Ernest Preston Manning, is a Canadian politician. He was a founder and the only leader of the Reform Party of Canada, a Canadian federal political party that evolved into the Canadian Alliance which in turn merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to form today's Conservative Party of Canada. Manning represented the federal constituency of Calgary Southwest in the Canadian House of Commons from 1993 until his retirement in 2002, he served as Leader of the Official Opposition from 1997 to 2000. Upon his retirement he has founded the Manning Foundation for Democratic Education and the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to strengthening Canadian democracy in accordance with conservative principles. Manning was born in Alberta, he is the son of Muriel Aileen and Ernest Manning, Social Credit Party Premier of Alberta between 1943 and 1968 and a Canadian Senator from 1970 to 1983. Preston's grandparents were English immigrants. Manning grew up in the Garneau district of Edmonton but moved at age twelve with his parents to the family dairy farm east of Edmonton from which he attended a rural school – Horse Hill High School.
He enrolled in the honors physics program at the University of Alberta in 1960, but switched after three years to economics and graduated in 1964 with a B. A. in Economics. He sought election to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1965 federal election as a candidate of the federal Social Credit Party, but was defeated. Upon graduation from university, Manning worked for a small, independent think tank – the National Public Affairs Research Foundation - which enabled him to work on quasi political projects of interest to himself and his father. One such project included the preparation of a proposal for re-aligning Alberta provincial politics through a proposed merger of the governing Social Credit Party with the up-and-coming Progressive Conservative Party led by Peter Lougheed; the proposal was rejected by the leadership of both parties but the statement of conservative principles it contained resurfaced time and time again in Manning's subsequent political ventures – in the statement of principles contained in a book researched by him for Ernest Manning entitled in Political Realignment: A Challenge for Thoughtful Canadians and in the statements of principles of the Reform Party of Canada, the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance, the Conservative Party of Canada.
In 1967, Manning married Sandra Lilian, an accomplished musician and nursing student at the University of Alberta. Together they have eleven grandchildren; the Mannings identify themselves as evangelical Christians and have attended a variety of Christian fellowships – Baptist and Missionary Alliance and Associated Gospel churches. Preston Manning has described himself as "a great fan and imperfect follower of Jesus of Nazareth" and has studied and lectured extensively on managing the interface between faith and politics. In doing so, he draws upon a large reservoir of spiritual resources which includes the Judeo-Christian scriptures and reflects the influence of Augustine, Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, William Wilberforce, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, William James, Abraham Kuyper, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Helmut Theilke, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, Billy Graham, James Houston and Charles Price. Manning and a colleague, Dr. Erick Schmidt, a PhD sociologist and Executive Secretary to the Alberta cabinet in the 1960s, became interested in the General Systems Theory of biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy and its possible application to governmental and business organizations.
Together and Schmidt authored a White Paper on Human Resources Development for the Alberta government applying systems concepts to the reorganization of Alberta's social services. It was presented to the Alberta legislature in 1968 and formed the basis of Alberta's Human Resources Development Authority and related programs under Premier Harry Strom, Ernest Manning's successor. Manning contributed to the development of a "socio-economic development model" for TRW Systems of Redondo Beach, California, as the firm was endeavoring to shift its focus from the systems management of military projects to the management of "civil systems". Over the next twenty years Manning continued to work as a management consultant using his firms – M and M Systems Research Ltd. and Manning Consultants Ltd. – to pursue projects of political relevance. These included the development of strategies to prevent investor owned utilities from being nationalized by their provincial governments. In an effort to stimulate economic growth in the depressed region of north central Alberta, Manning served for twenty years as the President and CEO of a duel objective – social and economic – enterprise named Slave Lake Developments Ltd.
