End of the last European feudalism

The last European territory to abolish feudalism (called by some the classic feudalism), is the Channel Island of Sark. The Sark general election, 2008, held on 10 December 2008, was the first election held on this island in over 450 years, under a new constitutional arrangement.

57 candidates (nearly 10% of the population) stood for 28 seats in the Chief Pleas. Those elected will receive the title of conseillers, and will replace the mixed system of elected People’s Deputies and ex-officio Tenants in the outgoing Chief Pleas. Their mandate will last either two or four years.

Those 14 conseillers elected for two-year mandates will serve until the next election in December 2010 when the successive mandate will be four years, thus achieving a rolling election cycle. The selection of which conseillers elected in 2008 will serve a two-year mandate or four-year mandate will be determined by random ballot. A recount was ordered as several of the candidates for the last seat were separated by only a few votes.

This election has created a divide throughout the island between those who support the traditional “feudal” system and those who support the new “democratic” process.

The island of Sark began to dismantle its feudal system on the basis that this was necessary to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The majority of the island’s legislature could be elected by 2009. On 16 January and 21 February 2008, the Chief Pleas approved a law which introduces a 30-member chamber, with 28 elected members and retaining only two unelected members. On 9 April 2008 the Privy Council approved the Sark law reforms, and the new chamber is due to convene for the first time on 21 January 2009.

Results after the second count:

1) David Thomas Cocksedge 336 (2 years)
2) Rossford John de Carteret 318 (4 years)
3) Helen Mildred Plummer 302 (2)
4) David Woods Melling 284 (2)
5) Helen Clair Magell 282 (4)
6) Christopher Howard Bateson 280 (2)
7) Antony Dunks 270 (4)
8) Stephen Laurence Henry 266 (4)
9) David Pollard 263 (4)
9) Andrew Charles Prevel 263 (4)
11) Elizabeth Mary Dewe 253 (4)
11) Sandra Williams 253 (4)
13) Edric Baker 249 (2)
14) Paul Williams 242 (4)
15) Diane Baker 233 (2)
16) Paul Martin Armorgie 230 (4)
17) Andrew James Cook 228 (4)
18) Richard James Dewe 227 (2)
18) Charles Noel Donald Maitland 227 (4)
20) Michelle Andrée Perrée 224 (2)
21) Christopher Robert Nightingale 215 (2)
22) Janet Mary Guy 212 (2)
22) John Edward Hunt 212 (2)
24) Anthony Granville Ventress 201 (2)
25) Stefan Bernard Gomoll 200 (2)
26) Ann Atkinson 199 (4)
27) Christine Dorothy Audrain 185 (4)
28) Peter John Cole 184 (2)
29) Philip James Carré 179
30) Tony Eric le Lievre 178
31) William George Raymond 169
32) Peter Blayney Stisted 169
33) Bertha Helen Cole 165
34) Simon Peter Elmont 147
35) Bernard John Southern 136
36) Kevin Patrick Delaney 131
37) Peter Francis Luce Tonks 123
38) Simon Ashley Couldridge 122
39) John Trevor Greer Donnelly 118
40) Paul David Mitchell Burgess 117
41) Roger Ian Wynne Kemp 106
42) Colin Francis John Guille 104
43) Belinda Doyle 96
44) Michael Joseph Doyle 93
45) Mini McCusker 91
45) Natalie Tighe 91
47) Fiona Ann Bird 90
48) Cheryl Mary Tonks 85
49) Natalie Alexandra Criak 82
50) Daniel Walter Robert Parsons 75
51) David John Bird 74
52) Kevin Laws 70
53) Kaye Jin Mee Char 59
54) Jamie Karl John Swanson 50
55) Leigh Dianne Gibbins 45
56) Susan Christine Strachey 43
57) Javie John Dance 14

Reaction

The election was largely contested by those supported by Sir Frederick Barclay and Sir David Barclay — the billionaire brothers who own the neighbouring island of Brecqhou and were advocating a thorough modernisation of the island — and supporters of the previous system. When it became apparent that only about five of the candidates on the Barclay brothers’ approved list of candidates had been elected, they announced the shutting down of their businesses on Sark — hotels, shops, estate agents, and building firms, and throwing about 100 people, a sixth of the population, out of work.

Source: Wikipedia.org