I have fond memories of being a little kid and waiting with my mom at the local polling place on election day. We’d get there early. We’d finally get to the front of the line. My mom would sign in and the three of us would follow her, sauntering over to the curtained booth.
After crowding inside, I’d watch her face and her hands, seeking out the desired row, and she’d use her fingers and pull down all the little knobs. She’d let us to some too. Down the row. Tick tick tick tick.
We’d step back and then she’d pull that big, heavy – it seemed so big back then – lever, that historical piece of American machinery. Ka-thunk.
She’d pull back the curtain and we’d all go back out into the fluorescent lit room, the communal, patriotic, public space.
It felt special, it felt important.
I’m sitting in my office, listening as every single person who leaves for the day calls out in the hallway:
“אל תשכח להצביע מחר”
“!ללכת לקלפי, להצביע ולהשפיע”
At lunch, I walked past a lively discussion on the strategy of voting and throughout the day have been pepper-sprayed with water cooler conversations, Tweets, Facebook statuses, and I.M. chats on the topic.
But the way I feel right now is this: if only the politicians had discussed the elections – and more importantly, their platforms – as much as we all did today. If only their passion seemed as strong as our indecision.
On one hand, I know who I don’t want in power. On the other hand, I don’t know who I do want in power. And the Israeli election is so complex: it’s not just two parties, one rep, badda bing, done. It’s more like, 30 parties. A list of reps for each one. The top of the top three who could become prime minister. Their nondescript platforms.
To vote for a small party with a specific platform, or to vote for a prime minister with a specific personality? To vote for socio-economic rights or security issues? To ignore the religious factor? To trust again or to have blind faith?
Whereas the recent American election seemed somewhat two dimensional – or maybe even three dimensional – this Israeli election is about 2348743 dimensional (and counting).
What happened to just voting for your leader?
The Kadima primaries began this morning and will end in about 40 minutes. We’ll know who gets the prize possession of being Ehud Olmert’s successor (in technicality and not job skill, we hope).
I wonder what he’s got planned as soon as he’s off-duty… Maybe he and Bush will go to Cancun together, smoke cigars. Buy some property. Who knows.
Check this out from the makers of Monopoly:
Have your say in the world’s first global Monopoly!
I’m creating the world’s first global Monopoly so I want to know what your favourite cities are!
I’ve pre-selected 68 great cities for you to choose from but you can nominate any other city you want – these are known as Wildcard cities.
Vote for your top 10 cities… and keep voting every day!
The 20 pre-selected cities with the highest worldwide votes on February 29 2008 will make it onto the board. Plus, you will have from March 1 to March 9 2008 to vote on the most nominated Wildcard cities. Only the top two will make it on the board!
How fun is that? And whaddya know, Jerusalem is one of the choices. So are New York, Melbourne, Prague, Dublin, and a few of my other all-time favorite cities of the world. Can’t wait to own them all myself… and think of all the dividing Jerusalem jokes we can make!
Go ahead and vote now.
Recently, the Australian residents of Israel had the opportunity to vote by embassy or by mail in their federal elections. It got me thinking – since I live with an Australian citizen – about the 2008 American presidential elections coming up (come on, everyone else is talking about it this early).
Then tonight I found a posting about registering to vote on Janglo: visit the Overseas Vote Foundation website and receive information and steps to register to vote. Easy and efficient.
Why can’t mainland, non-absentee voting be the same?
for some reason, as long as i can remember, i get really happy on election day. i feel good and wholesome and like i’m in a working process, just for a day, things are moving and shaking and stuff is happening – stuff that my entire american education was based on. freedom! choices! ownership!
i’m even happier today than i was on my birthday. i’m a huge freak!
enjoy it for a few minutes! stand in the booth, take a deep breath and toast ‘liberty’. toast presidents as mere men, not devil-worshipping heathens. toast the fact that for most americans, pulling the lever or punching the card is the most excercise they’ll get all year.