When the company was sold in 2016 it distributed over $55 million in dividends to some 300 local shareholders – illustrating Manning's belief that economic development could be more stimulated in a depressed region by "a better distribution of the Tools of Wealth Creation" than by income redistribution schemes. In the mid-1980s, Manning and his associates were becoming aware of a growing political discontent in Western Canada and growing disillusionment with the traditional federal political parties. Interest in western separatism was growing as well. In October 16, 1986, Manni
The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail is a Canadian newspaper printed in five cities in western and central Canada. With a weekly readership of 2,018,923 in 2015, it is Canada's most read newspaper on weekdays and Saturdays, although it falls behind the Toronto Star in overall weekly circulation because the Star publishes a Sunday edition while the Globe does not; the Globe and Mail is regarded by some as Canada's "newspaper of record". The newspaper is owned based in Toronto; the predecessor to The Globe and Mail was called The Globe. Brown's liberal politics led him to court the support of the Clear Grits, precursor to the modern Liberal Party of Canada; the Globe began in Toronto as a weekly party organ for Brown's Reform Party, but seeing the economic gains that he could make in the newspaper business, Brown soon targeted a wide audience of liberal minded freeholders. He selected as the motto for the editorial page a quotation from Junius, "The subject, loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures."
The quotation is carried on the editorial page to this day. By the 1850s, The Globe had become an well-regarded daily newspaper, it began distribution by railway to other cities in Ontario shortly after Confederation. At the dawn of the twentieth century, The Globe added photography, a women's section, the slogan "Canada's National Newspaper", which remains on its front-page banner, it began opening bureaus and offering subscriptions across Canada. On 23 November 1936, The Globe merged with The Mail and Empire, itself formed through the 1895 merger of two conservative newspapers, The Toronto Mail and Toronto Empire. Press reports at the time stated, "the minnow swallowed the whale" because The Globe's circulation was smaller than The Mail and Empire's; the merger was arranged by George McCullagh, who fronted for mining magnate William Henry Wright and became the first publisher of The Globe and Mail. McCullagh committed suicide in 1952, the newspaper was sold to the Webster family of Montreal.
As the paper lost ground to The Toronto Star in the local Toronto market, it began to expand its national circulation. The newspaper was unionised under the banner of the American Newspaper Guild. From 1937 until 1974, the newspaper was produced at the William H. Wright Building, located at 140 King Street West on the northeast corner of King Street and York Street, close to the homes of the Toronto Daily Star at Old Toronto Star Building at 80 King West and the Old Toronto Telegram Building at Bay and Melinda; the building at 130 King Street West was demolished in 1974 to make way for First Canadian Place, the newspaper moved to 444 Front Street West, the headquarters of the Toronto Telegram newspaper, built in 1963. In 1965, the paper was bought by Winnipeg-based FP Publications, controlled by Bryan Maheswary, which owned a chain of local Canadian newspapers. FP put a strong emphasis on the Report on Business section, launched in 1962, thereby building the paper's reputation as the voice of Toronto's business community.
FP Publications and The Globe and Mail were sold in 1980 to The Thomson Corporation, a company run by the family of Kenneth Thomson. After the acquisition there were few changes made in news policy. However, there was more attention paid to national and international news on the editorial, op-ed, front pages in contrast to its previous policy of stressing Toronto and Ontario material; the Globe and Mail has always been a morning newspaper. Since the 1980s, it has been printed in separate editions in six Canadian cities: Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild employees took their first strike vote at The Globe in 1982 marking a new era in relations with the company; those negotiations ended without a strike, the Globe unit of SONG still has a strike-free record. SONG members voted in 1994 to sever ties with the American-focused Newspaper Guild. Shortly afterwards, SONG affiliated with the Communications and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Under the editorship of William Thorsell in the 1980s and 1990s, the paper endorsed the free trade policies of Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
The paper became an outspoken proponent of the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord, with their editorial the day of the 1995 Quebec Referendum quoting a Mulroney speech in favour of the Accord. During this period, the paper continued to favour such liberal policies as decriminalizing drugs and expanding gay rights. In 1995, the paper launched globeandmail.com. Since the launch of the National Post as another English-language national paper in 1998, some industry analysts had proclaimed a "national newspaper war" between The Globe and Mail and the National Post; as a response to this threat, in 2001, The Globe and Mail was combined with broadcast assets held by Bell Canada to form the joint venture Bell Globemedia. In 2004, access to some features of globeandmail.com became restricted to paid subscribers only. The subscription service was reduced a few years to include an electronic edition of the newspaper, access to its archives, membership to a premium investment site
Saskatchewan is a prairie and boreal province in western Canada, the only province without a natural border. It has an area of 651,900 square kilometres, nearly 10 percent of, fresh water, composed of rivers and the province's 100,000 lakes. Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, to the northeast by Nunavut, on the south by the U. S. states of North Dakota. As of late 2018, Saskatchewan's population was estimated at 1,165,903. Residents live in the southern prairie half of the province, while the northern boreal half is forested and sparsely populated. Of the total population half live in the province's largest city Saskatoon, or the provincial capital Regina. Other notable cities include Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, North Battleford and the border city Lloydminster. Saskatchewan is a landlocked province with large distances to moderating bodies of waters; as a result, its climate is continental, rendering severe winters throughout the province.
