A Word of the Day: Unicameral


This is not a word that one hears very often but yesterday morning I decided to make it my word of the day.

If you missed the big news from Ottawa this morning, let me capsulize it for you.

“On Tuesday, the Prime Minister named 5 new Senators to the Red Chamber. This leaves 11 vacancies still to be filled in the 105-seat “Upper House”.

When I read this most exciting news, my mind went back to the first time that I had seen the word “unicameral”. We were on vacation in New Zealand in 2007 and we visited the parliament buildings in Wellington. We all know that New Zealand, like Canada, is a former British Colony and a member of the British Commonwealth BUT did you know that the New Zealand parliament is “unicameral”?

What this means is that there is only one chamber, and it is the House of Representatives and there is no upper house like the Senate. They use a mixed-member system where every of-age citizen gets two votes. One is for the party they wish to see in power and the other is for the candidate they desire in their local riding.

There are a total of 120 members of Parliament with 72 being elected from the 72 ridings in the country. The other 48 come from party lists and are split by the percentage of the popular vote.

There is no “appointed” Senate.

Something to think about. The word of the day is “UNICAMERAL”.