Exercising democracy

Did you know? There are 550,000 polling stations today and a whopping 4.5 million election officials (that’s equal to the entire population of Ireland and New Zealand), which will accommodate our voting rights in what Financial Times refer as the world’s most complex 1-day election.

Just to put things in perspective, as we speak there are millions of people in 71 countries who cannot enjoy what we can easily take for granted: those in North Korea who can only vote for 1 candidate, those in Egypt who are fighting their lives to get rid of a fake democracy with unelected government, and even those in Somaliland and Jubaland who can vote but their vote aren’t recognised by anyone in the international community.

By contrast, there are 186 million eligible voters in today’s election in Indonesia, 21.8 million of which are 1st-timer, with 235,000 candidates to choose for, all of whom are competing for 19,000 seats. Regardless of who you vote for (or against), today is really a “pesta demokrasi.” And we should be damn proud to be Indonesians who are able to freely exercise our rights as a citizen.