Southern areas have warm or hot summers. Midale and Yellow Grass near the U. S. border are tied for the highest recorded temperatures in Canada with 45 °C observed at both locations on July 5, 1937. In winter, temperatures below −45 °C are possible in the south during extreme cold snaps. Saskatchewan has been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous groups, first explored by Europeans in 1690 and settled in 1774, it became a province in 1905, carved out from the vast North-West Territories, which had until included most of the Canadian Prairies. In the early 20th century the province became known as a stronghold for Canadian social democracy; the province's economy is based on agriculture and energy. Saskatchewan's current lieutenant governor is the current premier is Scott Moe. In 1992, the federal and provincial governments signed a historic land claim agreement with First Nations in Saskatchewan; the First Nations received compensation and were permitted to buy land on the open market for the bands.
Some First Nations have used their settlement to invest in urban areas, including Saskatoon. Its name derived from the Saskatchewan River; the river was known as kisiskāciwani-sīpiy in the Cree language. As Saskatchewan's borders follow the geographic coordinates of longitude and latitude, the province is a quadrilateral, or a shape with four sides. However, the 49th parallel boundary and the 60th northern border appear curved on globes and many maps. Additionally, the eastern boundary of the province is crooked rather than following a line of longitude, as correction lines were devised by surveyors prior to the homestead program. Saskatchewan is part of the Western Provinces and is bounded on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the north-east by Nunavut, on the east by Manitoba, on the south by the U. S. states of North Dakota. Saskatchewan has the distinction of being the only Canadian province for which no borders correspond to physical geographic features. Along with Alberta, Saskatchewan is one of only two land-locked provinces.
The overwhelming majority of Saskatchewan's population is located in the southern third of the province, south of the 53rd parallel. Saskatchewan contains two major natural regions: the Boreal Forest in the north and the Prairies in the south, they are separated by an aspen parkland transition zone near the North Saskatchewan River on the western side of the province, near to south of the Saskatchewan River on the eastern side. Northern Saskatchewan is covered by forest except for the Lake Athabasca Sand Dunes, the largest active sand dunes in the world north of 58°, adjacent to the southern shore of Lake Athabasca. Southern Saskatchewan contains another area with sand dunes known as the "Great Sand Hills" covering over 300 square kilometres; the Cypress Hills, located in the southwestern corner of Saskatchewan and Killdeer Badlands, are areas of the province that were unglaciated during the last glaciation period, the Wisconsin glaciation. The province's highest point, at 1,392 metres, is located in the Cypress Hills less than 2 km from the provincial boundary with Alberta.
