raiders led by Captain Rathburn, left with ships and military stores after stopping in Nassau for only two weeks. In 1782 Spain captured Nassau for the last time when Don Juan de Cagigal, governor-general of Cuba, attacked New Providence with 5000 men.
Andrew Deveaux, an American Loyalist who resettled on the island, set forth to recapture Nassau for the British Crown and with 220 men and 150 muskets to face a force of 600 trained soldiers. Lord Dunmore governed the colony from 1787 to 1796, he oversaw the construction of Fort Fincastle in Nassau. During the American Civil War, Nassau served as a port for blockade runners making their way to and from ports along the southern Atlantic Coast for continued trade with the Confederacy. In the 1920s and 1930s, Nassau profited from Prohibition in the United States. Located on New Providence Island, Nassau has an attractive harbour, a blend of old world and colonial architecture, a busy port; the tropical climate and natural environment of the Bahamas have made Nassau a tourist destination. Nassau developed directly behind the port area. New Providence provides 200 km² of flat and low-lying land intersected by low ridges. In the centre of the island there are several shallow lakes that are tidally connec
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
A bicameral legislature divides the legislators into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses; as of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures. The members of the two chambers are elected or selected by different methods, which vary from country to country; this can lead to the two chambers having different compositions of members. Enactment of primary legislation requires a concurrent majority – the approval of a majority of members in each of the chambers of the legislature; when this is the case, the legislature may be called an example of perfect bicameralism. However, in many Westminster system parliaments, the house to which the executive is responsible can overrule the other house and may be regarded as an example of imperfect bicameralism; some legislatures lie in between these two positions, with one house only able to overrule the other under certain circumstances.
The Founding Fathers of the United States favoured a bicameral legislature. The idea was to have the Senate be wiser. Benjamin Rush saw this though, noted that "this type of dominion is always connected with opulence"; the Senate was created to be a stabilising force, elected not by mass electors, but selected by the State legislators. Senators would be more knowledgeable and more deliberate—a sort of republican nobility—and a counter to what Madison saw as the "fickleness and passion" that could absorb the House, he noted further that "The use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system and with more wisdom, than the popular branch." Madison's argument led the Framers to grant the Senate prerogatives in foreign policy, an area where steadiness and caution were deemed important. State legislators chose the Senate, senators had to possess significant property to be deemed worthy and sensible enough for the position. In 1913, the 17th Amendment passed, which mandated choosing Senators by popular vote rather than State legislatures.
As part of the Great Compromise, the Founding Fathers invented a new rationale for bicameralism in which the Senate had states represented and the House had them represented by population. The British Parliament is referred to as the Mother of Parliaments because the British Parliament has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, its Acts have created many other parliaments. Many nations with parliaments have to some degree emulated the British "three-tier" model. Most countries in Europe and the Commonwealth have organised parliaments with a ceremonial head of state who formally opens and closes parliament, a large elected lower house, a smaller upper house. A formidable sinister interest may always obtain the complete command of a dominant assembly by some chance and for a moment, it is therefore of great use to have a second chamber of an opposite sort, differently composed, in which that interest in all likelihood will not rule. There have been a number of rationales put forward in favour of bicameralism, federal states have adopted it, the solution remains popular when regional differences or sensitivities require more explicit representation, with the second chamber representing the constituent states.
The older justification for second chambers—providing opportunities for second thoughts about legislation—has survived. Growing awareness of the complexity of the notion of representation and the multifunctional nature of modern legislatures may be affording incipient new rationales for second chambers, though these do remain contested institutions in ways that first chambers are not. An example of political controversy regarding a second chamber has been the debate over the powers of the Senate of Canada or the election of the Senate of France; the relationship between the two chambers varies. The first tends to be those with presidential governments; the latter tends to be the case in unitary states with parliamentary systems. There are two streams of thought: Critics believe bicameralism makes meaningful political reforms more difficult to achieve and increases the risk of gridlock—particularly in cases where both chambers have similar powers—while proponents argue the merits of the "checks and balances" provided by the bicameral model, which they believe help prevent the passage into law of ill-considered legislation.
Formal communication between houses is by various methods, including: Sending messages Formal notices, such as of resolutions or the passing of bills done in writing, via the clerk and speaker of each house Transmission of bills or amendment to bills requiring agreement from the other house Joint session a plenary session of both houses at the same time and place. Joint committees which may be formed by committees of each house agreeing to join, or by joint resolution of each house Conferences Conferences of the Houses of the English Parliament met in the Painted Chamber of the Palace of Westminster. There were a distinction between an "ordinary conference" and a "free conference". A "free conference" meets in private to resolve a dispute; the last fr