It Figures - Or Does It?
At last we have the 'final' results of the recent election for the national legislature.
However, the Jakarta Post in an editorial
describes it as a 'fiasco', which they take to mean "an ambitious project that ends in failure" (fr. Webster's). Reading it puts me in mind of the original meaning which, according to World Wide Words
, apparently comes from the Italian word - a wine glass.
would be a better choice, at least for describing their take on the results - it's a lot of noise and argument about nothing very much.
Basically, nine political parties in all will take up the 560 seats at the House of Representatives while 29 others were eliminated. As expected, SBY's Partai Demokrat (PD) topped the poll, gaining 148 seats, Kalla's Golkar is 2nd with 108 and Megawati's PDI-P will have 93. The Election Commission has published the results for the 'winning' parties here
(.pdf file).According to the Post, the only surprise - shocking is more apt - to come out of the late Saturday night announcement was that 104 million valid votes were presented. Considering that 171 million people were registered, the valid votes counted for only 61 percent of voters.
Well, that's a lot more than several parliamentary elections in other countries. Check stats for many, if not all, countries here
With three major parties in contention, the voting turnout in the last two general elections in the UK
in 2001 and 2005 was 59.4% and 61.4% respectively.
There is a general election currently taking place in India, deemed the world's largest democracy. It held the third phase of its general elections last Thursday in a relatively peaceful atmosphere with an estimated 50% turnout
, lower than that in the previous two phases of polling.
Several reasons, which may be familiar to Indonesian electors, are given in this blog
.- Peoples don't want to vote for corrupt/criminals- Heat Wave (Rising temperature) and dusty warm air waves- Many of us think it is not important and doesn't matter if my one vote is not cast (Every vote is important)- Names shifted to some other places due to changes in electoral list and voter is unable to find where to vote?- Tactics (paying money, distributing alcohol, etc) by political parties to stop particular type of voters from casting vote when they are sure that these vote will goes to their opponent
Back to the Post: .... more than 19 million votes, or 18 percent of the total, were “wasted” because they went to the 29 parties that failed to make it to the House. Also, excluded from this figure are people who could not vote because they were not on the voter list. We will never know the exact number of disenfranchised voters, needless to say, the number was far too high.Effectively, the new House will only enjoy the support of less than 43 percent of the voters. Talk about legitimacy.
Ok, I will. This has been a legitimate election, albeit with logistical problems which could have been - should have been - foreseen by all
participating parties who were given every opportunity to ensure that all eligible citizens were registered as electors.
Assuming the Post has not misquoted him, last Friday, Commissioner Yoseph Adi Prasetyo of the National Commission on Human Rights is now arguing that the state has ignored citizens' rights.He said for sure many of about 50 million mentally ill people lost their right to vote.“Who hold the right to determine whether they are eligible to vote or not? The polls officials? The district officials? They neither have the capabilities nor consult with health experts.”
Eh? 50 million? How does he come up with a figure which constitutes 20% of the population - including those too young to vote?
Next time, in 2014, there will be far fewer parties and there will have been a national census which should better guarantee fewer disenfranchised folk.
And hopefully the country's citizens will be that much saner.