Which country is more likely to have the better democracy? One that observes their Election Day as a holiday? Or one that has New Year's Day as a holiday? In the U.S. we get Jan. 1st as a holiday. What does that say about the future of our democracy? Others have proposed this idea, like GrowDemocracy.com's campaign for Democracy Day.
Ok, so you might object that New Year's Day is a tradition. Let's look at holidays that are a less "traditional", specifically holidays that did not exist until the US enacted them into law.
"President's Day" (officially "Washington's Birthday") is taken as a holiday on the 3rd Monday in February (Washington's birthday is Feb 22). How do you think Pres. George Washington would prefer we insure his legacy continues? By taking a day off in February? Or taking a day off for Election Day?
Ok, you still might object that President's Day is too traditional. What about our most recently enacted US Federal Holiday?
Martin Luther King Day is observed on the 3rd Monday in January (King's birthday is Jan. 15). This holiday was signed into law in 1983 and first observed in 1986. Do you think Mr. King would prefer we insure his legacy continues by celebrating his birthday? Or by taking a holiday on Election Day?
I'm not advocating we add another holiday (which would have wide-ranging impacts). I'm saying we should consider moving the observance of an existing holiday to Election Day.