Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Last Feudal Government in Europe Falls

Being as there are only 600 people on the island of Sark, one of the Channel Islands, their move from what was essentially a feudal system to a democracy didn't get much news coverage. I'm amused to note, though, that since the old ruling body had 52 members, and the new one 28, the proportion of representation has gone down. I don't imagine that in what's essentially a large village, a change in the exact rules by which they operate will make much difference, though.


At Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:06:00 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, there will be a big diference. Under the new constitution, members of the island government will have to be elected by islanders. Under the current system, 40 seats are bought (or, historically, inherited) together with their real estate. Anyone who has both a British passport and the money can buy property with a seat in government. Think how that would work where you live- when your present MP or Congressman retires or dies, whoever buys his house goes straight in to government- doesn't matter is they are completely ignorant of the locality, or even if they don't live there- plenty of members of the Sark government just have holiday homes here. And these bought seats don't represent anyone except themselves (the better ones work for the community, of course). There are just 12 elected members currently, ooutnumbered more than 3 to 1 by not elected members- one of the reasons why it has taken us so long to achieve democracy. So the new constitution will give us an elected representative government, at last.

peter cole
Sark resident

At Thursday, May 22, 2008 2:04:00 p.m., Blogger Drew Shiel said...

That's interesting, Peter - thank you!


Post a Comment

<< Home