July 26, 2014
So We Have Joko Widodo, Now What?

A student reflects on the election, in which she did not get to vote for administrative reason.

by Lusiana Suwandi
Issues // Politics and Society
Share:
I'm going to admit that I didn't vote on the presidential election.
 
Before you politics hipsters accuse me of being an apathetic golput-ers who doesn't care about our nation's future at all, I will say that it's not because I didn't want to, but because I couldn't. And before you demand more explanation, let me just say once and for all: I don't even have an ID card/KTP, okay?  Another 'why' will be answered later – or maybe never – but let's just say there is a reason I hate our bureaucracy. 
 
I was actually very excited with this election. I voted for the first time on Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's second term but back then Twitter wasn't as popular as now and it was way, waaay less amusing. The campaign period was a total yawnfest. We all knew Yudhoyono would win anyway so why bother. He got all the ladies, man! (read: ibu-ibu arisan who gushed on how perfect he was in his military uniform in pengajian sore)
 
But this election was different. We saw movements. The Twitterverse and other social media were very active. People encouraged each other to vote. Genuine people worked to support each candidate. I even loved the debates on the national television – which I enjoyed apparently because I also loved making fun of the candidates' body language.
 
I wasn't a supporter of either of them, but sometimes it's just fun watching how fiery their fans were while I sat at home, snacking on nasi padang while watching them pulling each other's hair, and occasionally tweeting something pseudo-intelligent like 'we are waiting for your commitment in building religious tolerance, sir!'.
 



I also downloaded their vision-mission statements. Which I thought were such sorcery because they were too long and, Christ help, unattractive to look at. I had skimmed the whole thing for an hour before I gave up and turned to Twitter for someone who could translate the documents into some sort of human language.
 
So just imagine how upset I actually was when I couldn't vote on the D-day. No 'show your purple finger' free drinks, discount, or even buy one get one. For an early twenty-something kid, it kind of hurt my self-esteem to be honest. Especially if you couldn't snap a selfie of your purple finger on Instagram. Oh, life.
 
But yeah, moving on, the result is out. We have a new elected president, Mr Joko Widodo. 

Am I satisfied with this outcome? I don't know. Frankly speaking, I am still holding a grudge to the elected vice president, Jusuf Kalla, for making me going through Ujian Nasional (National Exam) back then. What a waste of time of my youth. Instead of partying, I needed to attend extra classes after school, which, for the record, I spent dozing off.

I also think Mr Joko Widodo's team is still missing the important points on progressive issues, pluralism – basically many things I care about. What about our women? What about human rights? What about.. what about.. what about… And the tagline 'Revolusi Mental', even after reading the awfully long explanation on his website, still made me raise my eyebrows a few times. 

But I think whoever is elected, I'm still going to be that asshole criticizing the government's policies anyway, and there is no reason to be a butthurt kid because Obama decided to migrate back to the United States instead of staying in Indonesia and becoming the first African-Indonesian president here. We have chosen this president. He's ours now. Not only yours, or mine. Ours
 
Despite it all, I'm proud of my fellow Indonesians. If I could, I would pat each of your back till my hands fall off. So much participation and enthusiasm – I was touched as a citizen. While I sat in my hotel room on July 9th, drinking and watching the smoke detector in case it'd blare off because it smelled like deforestation in there, you guys have given your time and effort to watch the election process from the beginning till the end.

But the job is far from done. Though I didn't get to vote, I'm determined to watch this government with a keen eye. Be more critical, skeptical, and put that sharp, offensive tongue to a good use. That, and demand my ID card to be reproduced. Trust me, it is such a hassle to bring your passport everywhere. I feel like a frakking teenager who just went to Singapore for the first time. 

For the 'losing' side... well, hey, there's no losing here. It's an election, for god's sake! Not Mario Kart! Stop yapping for a moment and just focus on the future. And also stop demanding a certain celebrity to cut off his penis. Leave the dude alone. 
At last, Mr Joko Widodo and team, please work well! We are watching.
 
About Lusiana Suwandi.
Lusiana is an average student in an early-life crisis. Meet her at Twitter @lusisuwandi.