Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments". Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Unlike Southern Ireland, which would become the Irish Free State in 1922, the majority of Northern Ireland's population were unionists, who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom.
Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain. However, a significant minority Catholics, were nationalists who wanted a united Ireland independent of British rule. Today, the former see themselves as British and the latter see themselves as Irish, while a distinct Northern Irish or Ulster identity is claimed both by a large minority of Catholics and Protestants and by many of those who are non-aligned. For most of the 20th century, when it came into existence, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two sides in what First Minister of Northern Ireland, David Trimble, called a "cold house" for Catholics. In the late 1960s, conflict between state forces and chiefly Protestant unionists on the one hand, chiefly Catholic nationalists on the other, erupted into three decades of violence known as the Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties; the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a major step in the peace process, including the decommissioning of weapons, although sectarianism and religious segregation still remain major social problems, sporadic violence has continued.
Northern Ireland has been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown since the late 1990s; the initial growth came from the "peace dividend" and the links which increased trade with the Republic of Ireland, continuing with a significant increase in tourism and business from around the world. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17.2% in 1986, dropping to 6.1% for June–August 2014 and down by 1.2 percentage points over the year, similar to the UK figure of 6.2%. 58.2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Prominent artists and sportspeople from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, Joey Dunlop, Wayne McCullough and George Best; some people from Northern Ireland prefer to identify as Irish while others prefer to identify as British. Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, the rest of the UK are complex, with Northern Ireland sharing both the culture of Ireland and the culture of the United Kingdom.
In many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games; the region, now Northern Ireland was the bedrock of the Irish war of resistance against English programmes of colonialism in the late 16th century. The English-controlled Kingdom of Ireland had been declared by the English king Henry VIII in 1542, but Irish resistance made English control fragmentary. Following Irish defeat at the Battle of Kinsale, the region's Gaelic, Roman Catholic aristocracy fled to continental Europe in 1607 and the region became subject to major programmes of colonialism by Protestant English and Scottish settlers. A rebellion in 1641 by Irish aristocrats against English rule resulted in a massacre of settlers in Ulster in the context of a war breaking out between England and Ireland fuelled by religious intolerance in government.
Victories by English forces in that war and further Protestant victories in the Williamite War in Ireland toward the close of the 17th century solidified Anglican rule in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the victories of the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne in this latter war are still celebrated by some Protestants. Popes Innocent XI and Alexander VIII had supported William of Orange instead of his maternal uncle and father-in-law James II, despite William being Protestant and James a Catholic, due to William's participation in alliance with both Protesant and Catholic powers in Europe in wars against Louis XIV, the powerful King of France, in conflict with the papacy for decades. In 1693, Pope Innocent XII recognised James as continuing King of Great Britain and Ireland in place of William, after reconciliation with Louis. In 1695, contrary to the terms of the Treaty of Limerick, a series of penal laws were passed by the Anglican ruling class in Ireland in intense anger at the Pope's recognition of James over William, felt to be a betrayal.
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Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is one of two components of the Parliament of British Columbia, while the other is Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, represented by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The Legislative Assembly meets in Victoria. Members are elected from provincial ridings and are referred to as Members of the Legislative Assembly; the current Parliament is the 41st Parliament. The most recent general election was the British Columbia general election held on May 9, 2017; the next election is scheduled to be held on May 11, 2021, if the legislative assembly is not to be dissolved earlier. Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly are broadcast to cable viewers in the province by Hansard Broadcasting Services. Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia: Hon. Dr. Darryl Plecas, Independent Deputy speaker. Mike Farnworth Opposition House Leader: Mary Polak Green Party House Leader: Sonia Furstenau Executive Council of British Columbia Legislative Council of British Columbia List of British Columbia provincial electoral districts 2001–09 BC Legislature Raids Official website
Australian House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the upper house being the Senate. Its composition and powers are established in Chapter I of the Constitution of Australia; the term of members of the House of Representatives is a maximum of three years from the date of the first sitting of the House, but on only one occasion since Federation has the maximum term been reached. The House is always dissolved earlier alone but sometimes in a double dissolution of both Houses. Elections for members of the House of Representatives are held in conjunction with those for the Senate. A member of the House may be referred to as a "Member of Parliament", while a member of the Senate is referred to as a "Senator"; the government of the day and by extension the Prime Minister must achieve and maintain the confidence of this House in order to gain and remain in power. The House of Representatives consists of 150 members, elected by and representing single member districts known as electoral divisions.