The lowest point is the shore of Lake Athabasca, at 213 metres. The province has 14 major drainage basins made up of various rivers and watersheds draining into the Arctic Ocean, Hudson Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Saskatchewan receives more hours of sunshine than any other Canadian province; the province lies far from any significant body of water. This fact, combined with its northerly latitude, gives it a warm summer, corresponding to its humid continental climate in the central and most of the eastern parts of the province, as well as the Cypress Hills. Drought can affect agricultural areas during no precipitation at all; the northern parts of Saskatchewan – from about La Ronge northward – have a subarctic climate with a shorter summer season. Summers can get hot, sometimes above 38 °C during the day, with humidity decreasing from northeast to southwest. Warm southern winds blow from the plains and intermontane regions of
The Toronto Star is a Canadian broadsheet daily newspaper. Based on 2015 statistics, it is Canada's highest-circulation newspaper on overall weekly circulation; the Toronto Star is owned by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of Torstar Corporation and part of Torstar's Daily News Brands division. The Star was created in 1892 by striking Toronto News printers and writers, led by future Mayor of Toronto and social reformer Horatio Clarence Hocken, who became the newspaper's founder, along with another future mayor, Jimmy Simpson; the Star was first printed on Toronto World presses, at its formation, The World owned a 51% interest in it as a silent partner. That arrangement only lasted for two months, during which time it was rumoured that William Findlay "Billy" Maclean, the World's proprietor, was considering selling the Star to the Riordon family. After an extensive fundraising campaign among the Star staff, Maclean agreed to sell his interest to Hocken; the paper did poorly in its first few years.
Hocken sold out within the year, several owners followed in succession until railway entrepreneur Sir William Mackenzie bought it in 1896. Its new editors, Edmund E. Sheppard and Frederic Thomas Nicholls, moved the entire Star operation into the same building used by the magazine Saturday Night; this would continue until Joseph E. "Holy Joe" Atkinson, backed by funds raised by supporters of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, bought the paper. The supporters included William Mulock, Peter Charles Larkin and Timothy Eaton. Atkinson was the Star's editor from 1899 until his death in 1948; the newspaper's early opposition and criticism of the Nazi regime saw it become one of the first North American papers to be banned in Germany. Atkinson had a social conscience, he championed many causes that would come to be associated with the modern welfare state: old age pensions, unemployment insurance, health care. The Government of Canada Digital Collections website describes Atkinson asa "radical" in the best sense of that term....
The Star was unique among North American newspapers in its consistent, ongoing advocacy of the interests of ordinary people. The friendship of Atkinson, the publisher, with Mackenzie King, the prime minister, was a major influence on the development of Canadian social policy. Atkinson became the controlling shareholder of the Star; the Star was criticized for practising the yellow journalism of its era. For decades, the paper included heavy doses of crime and sensationalism, along with advocating social change. From 1910 to 1973, the Star published the Star Weekly. Shortly before his death in 1948, Joseph E. Atkinson transferred ownership of the paper to a charitable organization given the mandate of continuing the paper's liberal tradition. In 1949, the Province of Ontario passed the Charitable Gifts Act, barring charitable organizations from owning large parts of profit-making businesses, that required the Star to be sold. Atkinson's will had directed that profits from the paper's operations were "for the promotion and maintenance of social and economic reforms which are charitable in nature, for the benefit of the people of the province of Ontario" and it stipulated that the paper could be sold only to people who shared his social views.
The five trustees of the charitable organization circumvented the Act by buying the paper themselves and swearing before the Supreme Court of Ontario to continue what became known as the "Atkinson Principles": A strong and independent Canada Social justice Individual and civil liberties Community and civic engagement The rights of working people The necessary role of governmentDescendants of the original owners, known as "the five families", still control the voting shares of Torstar, the Atkinson Principles continue to guide the paper to this day. In February 2006, Star media columnist Antonia Zerbisias wrote on her blog: Besides, we are the Star which means we all have the Atkinson Principles—and its multi-culti values—tattooed on our butts. Fine with me. At least we are upfront about our values, they always work in favour of building a better Canada. From 1922 to 1933, the Star was a radio broadcaster on its station CFCA, broadcasting on a wavelength of 400 metres, whose coverage was complementary to the paper's reporting.
