Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two Holidays For the Price of One?

I know there's a strong movement afoot to make Veterans Day a 'true' national holiday; that is to say, to move it out of its middle ground status and place it on par with Memorial Day, Labor Day, or New Year's Day.

Democracy advocates have also been saying for years that we should make our election days national holidays. This, they say, would greatly increase voter participation rates and better-enfranchise many whose long hours and/or long commutes pose real obstacles to voting.

Since the two fall so close to one another already, why not follow through by elevating the status of Veterans Day and making it the same day that we vote?

I don't know what all the barriers here would be, but I thought it at least merited a mention.

A few Google searches before I made this entry showed me that plenty of others have wondered aloud about this, too.


kad barma said...

This is a very good idea. I like it.

JoeS said...

If you think of it, the federal election every 4 years occurs in a leap year. It should be easy to make that extra day (substituting the first Tuesday of November for February 29th) a holiday to vote.

C R Krieger said...

I think it is a profoundly bad idea, not that I feel strongly about it.  Veterans Day, originally Armistice Day, is about the awfulness of war and the appreciation of those who went.  The hour of 11 AM is sacred because that is when the guns fell silent on the Western Front in 1918.

On the other hand, Joe's idea has some merit, although I think we should then move the Federal Fiscal Year to run 1 Jan to 30 something December.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Englander said...

At the very least, I'll say this merits more looking into. In searching around regarding the various proposals, I saw where some people had said we should hold our elections on Saturdays. It seems like that would make it easier for people to participate in greater numbers, too..