Friday, October 24, 2008

christopher talks about tuesdays

Steve Israel and Norman J. Ornstein wrote an editorial this morning in the New York Times arguing that we should change our scheduled election date from a tuesday to a saturday or sunday. this has always made sense to me. other countries hold their elections on the weekend or declare the election day to be a holiday, and we have our election on a tuesday, an inconvenience for everyone and a voting impossibility for some. there are some people who are never able to get to the polls between getting their kids to school, preparing for work, working for eight hours with a thirty minute break, and then picking the kids back up and taking care of their families in the evening. voting is a luxury. and registering to vote is easy, and just because we've seen record number register to vote this year, the hope is that these same people will still be able to take time out of their day tuesday, a week and a half from now, and vote.
so where will we find the leaders to change this? that is the question i constantly ask myself. where do we find leader progressive and fearless enough to run for election to complete change the way government sometimes works, and how do we get them elected. i recently finished reading thomas friedman's hot, flat and crowded, which i highly recommend especially to the economically minded environmentalist, and found that friedman's main message is this: changing the type of lightbulb you use or recycling more does not really do much to conserve enough energy. he argues that we have to initiate a top-down change to regulate energy production and conservation in corporations and in power companies. america needs to invest in energy, in energy alternatives, in energy production, in energy revolution, and lead the world economically in this revolution so that we may once again become an economic world power. he says choosing the right leader to encourage such investment in technology and regulation is more important than changing the type of lightbulb we use in our house. and although i really love obama now, i don't believe he's radically enough to do this for us. what friedman does not delineate in his book is where america should look for such leadership.
in the mean time, booth and i are waiting for our ballots to arrive in the mail so that we can happy check the box beside mr. obama's name. here in oregon, everyone votes by mail. a ballot gets delivered to every registered voter in his or her mailbox. this is an amazing initiative to me, and if we're not going to change the election date from tuesday to a weekend date, each state should consider this voting method. this method might even more enfranchising and easier than the other alternative anyway.

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