The "upper" chamber (in the United Kingdom, the House of Lords; elsewhere, it is sometimes referred to as "The Senate") is not always directly chosen by the people. Senators in Canada are effectively appointed by the Prime Minister. In India, senators are indirectly elected by the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian Parliament).
In the UK, members of the House of Lords can vote on issues before them. However, they cannot vote on matters arising outside the House's jurisdiction. These include money bills and those matters reserved to the Crown in its capacity as ruler of the countries concerned. The Sovereign can veto votes on such matters; however, when there is a majority for a motion, it will be carried regardless of the veto.
In Australia, the Senate has equal status to the House of Representatives. It can make laws, debate legislation before it, amend existing laws, and reject amendments to current laws. However, unlike the House of Representatives, which can make laws directly, the Senate can only propose amendments to laws, and these must be accepted or rejected by the House. Also, while both chambers of the Australian parliament vote on the appointment of judges, senators are also elected locally by voters in their states or territories. Thus, senators serve four-year terms, with elections held at least once in every three years.
The Senate is made up of people chosen by the Governor General to represent Canada's provinces and territories. Members of the House of Commons are chosen by eligible Canadians. The government can be changed only by elections either to the House or the Senate.
In addition to these differences, the Senate does not have a voting majority, so it relies on support from the minority party in order to pass legislation. The House of Commons has overall control over federal laws while the Senate has control over who will serve as judges. Both chambers can veto bills signed into law by the president but cannot override his veto.
Canada's parliamentary system allows for multiple levels of government; therefore, we will cover three: national, provincial, and local.
At the national level, the prime minister and Cabinet officials govern the country. They make policies by proposing them in the House of Commons or in committee and voting (usually unanimously) to accept or reject those proposals.
Provincial governments are responsible for running their own affairs within their borders. A province can create agencies that can deal with issues such as education, health, and public safety but cannot make laws. These agencies can also hire consultants to help them with their decision-making processes.
The American people directly elect both Houses. They are the ones who decide who gets a seat. Each state has two members of the Senate, known as Senators, and at least one representative in the House of Representatives, known as Representatives. The House of Commons in the United Kingdom is also directly elected. However, the prime minister can call a general election or ask the monarch to do so on his/her behalf.
In the United States, each state has equal representation in both houses of Congress, regardless of population size. This means that if the states were to divide up their seats according to population, some states would have an advantage over others. For example, if Texas were to receive 32 seats in the House, it would be nearly twice as many as second-place California.
However, the Constitution provides for this form of apportionment by stating that representatives "shall be apportioned among the several states... according to their respective numbers." This means that neither house may determine how its seats are divided up among the states. Instead, these decisions must be made by either the federal government or by some other body established by the states themselves.
In the House of Representatives, members are elected by voters living in their districts. Although there is some overlap between districts (for example, students living in college dorms vote in both their home states and the district in which they live), each member represents an area of relatively uniform population.
The House has always been significantly more political than the Senate. Furthermore, with just 100 senators, the normal 4-6 percent margin in the senate implies that you generally only need to swing 2-3 votes to change the outcome. In the House, even a "small" margin of 4 percent (and generally more) requires 17 members to switch in order to produce a surprise.
Surprisingly, the Canadian Senate is significantly weaker than the House of Commons in the Canadian Parliament. Similarly, the Chamber of Lords is the "upper house" of the United Kingdom's Parliament, although it is significantly less powerful than the House of Commons.
The Senate is the upper body of the United States Congress, with 100 members. It is known as the upper house because it has fewer members than the House of Representatives and possesses authorities that the House does not, such as approving Cabinet secretaries and federal judges. The Senate was created in 1787 when the Federal Constitution was ratified by the states. Before then, each state had its own government consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Senate has equal power to the House of Representatives; however, unlike the House, which is directly elected by voters, the Senate is indirectly elected by senators themselves via their representation by senators from their state.
In addition to approving or rejecting candidates for Cabinet positions and federal judgeships, the Senate also has the power to debate, amend, and even veto bills passed by the House. If the House and Senate cannot agree on a candidate for president, then the office will be left vacant until the next election year. Voters may vote for any individual they wish for president, but only one person can be elected at a time. When a senator dies or resigns, his or her seat remains empty until another senator is elected to replace him or her.
Members of the Senate are elected through direct elections by citizens living within their respective state boundaries. Each state requires that senators be legal residents of the state for at least one year before being elected to office. They also must be at least 21 years old.