Friday, February 29, 2008


Leap years are pretty busy if you think about it. When do the summer Olympics and the US elections occur? The Olympics are pretty much global, and US election fever gets rammed down our non-US throats enough to make it seem a global event, and in some respects it is because of US global behaviour. Frankly, I think the Rest of the World should have some say in who becomes President as it seems to affect us and not inconsiderably.

Back on planet Earth - somewhere the US President spends not too much time as he's too busy mucking about in Cloud Cuckooland - and in particular, in our own little parochial backwater (and long may it stay that way), a grass-roots campaign has been gaining momentum.

It's not about Prince Charles' stance on banning foie gras in his residences (goody, more for us), but declares that today, February 29 should be a public holiday. It's all detailed here, in a blog entitled 'Mouvement de Liberation du 29 février' started by 'lukino' who I happened to sit next to at dinner a couple of weeks ago, and a very jolly bloke (Italian) he is too.

He states that employers are gaining an extra day's unpaid work from their exploited workers who are not generally paid by the hour, but annually. This is not pukka. Why should they work for nothing, or accept that those extra hours get absorbed into a mishmash of an annual workload?

No, what's called for is a national holiday, and I quite agree! If you feel sufficiently strongly about this important subject, you could wear your feelings on your chest, or elsewhere because a boutique of goodies has been set up selling tee-shirts, underpants, mugs, etc.

It's not just in France that grumblings can be heard. Apparently in the UK too there's been a suggestion to have a Green Leap Day to encourage people to stay at home and do something ecological like change all their inefficient light bulbs for energy-efficient ones. Ooh, what fun! I'd use it to dig the compost I've been faithfully creating into the garden. I would!

Back in the US of A, pal B has remarked that polling day is always on a Tuesday which is a day of work (in September?). This, naturally, prevents a large number of people from voting, which may be intentional of course. It's become an accepted fact that the US is not in fact a democracy but a plutocracy although the Powers that Be deny this vehemently, natch... To make democracy work you have to allow people to vote, and one way of doing this is to make polling day a national holiday. As elections occur in a Leap Year this extra day's holiday would be countered by the extra day of work on Feb 29 so employers would have nothing to grumble about because they would be losing nothing. Logical and rational thinking there, so why doesn't it happen?

It would be a dangerous act of democracy, that's why, and people might even vote in someone with more than two nano-braincells to rub together. Scary indeed!

Finally, if you're a chick with a man, today is the day you can ask for his hand in marriage. He might be keener if you come prepared with a ring of course... So if that's your goal for tonight, GOOD LUCK!

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