My left pinky still has ink stain on it.

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Disclaimer: This entry might be boring and too self-indulgent for your liking. Just giving an early notification. If you don’t mind that, carry on.

I voted last week. I almost didn’t because I was lazy. I had to go to my hometown, which was around an hour and a half long from the capital, to vote because I’m registered there. And that morning on April 9, the buses to that city were hard to find.

I almost returned back home and continue sleeping, like maybe many people did that day, but I didn’t. I thought to my self, I have to do it this time, to make up to the stupidity and ignorance that I did five years ago. See, I was apolitical, apathetic, and didn’t care shit about politics about good governance, about exercising my political rights in a responsible way. I was not that young, already in my twenties – early twenties if I must say – but immature.

Last election, I voted for the party that pushed for the anti-pornography bill. Yes, the PKS that said they wanted to pass the anti-pornography bill as law for a Ramadhan present for Muslims. They say that their platform is to make a society that prosperous and just, though I don’t see how the anti-pornography bill can bring that about.

No, I didn’t vote the party because of religious tendencies. Far from that, I voted for them because I was, — what’s the word? — flighty.

flighty |ˈflītē|

adjective ( flightier , flightiest )

fickle and irresponsible : you may be seen as too flighty and lightweight for real responsibility.

Just a couple of weeks before the election, I was doing an internship in a private television station. As a poor student, I could only afford busses to go to places. And the capital was a big scary city, for a girl who comes from a small town and only has around Rp 20,000 to Rp 30,000 in her pocket for bus money. If I got lost, that’s it. And I did get lost a couple of times.

One night I got lost around East Jakarta. It was 11 p.m. I jumped out the bus and went in a telephone rental to ask my brother in-law to pick me up.

The owner of the telephone rental was a PKS supporter. He gave me a teh botol and started campaigning for that party.

A naïve small town girl, I was amazed that a nice guy, late at night in Jakarta, gave me advise on how to take care of my self in a big city like Jakarta and bought me teh botol. This is too good to be true! Jakartans are not like this, they should be hard and rude, and individualistic, and money grubbing, so I thought.

And that little kindness bought my vote. I thought, this must be a sign from the universe. After all, the party’s number is the same as my birthday and its abbreviation is the same with my initials. We are meant to be!

Everytime I remember how I voted in the last election, or tell that story to anyone, I feel ashamed of my self. Basing my vote on nothing but “signs” from the universe. I might as well not vote.

So, anyway, this year I voted for Democrat, so if the president is re-elected, he could continue the fight against corruption and keep his amazing economy team. And if he has enough support base of his own, he could severe ties from religious interests in politics that threatens plurality and persecute minority, like the case of Ahmadiyah.

I was going to vote for Megawati’s PDIP since they’re the ones who voted against the anti-pornography law and show that they care about workers interest, but I don’t want Megawati to be president. And I think if Democrat has enough support for the party, they wouldn’t have to collaborate with religion-based parties, thus could take decisions without having to please others.

Anyway, I still have ink stain on my left pinky.

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5 Responses to “My left pinky still has ink stain on it.”

  1. bellesbits Says:

    ananda ayu, you’re one of the least flighty people I know! But the vote you cast in 2004 seems to be the vote many others cast in 2009? By people I didn’t expect to.

    Can someone please explain to me why they voted for PKS? No one will say clearly and I feel like I’m missing something. Sincere question- what is the appeal?

  2. anandaayu Says:

    Bellesbits, I only know one person who voted for PKS and I still didn’t get a clear answer when I asked said person of the choice. Have you encountered more PKS voters?

    I don’t think there’s that many around. I thought my parents would vote for PKS, but they didn’t! They voted for Democrat as well.

    Anyway, votes for PKS this year has slumped compared to 2004. We can see in Jakarta, where PKS won last election, with 22 percent of votes. This year, current count shows that it only got second place in Jakarta garnering only around 18.5 percent, after the Democratic Party, which gain more than 35 percent of votes.

    In the national level, current count shows worse, with PKS garnering only 8.49 percent of votes while, the Democratic Party leads with 20.28 percent.

    I think Endy summed it up well in his commentary here: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/04/15/voters-put-islamist-parties-their-place.html

    According to Endy, it’s clear that voters are choosing nationalist-secular political parties over Islamic parties.

    All I can give is speculation to answer your question on why some people still voted for PKS. Maybe, people think that PKS is clean, not corrupt, with a lot of intelligent people running the party. But, that’s pretty vague ya?

  3. Marmalade Says:

    I really enjoyed this post – so many people have such lofty claims for why they voted this way or that. I like the fact that small coincidences sometimes feel like a sign that we should pay attention to, and sometimes we do develop little positive conspiracies, believing that the stars are aligning to suit some grand scheme.
    Actually, the reason why I like this particularly is that the original vote left a bad taste in the mouth, much like Labour’s victory in 1996 Britain, and that the author has the bravery and brains to admit that maybe political naivety is a powerful factor for first time voters.🙂

  4. anandaayu Says:

    Oh, Belle, actually, votes for PKS increased from 7.3 percent to around 8 percent this election. So, I guess they got more votes, even though they slumped in Jakarta.

    Thanks Marmalade🙂

  5. gentole Says:

    Hey, you never told me this story! I thought you voted for the Islamic party because you narcissistically loved its acronym.:mrgreen:

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