Upper House Reform in Germany: the Commission for the Modernization of the Federal System

Taylor Greg

Abstract


As the debate on a possible new second leg- islative chamber proceeds both in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Canada, it is useful to note recent amendments to the German Con- stitution (Basic Law) affecting the federal up- per house of Parliament (Bundesrat). Despite all the differences among the House of Lords, the Canadian Senate,1 and the Bundesrat, there are some points on which a comparison is use- ful. Moreover, some of the impetus behind the German reforms — a conviction that there had been too much emphasis on cooperative feder- alism and too little on healthy competition — is reminiscent of debates about such matters in other federations in general, and Canada in particular.


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