Grandma's Tales

November 5, 2006


Filed under: Language — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 7:48 pm

The US Congress (parliament for us) has two houses: House of Representatives and Senate.

On 7 November, Americans will vote to elect all 435 members of the House of Representatives. Representatives are elected for two-year terms. Those elected will serve in the 110th US Congress from 3 January 2007 to 3 January 2009.

The Senate also goes to polls on the same day. Many state and local elections, as well as election of 36 state governors will also be held.

In Chennai, organisations like Catalyst keep telling people to go out and vote. They tell us that a low voter turn-out makes a mockery of the whole election process. And they are right. But a web site I stumbled on has a different take on this. This is what they say:

“’s mission is to combat the “Get out the Vote” movement that is pushed by organizations that would like to increase the number of uneducated voters to help their cause. encourages people to Vote, but only AFTER they have educated themselves on the policies and individuals for which they are voting. Voting should be considered a privilege and exercised with responsibility and discretion. Just like a final exam, responsible voting requires self-education and thought. When the time comes to cast your ballot, if you don’t know for what or whom you’re voting, then DON’T VOTE.”

They follow this up with a quiz to find out if you are eligible to vote, if you are “educated” enough. Pretty interesting quiz it is, and runs into 30 questions. Each page carries a photograph of a prominent personality.
Examples: George and Laura Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Harrison Ford, Hillary Clinton, Fidel Castro, Emperor of Japan, President of Iran, Ban ki Moon, Kofi Annan, Queen Elizabeth, Jay Leno, Christina Aguilera, Madonna …

Each photograph is accompanied by 2 questions with multiple-option answers: Who is it in the picture? What is the person known for? You click on the right slot.
Easy, I thought. I would pass and would be eligible to vote if I were a US citizen. But the final page wanted me to fill in personal information before I would get the result. I gave it a miss.

Do you think something like this will work in India?


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