Ahmad Abdul Haq

Our Democrazy

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Sumber: Kick Andy.com


Minggu, 15 Maret 2009 21:50 WIBOur Democrazy

Our Democrazy Dear Kick Andy's Friends,

With the general election just around the corner I suppose the proper thing to do when election day comes is to go to the polling booth, cast my vote and do my part to ensure the sustainability of democracy in this country. The question is, now that we can elect the representatives directly and candidates with the most votes will be the ones their parties send to the House, what party and which candidates should I choose?

With so many parties to choose from (38 parties), the smaller ones mostly off shoots or spin offs of the major parties, while most of the big parties have similar agendas and overlapping interests – the nationalists taking on a touch of Islam while Islamic parties try to pass themselves off as pluralists – so far I haven’t found any whose vision reverberates in my conviction.

As a matter of fact, with party members often playing musical chairs and jumping from one party to another depending on which way the money and the opportunity blow, I’m sure a lot of candidates themselves get confused which party they belong to, let alone know what ideology they’re espousing or what platform they’re campaigning on: Hardly the type with voters’ interests at heart.

Meanwhile, the only party with a clear message and positioning is the upstart Gerindra. It’s too bad I’m not a farmer or a fan of the party leader as I’m finding myself chanting their campaign slogan subconsciously these days, proof that huge advertising airtime and a big fat campaign fund can go along way in creating social awareness.

So I turn to the banners, posters and billboards along the main roads and in the small streets near where I live to seek inspiration from the faces and the messages of hope from the candidates that vie with each other for our attention and support.

Who knows amidst the plethora of badly printed campaign posters bearing badly photographed unsavoury faces that grace the tree trunks and every available space along the roads, I might just find that ideal candidate to whom I would be happy to give my vote and upon whom I could pin my hopes for justice, prosperity and world peace.

Let’s see. There is a tantalizing poster of a candidate, slightly out of focus, with a cheesy grin holding out his right hand. On his left are pictures of people, mostly male, supposedly eating their meal. The wording on the campaign poster goes something like this: ‘Let’s restore the people’s identity: by making eating and drinking with the right hand a habit.’ Surely this is a message that is pregnant with deep symbolism and esoteric reference, so much so that its meaning until now continues to elude me. The man must be a genius.

Another campaign poster shows a moustachioed yang man who would not look out of place in a Hindi telenovella with a message that goes: ‘Don’t lie to your conscience, choose the one who is right, brave, honest and blessed. Just by looking at my photo I am already pleased. If you remember it, then I’m even happier. If you choose me who is third on the list, then you have picked the right number for this is the road to your and our dreams… Jot down my phone number and hold me to my promise.’ Hmmm. At least he’s not bad looking. Too bad he forgot to actually put his phone number on the poster.

One campaign message that I like and no doubt intended to appeal to those with more spiritual sensibilities bears no campaign promise at all but a little prayer that goes ‘Towards the morning and the evening God opens and closes the earth’s window… Then God sees me and asks what is it you wish for? And I answer, please love the person who reads this writing forever. Amen.’ Indeed if all the candidates are as sweet natured as this guy, we might just be able to achieve world peace after all.

Or if I want to be on the safe side I could always pick the candidates whose faces I’m already familiar with. Fortunately there are quite a few posters with pictures of Obama and David Beckham on them to choose from. And used by different parties too.

How reassuring for the health of our democracy…

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