People Not Voting

Aug 12th, 2008, in News, by

Not VotingPeople not participating in elections, fit to be stripped of Indonesian nationality or sinful.

The proportion of registered voters not taking part in regional and city elections (Golput (golongan putih atau tidak memilih)) this year averages around 40% and the matter has created some controversy.

In early July leader of PDI Perjuangan, Megawati Soekarnoputri, said at a campaign rally in Ambon that deliberate abstainers should not be Indonesian citizens, as not voting was in some sort of violation of the law, and was an insult to democracy. kompas

And on 6th August, the leader of the Partai Kebangkitan Nasional Ulama (PKNU), Idham Khalid, said that abstaining was

haram

He advised PKNU cadres, as representatives of the party of “Islam Ahli Sunnah wal Jamaah”, to inform the people that not voting was sinful in the eyes of God, because citizens must take part in the life of the country and state. antara


32 Comments on “People Not Voting”

  1. avatar Lairedion says:

    He advised PKNU cadres, as representatives of the party of “Islam Ahli Sunnah wal Jamaah”, to inform the people that not voting was sinful in the eyes of God, because citizens must take part in the life of the country and state.

    If a large number of Muslims is rejecting democracy as man-made and ungodly as opposed to the divine laws of Shariah, I guess these anti-democrats should burn in hell for committing a grave sin by abstaining from voting.

  2. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Good.
    First they wail they’re not given democracy- then they wail when they do?

    This is the only way to control the Rakyat who elect to be subversives and agent provocateurs.
    Hidup Mega!

  3. avatar janma says:

    Megawati Soekarnoputri, said at a campaign rally in Ambon that deliberate abstainers should not be Indonesian citizens, as not voting was in some sort of violation of the law, and was an insult to democracy. [1]

    yeah and voters not having any remotely qualified party or candidate to choose from is an insult to democracy too!

  4. avatar Rambutan says:

    Mega is so incredibly dumb. Citizens have the right to vote or to abstain. You don’t force people to vote – that’s what the New Order regime did. Anyway, voter turnout of 60% for local elections is not too bad. The US only achieved 56% at the 2004 presidential elections.

  5. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    The US is a pathetic model for any democracy- or “the best democracy money can buy”.

    They cannot even choose their own presidential candidates before the Electoral College and Zionist Jews of AIPAC vet them.
    Do we need to talk about US Corporate ownership of Government and Corporate Oil-War Campaigns?

    As a silly, hairy fruit Rambutan- you did not realise Australia forces people to vote- it is called compulsory voting and is a crime not to vote.

    In this way- Australian democracy is quite superior as there cannot be any argument about poor voter turnout biasing the vote.

  6. avatar Rambutan says:

    Well, the US have been around for 200 years and their system is working just fine. So you shouldn’t be too quick to judge. But there are many other examples of low voter turnout at regional level. Many European countries only achieve around 50-60% on state/ province level. BTW, Australia is an exception. There are only few countries applying compulsory voting, Belgium for example. Most democracies are doing just fine using voluntary voting.

  7. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    The US system working fine? Rubbish.

    Jefferson argued it was at the mercy of greedy corporations 180+ years ago.
    Ask any American who wants to vote for a third party.
    How much chance does Ralph Nader or Ron Paul have despite being popular?

    No instead the US forces the electorate to choose between one of two approved lunatics- Obama or McCain.

    And the Presidential recount fiasco?
    Corporate sponsorship opf political parties?
    Kickbacks from professional lobbyists?
    Who esle has these banana-republic style democracies

    And if you read books, you’d understand the US is a bastardization of French Republican democracy (which has a prime minister has head of parliament-conveniently missing from US “democracy”) and the world’s oldest democracy, and far less corrupt, UK.

  8. […] not voting was in some sort of violation of the law, and was an insult to democracy.

    I beg to differ. Mustn’t the freedom to choose include the option not to choose?

    Suppose now you have to choose between Mussolini, Hitler, and Pol Pot. Not choosing means insulting democracy now? That’s absurd, but whatever trips your trigger.

