Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sark's a democracy, but Zimbabwe isn't?

One item of note this past week was that the Island of Sark, part of the Balliwack of Guernsey and the last feudal state in Europe, voted to end its near absolutist rule and to become a democratic state. Hard to believe this would happen in 2008 -- but there we are.

My only guess why this has finally happened is because of the heat that the EU has put lately on tax shelter countries like Monaco, Andorra and Liechenstein; and Sark (which like the other Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK but its inhabitants are British citizens and use UK phone numbers) has long been a "post office box" place to set up corporations, like Delaware in the US -- mostly to evade corporate taxes. Perhaps the islanders were fearful of any trade sanctions that might wipe out their tourist industry, so they decided to overthrow their "masters." No idea whether this will lead to some clamping down on tax cheats from the "Mainland" but one can always hope.

Oddly, some inhabitants liked things the way they were; but open government is still the best government. So bravo to the Sercquiais.

If democracy is good enough for 600 people off the British coast, why isn't it good enough for the millions who live under repression in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Burma, Mainland China and so many other places? Can someone please explain that?

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1 comment:

Alex ken said...

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