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The Great Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took four years - twice the usual term - and newly elected deputies simply joined the old ones instead of replacing them, effectively doubling the size of the chamber.

Modern Australian Senate is elected every three years, with each of the senators serving six-year term (according to Wikipedia).

Are there any other examples (in the present times or history) of the parliament chamber whose members are not elected at once, but serve overlapping terms? I found that similar arrangement is used for the elections to the US Senate, but was unable to find more examples.

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This Wikipedia article on Staggered Elections appears to be what you're looking for. It lists 11 national bodies which are elected in several "classes" over many years, as well as many state-level examples in Argentina, Australia, and the US.

The national bodies are:

  • Chamber of Deputies of Argentina - 257 members, with elections every 2 years for a 4 year term.
  • Senate of Argentina - 72 members, with elections every 2 years for a 6 year term.
  • Rajya Sabha (India) - 245 members, with elections every 2 years for a 6 year term.
  • Senate of Australia - 72 members, with elections every 3 years for a 6 year term. (A few members are elected to 3 year terms).
  • Senate of Brazil - 81 members, with elections every 4 years for an 8 year term (this is split 2/3-1/3, rather than evenly split between the two classes).
  • Senate of the Czech Republic - 81 members, with elections every 2 years for a 6 year term.
  • Senate of France - 348 members, with elections every 3 years for a 6 year term.
  • House of Councillors of Japan - 242 members, with elections every 3 years for a 6 year term.
  • Senate of Pakistan - 104 members, with elections every 3 years for a 6 year term.
  • Senate of the Philippines - 24 members, with elections every 3 years for a 6 year term.
  • United States Senate - 100 members, with elections every 2 years for a 6 year term.
  • It is worth noting that in India and Pakistan, the elections are by legislatures rather than rank and file voters. – ohwilleke May 9 '18 at 23:27
  • @ohwilleke - The French Senate is also elected by other elected officials. And at least one of the ones I looked at had some number of members that were just appointed. I didn't want to get into that level of detail, though. – Bobson May 9 '18 at 23:43
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Most U.S. states elect one of their two legislative chambers on an overlapping basis, just as the U.S. Senate does, often a four year term with half of state senators elected every two years. For example, Colorado follows that system.

In Japan, similar to the U.S. Senate but with two divisions instead of three, the House of Councillors has elections for half of its members every three years and they serve for six year terms. Members of the lower house in Japan are elected all at once to four year terms (but on average the lower house is dissolved after three years).

The Canadian Senate is structurally similar to the U.K. House of Lords, with members serving for life and appointed irregularly as vacancies arise. But, the Canadian Senate is entirely composed of the equivalent of U.K. Life Lords, rather than having any hereditary seats.

Members of the Bundesrat in Germany serve at the pleasure of state governments, similar to U.S. Senators in the U.S. prior to the 17th Amendment, and do not have fixed terms. India, Pakistan and South Africa have similar systems, and I have not investigated if they formally have fixed terms or not in those systems.

  • 1
    Technically the UK House of Lords has no hereditary seats. There are 90 seats for hereditary peers, but they are elected from among the hereditary peerage. – Rupert Morrish May 9 '18 at 23:43
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    @Rupert Morrish A bit pedantic, but fair point. – ohwilleke May 10 '18 at 1:39

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