The number of members is not fixed but can vary with boundary changes resulting from electoral redistributions, which are required on a regular basis. The most recent overall increase in the size of the House, which came into effect at the 1984 election, increased the number of members from 125 to 148, it reduced to 147 at the 1993 election, returned to 148 at the 1996 election, has been 150 since the 2001 election, will increase to 151 at the 2019 Australian federal election. Each division elects one member using full-preference Instant-runoff voting; this was put in place after the 1918 Swan by-election, which Labor unexpectedly won with the largest primary vote and the help of vote splitting in the conservative parties. The Nationalist government of the time changed the lower house voting system from first-past-the-post to full-preference preferential voting, effective from the 1919 general election; this system has remained in place since, allowing the Coalition parties to safely contest the same seats.
The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900 established the House of Representatives as part of the new system of dominion government in newly federated Australia. The House is presided over by the Speaker. Members of the House are elected from single member electorates. One vote, one value legislation requires all electorates to have the same number of voters with a maximum 10% variation. However, the baseline quota for the number of voters in an electorate is determined by the number of voters in the state in which that electorate is found; the electorates of the smallest states and territories have more variation in the number of voters in their electorates, with larger seats like Fenner containing more than double the electors of smaller seats like Lingiari. Meanwhile, all the states except Tasmania have electorates within the same 10% tolerance, with most electorates holding 85,000 to 105,000 voters. Federal electorates have their boundaries redrawn or redistributed whenever a state or territory has its number of seats adjusted, if electorates are not matched by population size or if seven years have passed since the most recent redistribution.
Voting is by the'preferential system' known as instant-runoff voting. A full allocation of preferences is required for a vote to be considered formal; this allows for a calculation of the two-party-preferred vote. Under Section 24 of the Constitution, each state is entitled to members based on a population quota determined from the "latest statistics of the Commonwealth." These statistics arise from the census conducted under the auspices of section 51. Until its repeal by the 1967 referendum, section 127 prohibited the inclusion of Aboriginal people in section 24 determinations as including the Indigenous peoples could alter the distribution of seats between the states to the benefit of states with larger Aboriginal populations. Section 127, along with section 25 and the race power, have been described as racism built into Australia's constitutional DNA, modifications to prevent lawful race-based discrimination have been proposed; the parliamentary entitlement of a state or territory is established by the Electoral Commissioner dividing the number of the people of the Commonwealth by twice the number of Senators.
This is known as the "Nexus Provision". The reasons for this are twofold, to maintain a constant influence for the smaller states and to maintain a constant balance of the two Houses in case of a joint sitting after a double dissolution; the population of each state and territory is divided by this quota to determine the number of members to which each state and territory is entitled. Under the Australian Constitution all original states are guaranteed at least five members; the Federal Parliament itself has decided that the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory should have at least one member each. According to the Constitution, the powers of both Houses are nearly equal, with the consent of both Houses needed to pass legislation; the difference relates to taxation legislation. In practice, by convention, the person who can control a majority of votes in the lower house is invited by the Governor-General to form the Government. In practice that means that the leader of the party with a majority of members in the House becomes the Prime Minister, who can nominate other elected members of the government party in both the House and the Senate to become ministe
Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay. S. states of Maine, New Hampshire and New York. It shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by its second-largest administrative division, it is and politically considered to be part of Central Canada. Quebec is the second-most populous province of Canada, after Ontario, it is the only one to have a predominantly French-speaking population, with French as the sole provincial official language. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, the capital. Half of Quebec residents live in the Greater Montreal Area, including the Island of Montreal. English-speaking communities and English-language institutions are concentrated in the west of the island of Montreal but are significantly present in the Outaouais, Eastern Townships, Gaspé regions.
The Nord-du-Québec region, occupying the northern half of the province, is sparsely populated and inhabited by Aboriginal peoples. The climate around the major cities is four-seasons continental with cold and snowy winters combined with warm to hot humid summers, but farther north long winter seasons dominate and as a result the northern areas of the province are marked by tundra conditions. In central Quebec, at comparatively southerly latitudes, winters are severe in inland areas. Quebec independence debates have played a large role in the politics of the province. Parti Québécois governments held referendums on sovereignty in 1980 and 1995. Although neither passed, the 1995 referendum saw the highest voter turnout in Quebec history, at over 93%, only failed by less than 1%. In 2006, the House of Commons of Canada passed a symbolic motion recognizing the "Québécois as a nation within a united Canada". While the province's substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace and communication technologies and the pharmaceutical industry play leading roles.
