Are there ways to setup a legislative system that keeps the ruling majority in check without needing to split the body up into a bicameral pair of chambers?

I know bicameral systems aren't perfect, but unicameral systems don't naturally have any such checks and balances. So, are there any ways of tinkering with a unicameral legislature in order to add in some check on the majorities power, while still keeping the system unicameral?

  • 4
    What makes you think a bicameral system is any less vulnerable to the tyranny of the majority?
    – Bobson
    Jun 19, 2017 at 4:06
  • I know, but at least bicameral systems are trying. Unicameral systems don't naturally have such attempted checks and balances, so I'm just wondering if there are ways you could tweak them so they do, while still only consisting of one chamber.
    – Tirous
    Jun 19, 2017 at 4:16
  • 2
    Are you sure you want to be asking about unicameral/bicameral legislative systems, and not combined legislative/executive or legislative/judicial bodies? Number of chambers is different from number of branches. And maybe it's me, but I can't see how the number of chambers within a branch would make any difference.
    – Bobson
    Jun 19, 2017 at 4:21
  • Off topic, but is there a wiki on a merged legislature and judiciary?
    – Tirous
    Jun 19, 2017 at 4:25
  • Basically, I'm asking how you can put basic anti-majority checks in a unicameral system which doesn't even try at them by default.
    – Tirous
    Jun 19, 2017 at 4:29

1 Answer 1


There are several sources of power which may exist in a country and which are to some degree independent of the Legislature, and are therefore to some degree anti-democratic:

  • A clear constitution and an effective Judiciary can act as a check on the Legislature.
  • Membership of trans-national organisations, such as the EU.
  • A powerful military, which maintains an implicit threat of a coup.
  • A powerful clergy such as exists in Iran.
  • A dictator or powerful monarch heading the executive.

None of these are specific to unicameral legislatures.

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