Even in the UK the House of Lords is a joke
Actually no! For 20 years from the mid 80s to mid 00s they were the only effective opposition to the Government. Some of the most vile proposals of the Thatcher, and Major governments were defeated in the Lords. Blair and his crew didn't get ID cards and their most obnoxious snooping bills through due to opposition in the Lords. Now you might ask how it is that a unelected bunch of geriatrics have more spine than the run-of-the-mill parliamentarian, but that is another matter.