General Election = Pesta Demokrasi?
Everybody around the globe knows that Indonesia is voting for the senators. The general election was conducted two days ago, April 9, 2009. As many political observers have predicted, Democrat Party (Partai Demokrat) won the election with more or less one-fifth of all the votes. This article is not discussing the success of this ruling party. Instead, it will share a lesson from this general election, that many people including SBY and his senior — the late Soeharto called as “Pesta Demokrasi”.
The analogy is one hundred percent correct, exactly like what really happened last Thursday. In Indonesian tradition — especially the Javanese — when a host has a party (i.e. wedding party, house warming party, or any other party), he (and his partner) will just conveniently sit on a beautifully decorated seat positioned on a stage, where the guests have to come up closer, just to shake hands. In front of the gate, the guests have to sign a guest book, and insert an envelope containing an amount of money into a big pot. The higher class of the host, the more money the guests will put in their envelopes. Some hosts even will later behave differently to those invited, but not come to the party. After some speeches, many forms of entertainment are then performed. Many kinds of food are also served. It is a real party. This is, however, only for the guests: the invited ones.
Behind the ball room, many people — some are sweated — are busy preparing for everything. Some of them have worked since a week before the party. These people are usually the neighbors of the host. Yes, it is they who prepare for the party. They sent the invitation, they made the decoration, they prepared all the food. It is these people also who will wash all the dishes. They are also the people to blame when something wrong happens.
Back to the general election. The prospective senators are the host. On the D-day, they just sit in a well decorated seat at the office of his party. They don’t do anything to help the people organizing the voting process. Instead, some of them are even angry and blame others for some of their followers are not on the list of the eligible voters. They don’t care that people started the D-day at dawn, and finished almost twelve hours later. Many other people even did more since the campaign weeks. They devoted all the potential they had. No expression of gratitude is unfortunately heard. Like the host of a party, the prospective senators will also behave differently to those not giving the votes.
Yes… they exactly just had a party. They conveniently enjoyed the festivity while other people: the guests, the neighbors had to work hard for the party and got no reward.