These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become an economically influential province within Canada, second only to Ontario in economic output. The name "Québec", which comes from the Algonquin word kébec meaning "where the river narrows" referred to the area around Quebec City where the Saint Lawrence River narrows to a cliff-lined gap. Early variations in the spelling of the name included Kébec. French explorer Samuel de Champlain chose the name Québec in 1608 for the colonial outpost he would use as the administrative seat for the French colony of New France; the province is sometimes referred to as "La belle province". The Province of Quebec was founded in the Royal Proclamation of 1763 after the Treaty of Paris formally transferred the French colony of Canada to Britain after the Seven Years' War; the proclamation restricted the province to an area along the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. The Quebec Act of 1774 expanded the territory of the province to include the Great Lakes and the Ohio River Valley and south of Rupert's Land, more or less restoring the borders existing under French rule before the Conquest of 1760.
The Treaty of Paris ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States. After the Constitutional Act of 1791, the territory was divided between Lower Canada and Upper Canada, with each being granted an elected legislative assembly. In 1840, these become Canada East and Canada West after the British Parliament unified Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada; this territory was redivided into the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario at Confederation in 1867. Each became one of the first four provinces. In 1870, Canada purchased Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company and over the next few decades the Parliament of Canada transferred to Quebec portions of this territory that would more than triple the size of the province. In 1898, the Canadian Parliament passed the first Quebec Boundary Extension Act that expanded the provincial boundaries northward to include the lands of the local aboriginal peoples; this was followed by the addition of the District of Ungava through the Quebec Boundaries Extension Act of 1912 that added the northernmost lands of the Inuit to create the modern Province of Quebec.
In 1927, the border between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador was established by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Quebec disputes this boundary. Located in the eastern part of Canada, part of Central Canada, Quebec occupies a territory nearly three times the size of France or Texas, most of, sparsely populated, its topography is different from one region to another due to the varying composition of the ground, the climate, the proximity to water. The Saint Lawrence Lowland and the Appalachians are the two main topographic regions in southern Quebec, while the Canadian Shield occupies most of central and northern Quebec. Quebec has one of the world's largest reserves of fresh water, occupying 12% of its surface, it has 3 % of the world's renewable fresh water. Mor
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
The New South Wales Legislative Assembly is the lower of the two houses of the Parliament of New South Wales, an Australian state. The upper house is the New South Wales Legislative Council. Both the Assembly and Council sit at Parliament House in Sydney; the Assembly is presided over by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly has 93 members, elected by single-member constituency, which are known as seats. Voting is by the optional preferential system. Members of the Legislative Assembly have the post-nominals MP after their names. From the creation of the assembly up to about 1990, the post-nominals "MLA" were used; the Assembly is called the bearpit on the basis of the house's reputation for confrontational style during heated moments and the "savage political theatre and the bloodlust of its professional players" attributed in part to executive dominance. The Legislative Assembly was created in 1856 with the introduction of a bicameral parliament for the Crown Colony of New South Wales.
In the beginning, only men were eligible to be members of the Assembly, only around one half of men were able to pass the property or income qualifications required to vote. Two years the Electoral Reform Act, passed despite the opposition of the Legislative Council, saw the introduction of a far more democratic system, allowing any man, resident in the colony for six months the right to vote, removing property requirements to stand as a candidate. Following Australia's federation in 1901, the New South Wales parliament became a State legislature. Women were granted the right to vote in 1902, gained the right to be members of the Assembly in 1918, with the first successful candidate being elected in 1925; the Legislative Assembly sits in the oldest legislative chamber in Australia. Built for the Legislative Council in 1843, it has been in continuous use since 1856; the colour of the Legislative Assembly chamber is green, which follows the British tradition for lower houses. Most legislation is initiated in the Legislative Assembly.
