Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Don't Think It Means What You Think It Means: Unicameral

People keep using the word unicameral and I am not sure that people are generally aware that it has a variety of meanings.

People keep saying that the unicameral house will undo the two house system we have at General Convention. That could be true but it doesn't have to be true.

In this understanding they are using the term to mean one house. But that is not the technical definition of unicameral.

Unicameral means meeting in one chamber. So the integrity of the different houses in our system that typically meet bicameral form (in two chambers) could be maintained. They could in fact have provisions to meet separately when desired.

The way this works now is that we typically meet bicameral form and have provisions for meeting unicamerally. So it is that this General Convention we will actually have several unicameral meetings of the two houses. For instance on budget and on hearing the nominee presentations for Presiding Bishop. This is hardly going to be the end of the world.

If we chose to move forward with a unicameral meeting we could vastly improve our governance while at the same time providing for separate meetings from time to time in bicameral form. And, we could maintain the two house system and their integrity - which I have always supported.

So as you use the term make sure we are using it correctly.

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