Next week Jakarta will have it’s gubernatorial elections. Today I – and almost 13 million compatriots- will vote our new Dutch Parliament in office.
We’ve got politicians to come up with solutions for society’s problems. Sensible, feasible solutions. And to provide us with visions of a better future in which all of us have a fair share in the nation’s wealth. One would hope the debates in the campaigns would be on each one’s track record and each one’s vistas, respectively the significance and feasibility of each one’s plans for the city’s, country’s and it’s citizens’ future. Elections are about convincing and persuading the voters that one’s particular political program is in their best interest. Once in office our politicians’ duty is to serve the common wealth of the country rather that the interests of special groups or individuals.
That’s the theory. But here are two examples of actual bizarre common practice. From Indonesian practice. ( Though I might add some crazy Dutch flings if I thought anybody would be interested.)
Take this one.
Sunnis violently attacked Shiites in Sampang last August. Referring to this serious case of “My God is superior to your God”-intolerance, minister Minister Suryadharma Ali of Religious Affairs said that if only members of the Shia minority converted to Sunni Islam, their troubles would be over. If mister Suryadharma would be the minister of Justice he probably would advice victims of a gang rape to join the gang of John Kei.
And next this example from the current campaigns in Jakarta.
Next week will decide whether Fauzi Bowo or Jokowi will be Jakarta’s next governor. The incumbent governor and his running mate seem to have chosen a campaign-strategy based on bullying the electorate to do the right thing: “if you don’t vote for me, get lost!”. Betawi people who will not vote for fellow Betawi candidates should move to Solo. It’s like a waiter in a pub telling you, while you are pondering ordering a bottle of Champagne Dom Pérignon 1966, “Have a beer or beat it!”
What to do about these champions of the bizarre?
Discard them as hopeless cases? Or can their vulnerability still be cured? Is there any solace for their obvious moments of intellectual political inability? After all it’s clear that they at random moments suffer from fatal derailments in their brains.
Perhaps I discovered a solution.
This prolific blogger-author of many beautiful stories and elegant paragraphs wrote in this 100% a-political post this fascinating line: “Food added weight to flighty minds”. So Mr Suryadharma, Mr Fauzi Bowo and Mr Nachrowi Ramli, believe me, gain weight. Eat! Eat more. Eat a lot. Who knows it will automatically reset your mind and restore order, common sense and logic in the brains.