    What Bu Mega is doing is nothing more than twisting words and logic to create a false dichotomy so that the golputs would vote her somehow as the lesser of the evils.

  9. avatar djoko says:

    I have some (mild) tolerance for golput during the Soeharto period as it was the equivalent of voting against authoritarianism. However I don’t see the use of it now at all, and merely see it as pure laziness from people who are actually intelligent and should know better. Stuff like this:

    yeah and voters not having any remotely qualified party or candidate to choose from is an insult to democracy too!

    Don’t like the choices available at the moment? Get off your ass and make your own party! Join a party and put yourself forward as a DPR candidate! Get off the bench and into the game!!

    The sad fact is that as more and more people golput, there are two types of party which will inevitably clean up seats in the DPR, and thus be able to control the future of (at least procedural) democracy in Indonesia. The first group are the parties mired in corruption, which is essentially all of the major ones, Golkar and PDIP being the worst. These parties, honestly, do not give a rats ass if the golput brigade doesn’t vote in elections. In fact they love it! They can buy votes from the wong cilik anyway (cash hand outs, phones, motorbikes, I’ve heard different stories), and with the golput brigade ‘sitting out’ the fight, they have no real opposition to whatever policies they want to introduce in parliament.

    The second type of party which benefits from this, and to an extent this has been proven to be the case, is well-organised parties which to be honest I can only think of one: PKS. The ‘surprise’ election wins for PKS candidates in North Sumatra and West Java were on the back of reasonably sized golput turnouts in those areas. Organised parties like the PKS don’t need the golput brigade’s support either, and considering the overwhelming (with exceptions like Hizbut Tahrir) nationalist orientation of golput supporters, much like the corrupt parties they’re more than happy that golput is sitting this one out.

    To be perfectly honest, people who support or themselves golput are generally intelligent people, they know there are things which need fixing in this country, and they have a great deal of empathy for, and desire to improve the plight of, ordinary Indonesians. I just feel the golput tactic is an absolute waste of energy which does absolutely nothing except benefit precisely those groups which they would consider ‘enemies’ (corruptors and religious parties).

    As for comments like this:

    Suppose now you have to choose between Mussolini, Hitler, and Pol Pot. Not choosing means insulting democracy now? That’s absurd, but whatever trips your trigger.

    Is that really the choice facing Indonesians at the moment? Get real. Democracy and politics is all about choosing the lesser of two evils, though generally speaking the evils on hand are no where near the absurd hypothetical situation you’ve put forward.

    I don’t mean to offend anyone (especially those who I’ve quoted from comments), but when I hear Indonesians echoing similar attitudes (I’m not sure if those I’ve quoted are Indonesian or not) it incenses me to no end. When you stack up the results of what happens when people golput now, there’s just no logic left in it, and it only serves to benefit precisely those groups that the golput are intending to ‘melawan’ through their act.

  10. avatar janma says:

    Don’t like the choices available at the moment? Get off your ass and make your own party! Join a party and put yourself forward as a DPR candidate! Get off the bench and into the game!!

    what were you born yesterday? it’s not like starting a brownies club you know…..
    becak drivers unite! we’ll just raise a few milyard and start a party! how about it!?
    But I agree with what you say pertaining to Golput being a danger…. it leaves the fanatics and corruptors to vote.

  11. avatar DXP says:

    DXP sees the needs to guide Indonesian to adopt China policy, in populous developing country, we shall not copy USA style of liberal democracy, ‘democracy in unity’ is more appropriate …. law in order is the top important

  12. @ djoko

    Just for your note, I plan to vote. But I believe being golput does not necessarily entail “pure laziness”. Sometimes people are just indifferent.

    Don’t like the choices available at the moment? Get off your ass and make your own party! Join a party and put yourself forward as a DPR candidate! Get off the bench and into the game!!

    Assuming that you’re right for the sake of the argument, presumably, after we “got off our asses and made our own parties”, it won’t be of any good until the next election…?

    Is that really the choice facing Indonesians at the moment? Get real.

