I’m one of those who choose not to participate in the election when I don’t like the choices being offered. Why should I choose someone who I don’t know and who doesn’t even care about me, my values, my views, my aspirations and million other things that I think matters?
Why should I choose someone who I don’t think is the best person for this country in this particular time? Why should I choose someone who doesn’t even inspire me a little bit?
If they want my vote they should earn it. Not just telling me that it’s my right to choose therefore I have to exercise it. I’m fully aware of the value of my right. And I do use it. Very carefully and selectively.
Why people try to force their choice on me is beyond me. Aren’t we talking about democracy here? And the thing that they they want me to do is to choose the best from the worse. Hmph.
I welcome them to choose even the worst from the worse. Me? I refuse to settle for second best. But that was before.
This time around I’m going to participate. I’ll cast my ballot next month in this presidential election. Not because this time we finally have the best person to rule this country for I don’t think they are the best candidates that this country has to offer.
It saddens me that we only have Prabowo and Jokowi to choose from hundreds of millions of people here. It speaks volume about a lot of things i.e. the state of our democracy among other things.
So, what is the deciding factor that makes me change my mind? Firstly, let’s talk about the presidential candidates and their running mates.
The number one pair. Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa.
I have one golden rule in a presidential election. I will never ever choose any candidate with a military background.
I have an aversion to those who wear uniform and are sworn to protect this country and its citizen with their guns and everything else yet are trying rule.
Don’t take me wrong. I have nothing but the greatest respect and love for our soldiers and policemen despite a rather colorful reputation that they have garnered over the years.
Nevertheless, there is one thing that we shouldn’t give to our soldiers and policemen: the Presidency. At least not now. (ps: in the police force case I’m not sure if their retired generals will ever try to run like those generals from the army. More interestingly why they never run before? Why it’s always someone from the army?)
The current President could be used as an example why there is no problem to choose someone with a military background as a President. But, I’d like to point out that despite his military background I think SBY is more suitable for a desk job. A job that will give him plenty of time to think and ponder. A job that is perhaps more suitable to his character.
Base on my golden rule Prabowo is automatically a no for me. But even then I was still looking forward to the announcement of his running mate. A rule is a rule. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a golden one or not it’s made to be broken.
I’m ready to choose Prabowo as long as his running mate agrees with me. Then Hatta Rajasa’s name was confirmed. What a disappointment. It means I have two strikes against this pair now.
What is wrong with Hatta Rajasa? I don’t think there is anything that’s really wrong with the man himself aside from the fact that I don’t think he is that great.
He becomes an ‘outstanding’ man in my eyes when his son involved in a car accident that killed people and got away with it. I have to tell you that I feel very strongly about someone who takes someone else’s life.
No one should ever be allowed to take other people’s lives. For those who dare to do it a capital punishment should be given as no punishment is harsh enough not to mention fair enough for those who have lost their lives.
How about an accident when you take someone else’s lives unintentionally? Sure, capital punishment is not the answer but neither 6 months of probation.
The problem is if we’re talking about killing be it intentionally or not, we’re not talking only about the law there’s also victim’s family and the defendant’s family.
Our law usually shapes itself accordingly to the situation.
If the defendant’s family is powerful and rich while the victims’ family is poor and powerless the law will turn a blind eye and smile benignly showing us that it has no teeth to boast.
But if it’s the other way around, we’ll see how swift, relentless and harsh our law is.
I don’t need black campaign nor negative campaign to influence my opinion on Hatta Rajasa. Action speaks louder than words.
I’m willing to ignore human rights violation accusation against Prabowo. I’m willing to hear his side of the story that it’s not his fault although personally I hold him responsible for the destruction of Jakarta and the lost of innocent lives in 1998.
For what can’t a powerful lieutenant general like him do in that era? Besides controlling the army he was also the son in law of the most powerful General in our country who happened to be our President.
He should bring Jakarta into order ASAP. He should prevent the chaos from happening in the first place. No body could convince me that there was no body either in the army or in our intelligence agency knew about the planned attack.
I want justice for what happened. But despite feeling that way I’m willing to consider that Prabowo is innocent. But not in Hatta’s case.
Hatta Rajasa would get a lot of respect from me had he thrown his own son behind bar and locked the key himself instead of sending him overseas to study.