The station was closed following the establishment of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission and the introduction of a government policy that, in essence, restricted private stations to an effective radiated power of 100 watts. The Star would continue to supply sponsored content to the CRBC's CRCT station, an arrangement that lasted until 1946. In 1971, the newspaper was renamed The Toronto Star and moved to a modern office tower at One Yonge Street by Queens Quay; the original Star Building at 80 King Street West was demolished to make room for First Canadian Place. The new building housed the paper's presses. In 1992, the printing plant was moved to the Toronto Star Press Centre at the Highway 407 & 400 interchange in Vaughan. In September 2002, the logo was changed, "The" was dropped from the papers. During the 2003 Northeast blackout, the Star printed the paper at a press in Ontario; until the mid-2000s, the front page of the Toronto Star had no advertising aside from lottery jackpot estimates from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
On May 28, 2007, the Star unveiled a redesigned paper that features larger type, narrower pages and shorter articles, renamed
Unite the Right (Canada)
The Unite the Right movement was a Canadian political movement which existed from around 1996 to 2003. The movement came into being when it became clear that neither of Canada's two main right-of-centre political parties, the Reform Party of Canada/Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, was independently capable of defeating the governing Liberal Party; the objective of the movement, was to merge the two parties into a single party. The goal of uniting the right was accomplished in December 2003 with the formation of the Conservative Party of Canada; the Reform Party came into being in 1987, due in part to opposition to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government that ruled Canada from 1984 to 1993. A significant number of Western Canadians had disliked what they perceived as the Mulroney government's pro-Quebec approach and rampant use of patronage, they viewed the Meech Lake Accord and Charlottetown Accord as not in the West's best interests.
Other Western conservatives felt that Mulroney's government was not sufficiently neo-liberal in its fiscal taxation and federal spending policies while some social conservatives were critical of the government's failed attempts to regulate and reduce abortion in Canada. In the 1993 election the upstart Reform Party won 52 seats in the west, the once-powerful PCs led by newly minted Prime Minister Kim Campbell were reduced to only two seats in Parliament. Both parties were, however completely shut out of Ontario and Quebec in this election, in the elections of 1997 and 2000; the two central Canadian provinces together represented over half the seats in the House of Commons. With two right-wing parties competing for power, it became apparent that unseating the governing Liberals would be next to impossible. In the 1997 election, both the PCs and the Reform Party polled 19% each in popular support. Reform emerged with 60 Western seats and Official Opposition status, while the demoralized PCs emerged from the brink of oblivion with 20 Eastern seats and regained party status.
More the Liberals emerged with only a five-seat majority in the election, many pundits suggested that the combined PC and Reform votes would have been enough to unseat the Liberals or at least reduce them to minority status. The Liberals under Jean Chrétien had governed Canada since 1993, were never threatened by the divided right during the Chrétien era. Important in the Liberals' electoral success was the province of Ontario. From 1993 to 2004, the Liberals utterly dominated Canada's most populous province. Both Reform and the PC Party received many votes, but because of the first past the post system, this was not enough to win more than a handful of Ontario's 103 seats. At the same time, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, who some suggested were kindred spirits in policy and direction to Reform and Blue Tory PCs, had formed a provincial government under Premier Mike Harris. There were many barriers to a merger. Polls had found that two-thirds of traditional PC voters would vote for the Liberals before endorsing a united Canadian Alliance/PC party.
Some Westerners had deep concerns that the new party would be dominated by Central Canada, much as they thought the Progressive Conservatives had been. Leadership and MPs from both sides of the division opposed a merger out of concerns that both parties were distinct political entities and not part of a larger conservative movement. During the 1995 Quebec referendum, Reform leader Preston Manning implored the two sitting PC MPs, Elsie Wayne and Jean Charest, to sit in Parliament with the Reform Party caucus; the combined weight of 52 Reform MPs and two PC MPs would have allowed a unified caucus to replace the 53-member separatist Bloc Québécois caucus as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Charest, refused to merge and instead focused his efforts on rebuilding the shattered PC Party. In 1996, David Frum and Ezra Levant organized the "Winds of Change" conference in Calgary, an early attempt to encourage the Reform Party of Canada and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada to merge so that a united rightwing party could defeat the Liberal Party of Canada in the subsequent election.
