The French institutional system, just as the English one, is based on a dual Parliament. Indeed, whereas the Assemblée nationale is considered the lower chamber, the Sénat, or equivalent of the House of Lords, is the upper and more conservative one. It is thus, not surprising that since the dawn of the fifth republic, this chamber has always been under the rule of a majority of the right or the centrist parties. However, has such an institution now become obsolete? As has been noted, the French Senate can appear to be stubbornly old-fashioned, yet, the criticism should be brought about in a different thematic; the one of the in-depth malfunction and outmoded principles behind the sumptuous façade of prestige and public and social respect. This essay will try to present a brief display of these vices and the gap which now separates the Senate from the society in which it is supposed to function. For this purpose, we will first look at a short overview of the Senate's history, and then focus on the critics that can be addressed to the Senate, to finally try to curtly suggest a series of solutions.
[...] Yet, we will now acknowledge that the Senate's pragmatic functions are not in proportion with what from another perspective its duty is supposed to be. The Senate is in charge of the passing of the budget and the bills, of the interim of the presidency when relevant (in case of death or resignation of the elected president of the Republic) and, finally, jointly with the Assemblée nationale, it votes the revisions of the Constitution. Unquestionably, knowing the political immobility of the Senate's composition since its creation, such powers appear as exponential. [...]
[...] For that reason, it is not surprising that since the dawn of the fifth republic, this chamber has always been under the rule of a majority of the right or the centrist parties. However, has such an institution become obsolete? As has been noted, the French Senate can appear as stubbornly old-fashioned, yet, the criticism should be brought about in a different thematic, the one of the in-depth malfunction and outmoded principles behind the sumptuous façade of prestige and public and social respect. [...]
[...] First, the current ballot system must be replaced by a direct one, which should be adapted to the one of the Assemblée nationale. Indeed, in one of the chambers the election must be based on a list-per-party ballot, with a proportional system which determines the number of candidates chosen per list. This measure renders the parliament more open to political change. To conclude, the Senate is today, if not a useless, at least an obsolete in institution of the French rule of law. [...]
[...] The Senate has had a myriad of names depending on the political atmosphere or regime. For instance, it was created in 1795, during the French Revolution, under the appellation of Conseil des Anciens, which stands for the Elders' Council and already insinuates some of the characteristics that have been pointed out. In addition, it was named the conservative Senate during the Empire and the Pairs' chamber after the monarchy was settle in again on the throne. At this point, it becomes necessary to lean over the power that has been allotted to the Senate, as it seems that today, its competences are far too extensive. [...]
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