Archived Story

Let’s make Election Day a positive holiday

Published 10:30pm Monday, January 17, 2011

It’s time for a shift in our “politics as usual.”

We have just endured a miserable, negative, campaign season and political violence and death in Tucson.

They are related.

The hateful messages that bombard our collective mind lead to behaviors that fulfill the message.

It is clear to me that many Americans have lost faith in the Democratic process since only 35 percent to 45 percent of registered voters came out for the 2010 election.

We’re tired of the negative campaign ads, robo calls, influence of lobbyists and corporations and constant reports on polling numbers and dollars spent.

As a result, some boycott the election and others vote with limited facts.

Some just don’t care anymore.

The atmosphere, particularly around election time, feels toxic and lacks civility.

Come now. This is America.

This is OUR Democracy.

We must all participate for it to succeed.

We need to re-connect our election process with the good that is accomplished for our citizens.

Election Day should be a holiday.

In fact, I propose we celebrate the benefits of our democracy by establishing the first Tuesday of November as a local/state/national holiday called “Democracy Day.”

Every county or parish in the country should organize Democracy Day events.

People of all political persuasions would be expected to celebrate together.

I can imagine parades to honor all types of elected officers of all ages.

Include clubs like 4-H, leaders of student government at schools, as well as elected leaders of Kiwanis, Rotary, townships, villages and cities, etc.

Get students involved in public debates on Democracy Day.

Have others give speeches about their dreams for the future. I could go on and you can add your own ideas.

But let’s start by making Election Day a holiday and by finding ways to make every election a positive event.

Carol Higgins of Mendon was the 2010 Democratic nominee for state House in the 59th District against state Rep. Matt Lori, R-Constantine.

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