Election Coverage: Why Not "National Martin Luther King Election Day?" ('cause we need a holiday...)

I get the impression that half the people at my work aren't voting... most of them using the excuse that since they work in Manhattan, they can't get out to Queens or Brooklyn or Jersey or Upstate in time to vote since the lines are really long and it takes a couple of hours to vote.... of course, they could have done absentee ballots, but I guess they didn't get around to setting that up, either....

These are all people who would have voted against Bush. Even the right-leaning pro-Israel Jewish ad exec is anti Bush, because he abhors the budget deficits Bush & co. have run up... but he lives 30 minutes away, so he's not going to get around to voting, he says.

And the cool 40-year-old hippy guy that sits next me is also using the "I'd have to vote upstate so I guess I can't vote at all since I work in Manhattan” excuse, even pcpthough he follows politics closely and knows damn well that he could have used an absentee ballot or could vote late at night or early in the morning, before or after work. ("I don't have the energy to stand in long lines after a 12-hour deadline day at work. Especially when I know Kerry is going to win in NY anyway. Besides, I don’t really like Kerry,” he says. “I might have voted for Nader if he had a chance of winning, but since he doesn’t I figured it wouldn’t be worth my time. If I had the day off or it was easier to vote, then maybe I’d place a protest vote, but otherwise I don’t think it matters much").

If the rest of the country is like this, I wonder if any Democrats are showing up to vote at all.... if Kerry loses the election, it’ll be because so many people are just too lazy to get out the vote. However, the anti-abortion and prayer-in-schools people are rarely this lazy (they’ve got the fires of Hell motivating them, after all), so perhaps Bush will win again.

Many in the country must be wondering: If Kerry weren’t such a wet-rag, perhaps he could have pulled farther ahead of the anti-intellectual Bush camp.

At least this year we have the option of voting for a political party that names itself after a dangerous drug... the PCP party (Personal Choice Party). I like the fact that their presidential candidate openly admits that he didn't ask her to be a running mate because of her intelligence or political skill or great ideas, but simply because she's a great publicity tool and symbol (his running mate is adult-star and former gun-shop-owner Marilyn Chambers). That's honesty in politics!

(Why is it that third-parties always run for the impossibly-to-win presidential spot but rarely run for more realistic city, county, and state-level positions? Why doesn’t Nader run as governor or senator instead of spending 20 years of his life as a losing presidential candidate? I love Nader, but he’d do more good as an elective congressman at this point.)

Seriously, though: They should really give everyone the day off to vote... it's a far more important national holiday (from a utilitarian perspective) than Labor Day or Easter or Martin Luther King Day or whatever. (Maybe they could place President's Day or MLK Day on election day, because MLK would have wanted people to get out and vote. By making Election Day his national day off, we could have a federally mandated holiday, "National Martin Luther King Election Day," whereby we could honor MLK by making it easier for the dienfranchised to attend the voting polls instead of just having another national shopping day.)

If people need to stay in their local neighborhood and stand in line for two hours, how can they also be forced to got to work that day? In Australia, they get a day off to vote and there are monetary fines for those who don't vote ... and it's proportional representation instead of this all-or-nothing system that we have. So stick that in your kangaroo and think about it, mate.

No comments: