Small British island gets first democratic election

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An aerial view of Sark
Image: Phillip Capper.

Voters in the small Channel Island of Sark, a Crown dependency of the British Crown, have voted in their first democratic election, bringing an end to almost 4½ centuries of feudal rule.

Voting in the election opened at 10:00 local time (UTC) today, and closed at 18:00. The result is expected to be announced at 22:00.

57 candidates were competing for the votes of the 474 residents eligible to participate in the election, to win 28 seats.

HAVE YOUR SAY
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Should small islands such as Sark be required to be a democracy?

Roger Olsen, the first person to vote in the election, commented on the transition to democracy. "Sark has an opportunity to express itself, to determine its own destiny," he commented. "We like to make our own decisions. Now we're set up to do exactly that," he continued.

He also stated the he believed the island needed "fresh eyes, new blood and a new perspective".

Suzie Thorpe, the next voter, commented on the issues which concerned her during this election. "We need a good sustainable economy. But we don't want the island to change too much. We don't want any helipads, thank you."

Sark was the last feudal state remaining in the Western world, and the transition was forced by European human rights legislation that requires democratic governments.

Sources

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