"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Friday, March 10, 2006
After around 450 years of rule almost exclusively by landowners, the smallest independent state in the British commonwealth will allow each of the 600 residents to stand for election.
The island [of Sark] sits 20 miles from the coast of France and is part of the British crown dependency — technically owned by Queen Elizabeth II, but not part of the United Kingdom. It is 3 miles wide and 1.5 miles long and is famed for its dramatic coastline and gentle pace of life.
Sounds good, right? Well, maybe. As it happens, popular government may not be so, um, popular around these parts:
But changing the feudal model, needed to bring the island into line with the European Convention on Human Rights — the Europe-wide laws governing liberties and require states to have democratically elected governments — was not universally supported.
Only 165 islanders took part in a ballot-style opinion poll that asked which model of change the population favored.
"Feudalism is a great system and has worked very well for the island. What people wanted was an option of no change at all," resident Jennifer Cochrane said by telephone from her island home.
"It is an enormous leap, a bigger leap than we had wanted. The island was hoping to reform through evolution, not revolution."
See, this is why I'm always carping about the Democrats being as useless as tits on a bull - the island nation of Sark has only now embraced representative government, and already the Republicans have a spokesperson on the payroll there! Do you think I kid? Just tell me if this doesn't sound like something a Republican could get behind:
Despite the move to embrace modernity, the island retains some unusual laws. Only the head of state — the Seigneur — has the right to keep pigeons or an unspayed female dog.
Why, that's almost eerie! Our own Dear Leader, likewise, likes to keep pigeons (his favorites are named Bill Frist, Dennis Hastert, and John McCain) and a brace of bitches:
Thanks, I'll be here all week. Try the mutton, and don't forget to tip your serf.