Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The joys of citizenship and democracy

Google Israel has this cute logo today for our election day.
This morning I was in a voting "booth" in Bet Ha'am in my moshav (village). Actually you just go behind a cardboard screen, select one of 33 little ballots (for the 33 parties running in this national election), put it in the envelope, come out and push it into the slot of a locked cardboard box. The four officials sitting at a long table then return your identity card, which they had checked against the list of registered voters.
The polls close in two hours from now, at 10 p.m. The votes will be counted by hand (!) and eventually we will know who are new leaders are, for better or for worse. Despite the cold and stormy weather over 50% have come out to vote so far.
Election Day is a national holiday. Schools were closed and most people did not have to work. Stores were open and did a thriving business.
Fortunately I returned from Australia just in time. Israel is one of the few Western countries that does not allow absentee ballots. In fact, one out of eight eligible voters is currently either residing abroad (or studying or traveling) and will therefore not be voting. About 650,000 Israelis live outside the country.
I myself have been elsewhere for the last several elections. So today it was a special privilege for
me to feel part of the democratic process again, to be home.
<><><><>
D is for democracy. To see what other bloggers have chosen for D-day, please visit ABC Wednesday.

24 comments:

deslilas said...

Democracy is a good choice.
Let's hope democracy will make also the good choice for peace.

photowannabe said...

A very touching post for the letter D. I am glad you are home to vote in this very important election.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Dina I wish you a very wise government and good leaders. That's something we all need.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Great choice for D.

Sylvia K said...

Great post and great timing! Thanks for your words! I couldn't agree more!

Müge said...

Hello Dina,

I have just listened news from your country on Turkish TV channels. I hope the result of the elections will bring security, peace and wealth to Israel and also to the Middle East.

Best regards,

Müge

ramblingwoods.com said...

I enjoyed reading about your trip to see your family and happy to see you home safe and sounds..Democracy is a great choice for WW,...Michelle

Janie said...

Great D word. I think the US should follow suit and make election day a holiday.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I enjoyed reading this about your voting system. We are still trying to get our system to work right. Each state has something different.

Babooshka said...

May you have the government of your choice and an optomistic future,

Suzanne said...

I just saw, the ballots are in. Livni's the winnah!

Tumblewords: said...

Thank you for sharing this! I knew the voting was underway but haven't heard the outcome and surely didn't know most of the information you posted.

Cloudia said...

Voting chokes me up! Aloha-

magiceye said...

great choice and post..

Yaelian said...

Good posting and great that you returned in time to vote. I really don't understand why absentee voters abroad cannot vote in the embassies.I as a Finnish citizen can vote here in Israel in the Finnish Embassy when there are elections in Finland.

spacedlaw said...

Just back in time for the elections!
I am keeping my fingers crossed for good results.

Catherine said...

We precced exactly the same way. Except for they organize elections on Sunday, that way they don't have to give us a day-off.
Hope the vote will bring you peace, Dina.

Lawstude said...

i would have chosed "D"elightful for you coz ur blog is such a delight.

Let me share to you My World thru Cagayan De Oro's Night Cafe.

Lily Hydrangea said...

wonderful interesting post. I wish you good luck with your elections!

Katney said...

A very important D indeed.

MurciaDailyPhoto and www.asthes.tk said...

I think that elections are the party of democracy and we should always go to vote is compulsory or voluntary. We must choose our representatives, and if not get the you want, you have to be critical to the work of the newly elected president. If you do not vote you can not criticize the government.

Pietro said...

Dina, I really hope that good leaders are elected there.
Have a nice day!

jordaenne said...

Beautiful Dina.

Thanks for your beautiful post and the google smile.

Wow that is alot of political parties-33. In Canada we just have a few.

Democracy is more liberated than communism and in Canada we have so much to be thankful for peace health care etc. but ofcourse we don't always get our way through democracy.Most Canadians or a very large segment do not agree with Canada in Afghanistan, I strongly for one disagree yet the policy in opposition rides on.

Also another problem with voting is that people often do not take the time to research all the platforms(myself included) and this renders voting ineffectual.

love and light
shalom.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

An excellent choice for "D", Dina. I'm glad you got back home in time to participate.