Europe’s Last Feudal State Mixes It Up

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It’s been just over four months since residents of the Channel Island of Sark voted for a new political system, in large part in order to bring the island’s system of governance in line with European Human Rights laws.

Located just east of the better-known (and much more populous) Guernsey, Sark has been ruled for 400 years by a Seigneur appointed by the British monarch. In October 2006, Sark’s islanders voted to overturn this system of rule, and the Seigneur’s powers will henceforth be exercised by 28 elected conseillers.

However, Sark’s feudalistas won’t give up without a fight.

According to a news report from the island, the Chief Pleas (the existing government) has “decided to appoint another committee to discuss the validity of the opinion polls.” The upshot? “The draft law could not go for Royal Assent and seven years of work was ignored.”

Perhaps Tony Blair should force democracy on Sark in his final months as Prime Minister.

About the author

Alex Robertson Textor

About the author: Alex Robertson Textor is a London-based travel writer and editor. He has written for Rough Guides, the New York Times, and Public Books, among other publications; he also guided the tablet magazine Travel by Handstand to two SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism awards. With Pam Mandel, he writes copy and generates ideas as White Shoe Travel Content. He is on Twitter as @textorian and maintains his own blog, www.alexrobertsontextor.com.

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