    Bear in mind that my intention of such a remark was to object the universal notion of “not choosing is an insult to democracy”. Bu Mega’s remark sounds universal enough to me, hence the hypothetical situation.

    “In the current situation of our country, to abstain is, arguably, intellectually discouraged.” —> I can agree with this…

    “To abstain is an insult to democracy.” —> But not this.

  13. avatar Chris says:

    It doesn’t help that there’s no system of absentee voting, i.e. being able to vote at a place other than near the address on your ID card (KTP). People who move house are not going to be able to vote until at least their ID card expires (up to 5 years) or they get their address changed.

    But then it’s also really difficult to get the address changed on your ID card, so no one bothers…

  14. avatar Enigmatic says:

    What about those who are eligible to vote, yet not given the power to vote?

    Personally I feel that not voting beats placing spoiled or bad votes any day. And I won’t hesitate to vote too.

    BTW need info on voting overseas for next year. I’m still studying overseas.

    any links?

  15. avatar indahs says:

    @ Enigmatic

    Have you informed of your attendance to Indonesian embassy at your current hosting country? If you did, then you will receive invitation letter for the next coming election from Indonesian embassy.

  16. avatar PrimaryDrive says:

    People not participating in elections, fit to be stripped of Indonesian nationality or sinful.

    Blah, this is utterly ridiculous. Only if the politics do their work, thus offering really sane choices to vote for, then they can talk like that.

    But I fully agree with Djoko:

    Get off your ass and make your own party! Join a party and put yourself forward as a DPR candidate!

    Volunteers?

  17. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Well- I’m starting a party called “Majapahit Lagi Party”- based on an expansionist Indonesian Nationalist platform with extreme bias toward the Javanese pribumi and integrating what I call “Trifungsi”- which is basically n all-encompassing military dictatorship- but with extra pomp and compulsory national service.

    Any votes yet?
    We are VErY pro business- arms industry especially.

  18. avatar janma says:

    Well I’m voting PKS because I want to see minorities repressed and their rights taken away. And because I would like to see women whipped in public on a friday afternoon. Also I’d like the government to decide my beliefs for me, and keep me from sinning. I want my daughter to grow up as a second class citizen, and I want the government to decide what she should wear when she leaves the house.
    I’m voting PKS because I think terroists are heroes and should be applauded for doing their duty to their religion.

  19. avatar janma says:

    Or maybe I’ll vote (insert any party name here)….
    because I believe that government officials should have free cars, not pay for petrol or toll roads and I think it’s only fair that they should supplement their meagre wages from the national coffers. And that they should have laptops so that they can constantly monitor the flow of porn in this country, thus protecting our children.
    Because I believe that mud is good and rhetoric even better.
    Because I believe that there are just too many trees in Kalimantan, and that if some burn down it’s a service.
    Because I believe too much education is a bad thing for indonesians.
    Because I believe that the poor should get poorer and the rich richer.
    Because I don’t want the right to work and support my family in the country where I’ve lived for 20 years. I mean, who really needs twoincomes in this day and age hey? I’d rather rely on my (indonesian) man and stay home and make tea poci for my arisan meetings……
    Because I like sending my children overseas to finish school and find jobs because there is nothing for them here…….
    Just love it….. terrific hey….. so many choices.

  20. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Janma

    Well I’m voting PKS because I want to see minorities repressed and their rights taken away. And because I would like to see women whipped in public on a friday afternoon. Also I’d like the government to decide my beliefs for me, and keep me from sinning. I want my daughter to grow up as a second class citizen, and I want the government to decide what she should wear when she leaves the house.

    No need to vote. Just move to Aceh.

  21. avatar Ally says:

    If democracy means: dari rakyat, oleh rakyat, untuk rakyat, it will ask rakyat to participate. So, if a warga negara does not agree with recent choices, then:

    Get off your ass and make your own party! Join a party and put yourself forward as a DPR candidate! Get off the bench and into the game!!

