Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Democracy Day!

Silly, sure...but it gets the point across and is no more complex than it needs to be:

Can we do this?
There has been energy in the halls of our supposed democracy for quite some time to join many many nations around the world (you know, those crazy bastards with socialized medicine and commitments to things like disarmament and climate change) and declare Democracy Day to be the Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even numbered year. This very idea was introduced in Congress by Representative John Conyers and Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2005, where the bill (then H.R. 63 in the House and S.1130 in the Senate) had 112 cosponsors. The bill was referred in the House to the Committee on Government Reform, and in the Senate to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it died. As this is a new session of Congress, it would have to be reintroduced and receive new numbers.

In a nation that extols the virtues of democracy so much that we're willing to export it at gunpoint, a 60% voter turnout (and that's a record high) is barely a majority, especially when compared to other democracies generating 75%, 85%, and higher turnouts for elections. The idea is to improve our democracy - that is, our government by The People - by increasing civic participation and getting The People excited and off their asses. Conservative ideology has traditionally blocked such efforts with a claim that a day off for voting would hurt our economy and industry, which fully backs the critique that our corpocracy is alive and well and favored over our democracy. So can we do this? In the words of local favorite Barack Obama, "Yes we can!". i've already begun by declaring voting day a national holiday for myself and staying home from school and work, and i already have one friend joining me. i might even barbeque and drink some beer. Next i've called the offices of Representative Conyers and Senator Stabenow and asked them to reintroduce their legislation to create a federal Democracy Day holiday. Maybe we can even get the ball rolling by creating one here first.

Rep. John Conyers: (202) 225-5126
Sen. Debbie Stabenow: (202) 224-4822

cross-posted on the Ojai Post

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