Democracy is an interesting thing

Along with the thoughts running through my head at the moment regarding the Irish no vote for the Lisbon Treaty, I’ve also been musing on the fuss in Sark.

I may be wrong, but my thinking of the events is as follows:

  1. Barclay brothers decide they want a nice, private retreat with few neighbours.
  2. They decide to buy a rock off the coast of Sark, thinking that it seems to be a rather nice place.
  3. They buy this, and, for a time, it was good.
  4. They then decide that, having nearly as much money as God and more attitude, they should have some say over the law of the land they own, and not just over the ownership.
  5. They then realise that they can’t vote in Sark, because Sark doesn’t bother with this ‘voting’ malarkey.
  6. They take Sark to the European Court, despite the fact that Sark isn’t under the jurisdiction of the European Court, to bring about democracy.
  7. The seven people and two dogs that vote in the resulting election vote against the ideas of reform that the Barclays championed.
  8. They decide that it’s their ball, and they’re going home.

So, what do you do when a people decide, democratically, that they don’t fancy democracy much? It’s an idea that’s long fascinated me, because when today people might decide such a thing, is it right that the lack of democracy continues in perpetuity on the basis of one vote? Or should there be cut off points – repeat the vote every ten years or so just to check that it’s still what people want?

And the second thought that occurred was this: what did the Barclays think that they were doing? How did they think that a small community would react to two outsides coming in and telling them how things should be run?

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