  22. avatar DXP says:

    DXP read this thread of discussion and pity Indonesian who lost their believe on Indonesian democracy system. In contrary, look at the Beijing Olympic spectacular opening ceremony & in all the games, you must learn how patriotic and capable we are .. the China chinese. Those who don’t like voting, you can stay in China, in china there is no need to do voting and we are prosperous, stronger in unity, proud & patriotic to our country. What else you need ? but please dont sent your muslim radicals to bomb Xinyang, it is enough 3 X bombings in 1 month

  23. avatar Enigmatic says:

    indahs Says:

    August 12th, 2008 at 5:56 pm
    @ Enigmatic

    Have you informed of your attendance to Indonesian embassy at your current hosting country? If you did, then you will receive invitation letter for the next coming election from Indonesian embassy.

    Not yet. How do we do that?

  24. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    DXP:
    Indonesia fully supports China’s claim to Xinyan, Tibet and Taiwan.
    Satu Nusa- One nation.

  25. avatar tomaculum says:

    In contrary, look at the Beijing Olympic spectacular opening ceremony & in all the games, you must learn how patriotic and capable we are .. the China chinese.
    Yeah, capable also in repressing other nations, like some westerner, like many indonesian.
    Do you ever think why those Uigur people did those bombing? Tibet is a part of China, like Papua is a part of Indonesia?
    Per statute yes, but not cultural. If you have any interest to pacify Xinjiang or Tibet, then start to respect the citizens living there and don’t see them as subhuman being, and not treating them as tetarded stone age creature.
    To a democracy belongs the freedom to speak, even if it is a call of freedom of a region. The next step is then to let the citizen right there to vote wether they want to stay as Indonesian citizen or not.
    That is democracy.

  26. avatar janma says:

    In contrary, look at the Beijing Olympic spectacular opening ceremony & in all the games, you must learn how patriotic and capable we are ..

    yeah, except for one small fly in the chardonnay…. that poor little girl who was supposed to sing at the opening ceremony. She was replaced at the last minute by some ‘better looking child’ at the request of a ‘patriotic’ chinese official who said her teeth were too crooked and she wasn’t pretty enough. She is seven years old and had been practicing for months only to be replaced at the last minute by another child who lip synced a recording of the first little girl singing. That’s just plain mean!

  27. avatar tomaculum says:

    And what about the nappy wearing soldiers hidden in the boxes inscribed with chinese letters for several hours.
    Very spectacular! 🙂

  28. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    80% (and I’m quite optimistic here) of wong cilik know nothing about politics and everything related. For most of them politics revolve around the price of beras and BBM. They will only back up candidates based on ethnicity or who are endorsed by religious and community leaders. If those who are ignorant and basically uninterested stay golput and abstain from voting the results would reflect a lot better the opinions of those who really care. This would make democracy what it is supposed to be: bottom-up lawmaking and government control by concerned people. In an ideal and perfect situation this would apply to the entire population. However, perfection is not of this world.
    As long as voters don’t have a modicum of education to realize what they are voting for democracy is just an empty word and a screen behind which those in power continue to fulfill their private agendas.

  29. avatar Enigmatic says:

    For most of them politics revolve around the price of beras and BBM. They will only back up candidates based on ethnicity or who are endorsed by religious and community leaders.

    What about others who are not Chinese? Don’t they care about bread and butter issues? Don’t they also vote based on perconality rather than ability? I’ve heard of cases where people in the villages are given rice if they vote for a particular candidate…Come on don’t start generalising (and quite inaccurately too).

    As long as voters don’t have a modicum of education to realize what they are voting for democracy is just an empty word and a screen behind which those in power continue to fulfill their private agendas.

    Agreed… Yet it seems the best…

  30. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Enigmatic

    What about others who are not Chinese?

    I think you misunderstood my meaning. I wasn’t referring to the Chinese but to the majority of the Indonesian voters for whom the basic needs are still the only concern and hence are easily manipulated.

    I’ve heard of cases where people in the villages are given rice if they vote for a particular candidate…

    This is exactly what I alluded to. And not only rice, also cash. And I even know of a case in which the money was counterfeit. Should we laugh or cry? 🙂 🙁

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