But then he is only a father with a powerful position and lots of money. A father who didn’t know that he would run as a Vice President.
Would he acted differently had he known? I doubt it. It takes a lot to be an outstanding person. It takes a lot to do things differently. It takes a lot to cut your own hand.
Not everyone can do it. So what do we have here?
Prabowo Subianto who is running for President was fired from the army. He was never really held responsible for what happened in Jakarta in 1998. He might be guilty or not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
After what happened he decided to go overseas. No law nor President is powerful enough to touch him and bring him to court. I’m not surprise if later on our students will learn a new history in their history books.
After all a history is written by the winner not the loser.
His running mate Hatta Rajasa has a son who killed people. A son who lives overseas because he has a rich and powerful father.
I don’t like this picture. If there is something that I love more than time it’s justice. This couple don’t deliver on that front.
My main issues with this couple are not with their vision and mission nor ideas and goals for this country. My issues with them is directly related to their personalities. To their characters as human beings.
Nevertheless, one of the reasons why I was really looking forward to watching the first presidential debate is because I want to see how clever Prabowo really is (he is rumored to have an IQ of 142).
I have a thing for intelligent people. And despite the very bad feeling that I have regarding Hatta Rajasa’s son’s accident I also want to see him and learn more about his character.
I guess in a way I’m still undecided. And just like most undecided voters we count on debates to change our mind. Unlike those die-hard fans of the candidates who will choose their own candidate no matter what, we undecided voters are still open to change.
What do I want to learn from debates? Vision and mission? You’ve got to be kidding me.
I don’t care about vision and mission. I could easily read them whenever I want to. And I’m sure there are bunch of people who will gladly explain them to me if I ask them to.
No. That’s not why I want to watch debates. Debates are my chance to learn more about the candidates. To see the real men underneath.
Of course learning about the emphasis on their programs and ideas and how they’re going to go about it goes without saying but that’s not the most important thing.
I told my parents who are leaning towards the pair number one right before the debate that what I wanted to hear the most was the question about human right violation, not that I thought they would bring it out in the open.
For me the most interesting thing in debates is when the candidate loses control and reveals their emotions. I love seeing the unguarded expressions, slips of tongues and analyze things that are revealed unintentionally.
I’m flying overseas next week so I’ll probably won’t be able to see the next debates but the first debate was revelation enough.
From what other people are saying about the candidates I thought that the running pair number 1 (Prabowo and Hatta) will trounce the running pair number 2 (Jokowi and JK).
Well, that’s not the case. The no 2 pair performed surprisingly good. They admitted that they made a serious preparation for the first debate. And it paid off handsomely.
The rumor about Prabowo’s IQ is unfounded. If there’s someone with 142 IQ that night that someone is JK. He was sharp and completely at ease. The only person in that stage that looked comfortable enough in his shoes.
The highlight of that debate was when Jusuf Kalla asked Prabowo about what will he do about the human rights violation in the past and future. Gosh, even from my bed I could feel the chill that filled that room.
For a second there’s no sound at all. It seems like everyone is holding their breath. I think the happiest person in that second is the moderator because for once he doesn’t have to tell everyone to be quiet. And me.
I love how the old little man cheekily asked that very question. Jokowi didn’t have the guts to ask the question himself, in fact, I don’t think there’s enough man who dares to ask that very question to Prabowo’s face.
I feared for JK’s safety. And in that time I was glad that there was this huge space separating the candidates. And that they’re millions of people watching.
Probowo’s reaction was priceless.
Of course we all knew what JK was really asking but if we take his question literally it’s actually quite innocent. Prabowo could easily duck the bullet by giving a very standardize answer. A grand answer like all his previous explanations. Just give JK words and lots of pretty words.
Or even better yet he could use that chance to clear his name and addressed that human right violation issue once and for all.
But Prabowo totally lost it. He visibly shook and tried to calm himself. Not that he succeeded. I was afraid that if JK was within his reach he’ll grab the old little man by his collar and punch him.
A new knowledge. Prabowo has a temper. Not just a temper but a mighty one.
Perhaps coming from such an outstanding background with everyone else doing the yessing and bowing around him he rarely encounters people who say unpleasant thing to his face.
This is exactly the kind of thing that I want to see in a debate.
Now, let’s take a look at the running pair number 2. Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla. Publicly known as Jokowi and JK.
