Filibustering gives disproportionate leverage to minorities in the Senate. These, in turn, lead to bills not passing or often not even getting past subcommittees. Are there any other instances of this in other democratic countries?

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    This would seem to fall foul of the "opinion based" rule. No political system is perfect, all are flawed in one way or another. There is no objective way of defining "flawed" or "as flawed as the US system". Obviously there are other countries with much less effective systems of government: Somalia? Venezuela? And countries with less democracy: Saudi Arabia?
    – James K
    Jun 18, 2019 at 20:45
  • I will put this question on hold until we found a way to ask it which is not completely open to opinion regarding what is and what is not a "broke" or "flawed" parliament.
    – Philipp
    Jun 18, 2019 at 21:03
  • @FurkanToprak Then maybe we should rephrase the question to ask about whether there are other parliamentary systems which also have gerrymandering or mechanics similar to filibuster which allow a minority to block legislation? That way we would get away from the presumption that these are "flaws" and avoid frame-challenges claiming that these are good features which work as designed. But please pick one, because these are features of a democratic system which are independent from each other.
    – Philipp
    Jun 18, 2019 at 21:07
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    I edited the question to make it more neutral. I also removed gerrymandering because it's a property of the election system and not the legislative process and pigeonholing bacause it's more of a cultural issue.
    – Philipp
    Jun 19, 2019 at 7:43
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    @Philipp How is pigeonholing a "cultural issue"? It's a product of the committee process in the US, much the same as filibustering is a product of the parliamentary process. Both are part of the legislative process. And of course, pigeonholing has equivalents in other systems. And workarounds.
    – Brythan
    Jun 19, 2019 at 18:24

2 Answers 2


Northern Ireland, while not a sovereign country but a part of the UK, has a different way to ensure some minority can have their say. Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, certain decisions (including any bill where the petition of concern was invoked) can only be passed by a so-called cross-community vote. That is, you need a majority from both Unionist and Nationalist parties.


Many countries have this kind of a mechanism, where a minority can slow down and delay the process so much, that the legislation doesn't get passed. Such countries include UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, and others.

Wikipedia describes some of these examples at the link below:


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