Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The European Council operates as the second house - it is not unlike the "Federal Council" (even in name!) of Germany or Switzerland. I am not sure the second house needs to be directly elected, and in fact that was not the case originally in the US but the result of an amendment.

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 19th, 2009 at 12:50:24 PM EST
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The point of direct election (or appointment, as in the original rules) is that there is a fixed pair of formulas: 1.) Population, and 2.) Per geographically separate unit.

A given combined formula (logarithmic or whatever) can by correct selection of parameters give the same--or close to it--result for a given set of data, but if the parameters can be fiddled politically, they will. Like rorting or gerrymandering or whatever, you always get it from a political system.

I have wondered whether this issue was at the root of the UK's handing over of some independence to Wales and Scotland, the idea being that with the current arrangement, Britain could potentially claim to have four distinct geographical units.

by asdf on Sun Jul 19th, 2009 at 03:21:21 PM EST
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The swedish upper house (before 1970 iirc) was appointed by the regional and local assemblies. I think that was a good model as it prevented the creep of powers to the highest level by giving lower levels representation. Since it was the assemblies and not the local executives it also kept the seperation of powers (in contrast to the Councils make-up).

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jul 19th, 2009 at 04:38:21 PM EST
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