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14 November 2014 - A new national holiday?

Publié par Clifford Armion le 14/11/2014

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MPs propose national holiday for general elections
Press Association (The Guardian)
Making the day of each general election a national holiday has been endorsed by MPs as part of a package of proposed changes to try to boost voter turnout.
The Commons political and constitutional reform committee said it could help restore “greater esteem and excitement” to the electoral process.
It also called for automatic registration and trials of voting via the internet “with a view to all electors having the choice of voting online at the 2020 general election”. But it was split over whether voting should be made compulsory and called on the government to produce detailed analysis of the idea and put it to a Commons vote, including whether there should be a “none of the above” option to allow an active abstention.
The committee chair, Labour MP Graham Allen, said: “Our democracy is facing a crisis if we do not take urgent action to make elections more accessible to the public and convince them that it is worth voting.
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Elections should be held on special 'Democracy Day' public holidays, say MPs
Nigel Morris (The Independent)
A national “democracy day” holiday should be held when the country votes every five years in an effort to boost turnout at general elections, MPs have said.
They also urged ministers to look at other ways of encouraging people to vote, including switching polling days from Thursdays to weekends and allowing people to cast their ballots online.
Radical ideas were floated by the Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, which warned of a “crisis” of voter apathy.
Turnout was only 65 per cent at the last general election in 2010, with almost 16m voters staying away from polling stations and millions more not bothering to register to vote.
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Federal Holiday For Voting? Disappointed By Midterm Turnout, Vermont Senator Proposes 'Democracy Day'
Julia Glum (The International Business Times)
Could making Election Day a national holiday increase voter turnout? Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says it would, and on Friday he announced he'll sponsor legislation to request the government do just that. Citing stats that found only about 37 percent of Americans participated in Tuesday's midterm elections, Sanders proposed "Democracy Day." The bill designates the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every even-numbered year as a federal holiday.
“In America, we should be celebrating our democracy and doing everything possible to make it easier for people to participate in the political process," Sanders, an independent, said in a news release. "Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the time and opportunity to vote. While this would not be a cure-all, it would indicate a national commitment to create a more vibrant democracy."
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US context

America’s Historically Shameful Election Day Turnout
Kira Lerner (Think Progress)
Only 36.4 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the midterm general election, marking the lowest voter turnout in 72 years.
The last time voter turnout was that low was in 1942 when only 33.9 percent of eligible Americans participated in the election just after the county had entered World War II, according to a projection by the United States Elections Project at the University of Florida.
Turnout in Maine, where both the incumbent governor and a senator were on the line, was the highest of the states with just over 59 percent of voters participating in the election. Indiana had the lowest turnout at just 28 percent.
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"14 November 2014 - A new national holiday?", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), novembre 2014. Consulté le 23/05/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/14-november-2014-a-new-national-holiday-