Manning and Charest were both declined. After the second Liberal win in 1997, it became obvious that having two right-of-centre parties was splitting the vote and ensuring further Liberal majorities. Reform leader Manning was criticized by some members in his own party and by Western media for not "broadening the popular base of Reform." Manning had suggested that the Reform Party was meant to be a new party, a third way as a populist alternative that could replace the complacent Liberals and PCs as a new national movement, but this hope was not materializing beyond the Manitoba-Ontario border. There was some hope for cooperation from the PCs when Charest stepped down as leader in 1998. Several credible political figures, including Manitoba Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Brian Pallister, Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, former Reform MP Stephe
House of Commons of Canada
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons meets in a temporary Commons chamber in the West Block of the parliament buildings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, while the Centre Block, which houses the traditional Commons chamber, undergoes a ten-year renovation; the House of Commons is a democratically elected body whose members are known as Members of Parliament. There were 308 members in the last parliament, but that number has risen to 338 following the election on Monday October 19, 2015. Members are elected by simple plurality in each of the country's electoral districts, which are colloquially known as ridings. MPs may hold office until Parliament is dissolved and serve for constitutionally limited terms of up to five years after an election. However, terms have ended before their expiry and the sitting government has dissolved parliament within four years of an election according to a long-standing convention.
In any case, an Act of Parliament now limits each term to four years. Seats in the House of Commons are distributed in proportion to the population of each province and territory. However, some ridings are more populous than others, the Canadian constitution contains some special provisions regarding provincial representation; as a result, there is some regional malapportionment relative to population. The House of Commons was established in 1867, when the British North America Act—now called the Constitution Act, 1867—created the Dominion of Canada, was modelled on the British House of Commons; the lower of the two houses making up the parliament, the House of Commons in practice holds far more power than the upper house, the Senate. Although the approval of both Houses is necessary for legislation, the Senate rarely rejects bills passed by the commons. Moreover, the Cabinet is responsible to the House of Commons; the prime minister stays in office only as long as they retain the support, or "confidence", of the lower house.
The term derives from the Anglo-Norman word communes, referring to the geographic and collective "communities" of their parliamentary representatives and not the third estate, the commonality. This distinction is made clear in the official French name of the body, Chambre des communes. Canada and the United Kingdom remain the only countries to use the name "House of Commons" for a lower house of parliament; the House of Commons came into existence in 1867, when the British Parliament passed the British North America Act, uniting the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single federation called the Dominion of Canada. The new Parliament of Canada consisted of the Senate and the House of Commons; the Parliament of Canada was based on the Westminster model. Unlike the UK Parliament, the powers of the Parliament of Canada were limited in that other powers were assigned to the provincial legislatures; the Parliament of Canada remained subordinate to the British Parliament, the supreme legislative authority for the entire British Empire.
Greater autonomy was granted by the Statute of Westminster 1931, after which new acts of the British Parliament did not apply to Canada, with some exceptions. These exceptions were removed by the Canada Act 1982. From 1867, the Commons met in the chamber used by the Legislative Assembly of Canada until the building was destroyed by fire in 1916, it relocated to the amphitheatre of the Victoria Memorial Museum—what is today the Canadian Museum of Nature, where it met until 1922. Until the end of 2018, the Commons sat in Centre Block chamber. Starting with the final sitting before the 2019 federal election, the Commons sits in a temporary chamber in the West Block until at least 2028, while renovations are undertaken in the Centre Block of Parliament; the House of Commons comprises 338 members. The constitution specifies a basic minimum of 295 electoral districts, but additional seats are allocated according to various clauses. Seats are distributed among the provinces in proportion to population, as determined by each decennial census, subject to the following exceptions made by the constitution.
