ELECTION DAY BLUES

April 9, 2009

I am rather ashamed to admit that;
I did not partake in this historical event in the name of Indonesian democracy today.

wait. Let me rephrase…
I am not  ashamed to admit that;
I did not partake in this historical event in the name of Indonesian democracy today.

It’s not that I don’t want to. I do. I’m a true believer in liberal democracy, though sometimes I do tend to be rather nationalistic. But the underlining fact that I really want to exercise my right to vote is actually why I chose not to vote. I want to vote for someone I truly believe in. Someone who can truly take his/her word and bring Indonesia to its glory. Someone who can realize the aspirations of our society..
Someone who, until now, does not yet exist in my knowledge of the modern Indonesian political scene.

This year, there are 44 political parties participating in the legislative general elections. FOURTY-FOUR! Can you imagine that? I’d like to say we must be the country with the most political parties ever, but I have yet to check my facts behind this statement. And from each party about several of its members are trying out their luck for a position aimed by many- a position that requires no exact skills to be able to win except for a large bank account that can sponsor your campaign…oh, except maybe  popularity.

That is why some of you have seen campaign posters around the streets and public areas, some not even focusing on their vision/mission, but instead on pure sensational photographs that will only make them be “seen and heard”.

There was one dude wearing a superman costume.
Another with a long beard resembling Gandalf from LOTR.
Then, there was another one campaigning himself as the father of a celebrity.
OH! And don’t get me started with the flock of celebrities-gone-legislative nominees..

Basically, I don’t know whether it was because of my lack of research, or even because of my lack of knowledge. Yet I still did not find a suitable legislative nominee for me to contreng.
Neither did any of the 10 people I asked today. 6 of them living in Jakarta, the other six, abroad. 
2 out of 10 people I asked today said they blind-voted.
another 2 said they weren’t registered in their neighbourhood (some administration problem).
3 said they were registered but didn’t know who to pick because there were just too many people (or ‘idiots’ if I may quote) to choose from. 
The rest? They were apathic. 

So is this the future of our nation’s democracy? People blind-voting, not getting enough information, and apathic? None of the people I asked today were especially passionate about a legislative-nominee’s vision and mission. 

I suppose Indonesia should stop and introspect. Realize that we may have a serious illness.
A disease.
A social disease.
Our democracy was praised as being one of the largest democracies in the world. The biggest in Southeast Asia.
But do you really call this democracy?
Maybe it should be renamed demo-crazy instead.

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