I have nothing against Jokowi, no, that’s not true. There’s something about Jokowi that stops me from going his way.
Just like Prabowo’s case that the very thing that makes people choose him is the very thing that makes me decide not to choose him. (Some people choose Prabowo because of his military background. I don’t choose him precisely because of that particular reason).
Most people choose Jokowi because he is being backed by Megawati the leader of PDIP. If there is one thing that I really really hate about Jokowi, it’s how he kisses Megawati’s hand.
I’m willing to look other way about who is behind him. I’m willing to ignore the black campaign and whispers regarding all the evil plans that those people have in mind for the muslim majority of this country.
But there is no way I’m going to choose someone who kisses someone else’s hand as the highest person in this country. Just as much as I don’t want my President to be someone who brows beat everyone around him, I don’t want him to kisses Megawati’s hand either.
Aside from kissing hand, I’m not that impressed with Jokowi. Like I said before I have a thing for brainy people. They could impressed me with their brain in just a few seconds. Jokowi doesn’t have that.
I’m not impressed by his previous achievement as the mayor of Solo nor by his appearance.
Now, I know I sound like a snob and a very shallow person. Trust me, I could be very shallow on occasion but my shallowness is safely reserved for something that's just as shallow and meaningless, however, I must say that Jokowi doesn’t charm me.
Do we need to be charmed by a Presidential candidate? Please ask that question to all those women who voted for SBY thinking that he is good looking.
I’m not saying that Jokowi isn’t good looking what I’m trying to say is that he doesn’t have the ideal figure and the countenance that we would want on someone who will become our President.
Yes, very shallow indeed. Shallow and discriminatory.
But some people are like that. They want someone who looks good. Someone with ‘blue blood’ or from privilege background, someone with a certain class and air.
Someone who will boost their own status as a better person and make them proud being the snob that they are. For they probably identify themselves with this ideal candidate.
Jokowi needs confidence, lots of it. A confidence that will convince people that he’ll be able to undertake the major tasks ahead of him. A confidence that will convince people, okay me, that once he becomes the President he’ll be able to distance himself from Megawati.
But most importantly he needs to have a confidence that he’ll win this race.
That he’ll win it not because of Megawati and other people who support him with various intentions and agenda, but if God is willing, he’ll win it because of the Indonesian people, the citizen, the grass root people really want him to win and be their President.
He still lacks that confidence at this moment. I don’t know why. Perhaps because it still doesn’t register yet that instead of just the Governor of Jakarta there’s a huge possibility that he’ll become the next President of Indonesia next month.
With someone from such a humble background like him, the prospect might be a little bit daunting particularly facing someone with a privilege background like Prabowo.
Where does that leave me? A no for Prabowo and a no for Jokowi. It seems like I’m going to have to reserve my right not to choose once again. But then Jokowi was announcing JK as his running mate.
I hate politicians. But I love that old little man. Everything that Jokowi’s supporters hate about JK is the very thing that makes me give Jokowi a chance.
I give Jokowi a chance to be the next President despite knowing who is behind him for I believe that JK is there to stand guard. With his straight forwardness he’ll feel no qualm what so ever to give Jokowi and those people a piece of his mind and let us the citizen know about what’s been going on behind the screen.
The sharp JK will complement the not so sharp Jokowi. The full of experience JK will boost Jokowi’s confidence in matters and areas where he is still a novice.
I like how they play that thing during the debate. Jokowi was not ashamed to let JK talk and share his knowledge and views. He was also wise enough to let JK do the questioning during the Q and A session.
He let his Vice Presidential candidate to complement him and get him the point he needs to win the debate. I can see him delegating things to JK when he needs JK’s strengths to get things done.
Yes, I’m leaning towards this pair.
I like the fact that if Jokowi and JK is chosen as the next President and Vice President they will show other politicians that you don’t need to be the head of a party to be there.
I also like the fact that if Jokowi and JK is chosen we’ll have a couple who are very familiar with us ordinary people. We’ll have a President and a Vice President who we could approach without fear.
It would be like having your favorite grandpa and friend in the palace.
We’ll have someone who could talk straight to us and be honest with us. Someone we could trust. Someone who’ll listen and understand our daily problems and needs because they don’t build a barrier between them and us.
Because they are one of us.