Firstly, the "senatorial clause" guarantees that each province will have at least as many MPs as Senators. Secondly, the "grandfather clause" guarantees each province has at least as many Members of Parliament now as it had in 1985; as a result of these clauses, smaller provinces and provinces that have experienced a relative decline in population have become over-represented in the House. Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta are under-represented in proportion to their populations, while the other seven provinces are over-represented. Boundary commissions, appointed by the federal government for each province, have the task of drawing the boundaries of the electoral districts in each province. Territorial representation is independent of population; the calculation for the provinces is done with a base of 279 seats. The total population of the provinces is divided by 279 to equal the electoral quotient; the population of the province is divided by the electoral q
The Mennonites are members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons of Friesland. Through his writings, Simons formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders; the early teachings of the Mennonites were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the original Anabaptist followers held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. An early set of Mennonite beliefs was codified in the Dordrecht Confession of Faith in 1632, but the various groups do not hold to a common confession or creed. Rather than fight, the majority of these followers survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their belief in believer's baptism. Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism. In contemporary 21st-century society, Mennonites either are described only as a religious denomination with members of different ethnic origins or as both an ethnic group and a religious denomination.
There is controversy among Mennonites about this issue, with some insisting that they are a religious group while others argue that they form a distinct ethnic group. Historians and sociologists have started to treat Mennonites as an ethno-religious group, while others have begun to challenge that perception. There is a discussion about the term "ethnic Mennonite". Conservative Mennonite groups, who speak Pennsylvania German, Plautdietsch, or Bernese German fit well into the definition of an ethnic group, while more liberal groups and converts in developing countries do not. There are about 2.1 million Anabaptists worldwide as of 2015. Mennonite congregations worldwide embody the full scope of Mennonite practice from "plain people" to those who are indistinguishable in dress and appearance from the general population. Mennonites can be found in communities in at least 87 countries on six continents; the largest populations of Mennonites are to be found in Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and the United States.
There are Mennonite colonies in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Paraguay Plautdietsch-speaking, who originated in the Netherlands, formed as a distinct ethnic group in Prussia and Ukraine, are called, somewhat inaccurately, Russian Mennonites. Today, fewer than 500 Mennonites remain in Ukraine. A small Mennonite presence, known as the Algemene Doopsgezinde Societeit, still continues in the Netherlands, where Simons was born; the early history of the Mennonites starts with the Anabaptists in the German and Dutch-speaking parts of central Europe. The German term is "Täufer" or "Wiedertäufer"; these forerunners of modern Mennonites were part of the Protestant Reformation, a broad reaction against the practices and theology of the Roman Catholic Church. Its most distinguishing feature is the rejection of infant baptism, an act that had both religious and political meaning since every infant born in western Europe was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Other significant theological views of the Mennonites developed in opposition to Roman Catholic views or to the views of other Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli.
Some of the followers of Zwingli's Reformed church thought that requiring church membership beginning at birth was inconsistent with the New Testament example. They believed that the church should be removed from government, that individuals should join only when willing to publicly acknowledge belief in Jesus and the desire to live in accordance with his teachings. At a small meeting in Zurich on January 21, 1525, Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, along with twelve others, baptized each other; this meeting marks the beginning of the Anabaptist movement. In the spirit of the times, other groups came to be, preaching about reducing hierarchy, relations with the state and sexual license, running from utter abandon to extreme chastity; these movements are together referred to as the "Radical Reformation". Many government and religious leaders, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, considered voluntary church membership to be dangerous—the concern of some deepened by reports of the Münster Rebellion, led by a violent sect of Anabaptists.
They joined forces to fight the movement, using methods such as banishment, burning, drowning or beheading. Despite strong repressive efforts of the state churches, the movement spread around western Europe along the Rhine. Officials killed many of the earliest Anabaptist leaders in an attempt to purge Europe of the new sect. By 1530, most of the founding leaders had been killed for refusing to renounce their beliefs. Many believed that God did not condone killing or the use of force for any reason and were, unwilling to fight for their lives; the non-resistant branches survived by seeking refuge in neutral cities or nations, such as Strasbourg. Their safety was tenuous, as a shift in alliances or an invasion could mean resumed persecution. Other groups of Anabaptists, such as the Batenburgers, were destroyed by their willingness to fight; this played a large part in the evolution of Anabaptist theology. They believed that Jesus taught that any use of force to get back at anyone was wrong, taught to forgive.
In the early days of the Anabapt