States Other Than Victoria Cry Foul Over Melbourne Cup Holiday
There could be a little bit of envy involved for those who do not get an official full-day holiday for the Melbourne Cup, that is, anyone not living in the state of Victoria.
True, The Race That Stops a Nation does just that, as very little that could pass as productivity takes place on the first Tuesday of November.
There is an issue with giving everyone in the country a day off. Just ask the Yanks, who deal with a similar issue every year with the national holiday that goes by the name of The Fourth of July. When it falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, very few Americans can resist the urge to make a four-day weekend out of it. Those who do show up on Mondays and Fridays do not get much done. When the fourth falls on a weekend day, Fridays and Mondays are often written off as sick days or vacation days.
We would not be opposed to giving everyone in Australia a day off from school, work, or whatever other obligations from which he or she strains against the yoke, but why not simply move the Melbourne Cup to a Friday or a Monday and face the reality of the modern world?
It has been on the first Tuesday of November for long enough. The first edition in 1861 was on a Thursday, so it is not as though Australians lack the capacity to be flexible. It was not until 1875 that the race moved to Tuesday.
We love our traditions and routines, but we sympathise with the poor people of the other states who have to keep the country open for business while the Vics stage funny hat contests and lord it over the downtrodden of NSW, SA, WA and those other states.
Across the country, there are only seven official national holidays, so why not eliminate one of the state specific holidays and give everyone a holiday when the Melbourne Cup is staged?