The party or coalition with a majority of seats in the lower house is invited by the Governor to form government. The leader of that party subsequently becomes Premier of New South Wales, their senior colleagues become ministers responsible for various portfolios; as Australian political parties traditionally vote along party lines, most legislation introduced by the governing party will pass through the Legislative Assembly. As with the federal parliament and other Australian states and territories, voting in the Assembly is compulsory for all those over the age of 18. Elections are held every four years on the fourth Saturday in March, exceptional circumstances notwithstanding, as the result of a 1995 referendum to amend the New South Wales Constitution. 47 votes as a majority are required to pass legislation. The clerk of the house of the NSW Legislative Assembly is the senior administrative officer; the clerk advises the speaker of the Assembly and members of parliament on matters of parliamentary procedure and management.
The office is modelled on the clerk of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The following have served as clerks: Richard O’Connor 1856–59 Charles Thompson 1860–69 Oliver Kelly 1869–69 Stephen Jones 1869–87 Frederick Webb CMG 1888–1904 Richard Arnold 1904–16 William Mowle 1916–27 Sydney Boydell 1927–30 William Rupert McCourt CMG 1930–47 Frederick Langley 1947 Harry Robbins MC 1947–56 Allan Pickering CBE 1956–66 Ivor Vidler CBE 1967–74 Ronald Ward 1974–81 Douglas Wheeler 1981–84 Grahame Cooksley 1984–90 Russell Grove PSM 1990–2011 Ronda Miller 2011–2016 Helen Minnican 2016–present The ceremonial duties of the serjeant-at-arms are as the custodian of the mace, the symbol of the authority of the House and the speaker, as the messenger for formal messages from the Legislative Assembly to the Legislative Council; the serjeant has the authority to remove disorderly people, by force if necessary, from the Assembly or the public or press galleries on the instructions of the speaker. The administrative duties of the serjeant include allocation of office accommodation and fittings for members' offices, co-ordination of car transport for members and courier services for the House, security for the House and arrangements for school visits.
Once a meeting has started in an Assembly, the serjeant will stand at the door to keep authority and make sure no one else comes in or out. The following have served as serjeant-at-arms: Laurence Joseph Harnett 1873–1909 John Mackenzie Webb Harry Robbins Ivor Percy Kidd Vidler Hubert Pierre Scarlett Ronald Edward Ward Frederick Augustine Mahony William Geoffery Luton Peter John McHugh William Christie 1909 – 1918 Leslie Gönye–present New South Wales state election, 2019 List of New South Wales state by-elections Parliaments of the Australian states and territories Members of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly New South Wales Legislative Assembly electoral districts Women in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly Official website New South Wales Constitution Act
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
The Legislative Assembly of Alberta is one of two components of the Legislature of Alberta, the other being Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, represented by the Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta. The Alberta legislature meets in the Alberta Legislature Building in the provincial capital, Edmonton; the Legislative Assembly consists of 87 members, elected first past the post from single-member electoral districts. The maximum period between general elections of the assembly, as set by the country's Constitution, is five years, but the premier controls the date of election and selects a date in the fourth or fifth year after the preceding election. Since 2011, Alberta has fixed election date legislation, fixing the election to a date between March 1 and May 31 in the fourth calendar year following the preceding election. Alberta has never had a minority government, so an election as a result of a vote of no confidence has never occurred. To be a candidate for election to the assembly, a person must be a Canadian citizen older than 18 who has lived in Alberta for at least six months before the election.
Senators, senators in waiting, members of the House of Commons, criminal inmates are ineligible. The current and 29th Alberta Legislative Assembly was elected on May 5, 2015; the first session of the first Legislature of Alberta opened on March 15, 1906, in the Thistle Rink, north of Jasper Avenue. In this arena Alberta MPs chose the provincial capital and the future site for the Alberta Legislature Building: the bank of the North Saskatchewan River. Allan Merrick Jeffers, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design was the architect, chosen to build the assembly building. In September 1912 Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Governor General of Canada, declared the building open; the current members of the Legislature were elected in the 29th Alberta general election held on May 5, 2015. Bold indicates cabinet members, party leaders are italicized. Five byelections have been held since the last general election. Party leaders are italicized. Bold indicates cabinet minister. Official Seating Plan Legislative Assembly of Alberta web site Legislative Assembly of Alberta history - Citizens guide Canadian Governments Compared Legislative Assembly of Alberta - History