Marriage finds new groove

The concept of marriage has become tarnished over the years — and it’s easy to understand why.

The concept of marriage has become tarnished over the years — and it’s easy to understand why. Before the Baby Boomer generation, marriage was a sacred and virtually inevitable contract that couples stuck with regardless of how miserable they became with each other. Their children, however, saw the flaws in their parents’ stubborness (Yes, we can still hear if you fight behind closed doors) and decided that divorce was an easier path than seperate beds.

The children of the Boomers, who bore the brunt of such a sharp increase in the number of divorces and all its associated squabbling, then decided that marriage was a dead institution and they should just shack-up instead. Then their children, who always felt that one of their unwed parents could walk out on the family whenever cohabitation became more work than fun, decided that even dating was too much of a commitment, so they decided to just do casual hook-ups instead.

So why was city hall in Seattle bustling with blushing brides this week? Marriage is making a big comeback — with same-sex couples at least.

On the first day that same-sex marriage became legal in neighbourly Washington State, the city of Seattle was blooming with brides and brides, grooms and grooms, ushers, flowers, dresses, confetti and parties.

It turns out that the way to give marriage its groove back was simply to stop focusing so much on lame heterosexual couples who have taken it for granted for too many years, and open it up to couples who really want it.

Which got me thinking: maybe we need to do the same with elections.

Since voter turnout has been so pitifully low in recent years, I propose that only those whose last name begins with a letter in the first-half of the alphabet (A through M) be allowed to vote in 2013.

The other half will need to wait for their turn in the following election. Anyone who doesn’t vote, loses a turn, which means they can’t complain about any politician for at least three elections. If they do complain, they have to fork over a $1 fine for each gripe.

Or maybe we turn it into a lottery where the people lucky enough to win a ballot become minor celebrities who are wooed by those unfortunates whose right to vote has been taken away. Imagine the pomp and circumstance of being chosen to decide the fate of your province or country for the next four years. All those envious neighbours cheering you on, wanting you to cast a vote that reflects their beliefs, hopes and desires rather than throwing it away on the Beer Bong party.

As the Rolling Stones once sang, “You can’t always get what you want,” because when you do, it’s far too easy to take it for granted and let it whither on the vine. M

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