Posts Tagged ‘sports’

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IKEA Voting

October 30, 2007

I went to IKEA on October 28th for my first ever visit to the iconic chain store.  IKEA Sunrise (which is not in downtown Miami, as is depicted on the IKEA website) opened on October 17.  As I thought that I had given enough cooling off time for the eager crowds, I was taken aback by the number of people waiting in line to enter the store.  I won’t dare to estimate, but it’s true that I couldn’t see the end of the line.  Once the store opened, the place was so jammed with shoppers, it was nearly impossible to look at any of the merchandise.

While waiting in line, I thought about people waiting in line to vote.  Despite rampant reichwing patriotism, US citizens use so many excuses not to vote.  Furthermore, if any “hurdle” is put into the mix on election day (e.g. a long line, rain, cold, traffic) many US citizens choose not to vote.  But here we waited (for over an hour, standing in the South Florida sun, with no shade) for the store management to open the doors.  One woman said she had driven from Orlando just for the privilege of visiting the store.  She admitted that she had come to the store the previous evening, but gave up her quest to get in after waiting for three hours.

People camp out at stores to wait for the release of new products.  They will sit outside in the rain, snow, and frigid temperatures to watch sporting events.  But the same people will use lack of time and inclement weather as excuses for not voting.  Oh, the irony of it all.

Since people don’t mind waiting in line for something “good,” perhaps we should put polling places at popular stores.  Better yet, let’s tie elections to special events like product releases and sports games.  Would thousands of people still show up to a sporting event if they knew they would have to cast a vote before entering the stadium?

People should be thrilled to wait in line to vote, no matter the weather or time constraints.  If it’s OK to “suffer” for sports and consumerism, why is the same not true for voting?  Only when it’s too late, will most Americans realize that they were too busy shopping while they should have been exercising their right (and duty) to vote.

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