By the time you read this there will be a new Governor of Jakarta, or an old one reelected, or possibly a second round of elections if no clear winner emerges. I am not going to change my text to reflect either event. What will be will be.
The person elected will have been chosen by the people to take them through the next few years, organizing and administering life in Jakarta. They may be good or they may be bad, we will only know at the end, since promises will be compromised, circumstances will change, alliances will be formed and broken, some things will get done. Others not. Life will change. Usually not for the better. But who knows.
Some of the nicest people are bad organisers, some of the nastiest are the best. What do you want? Well, simply put we want their effort to use our money to make our lives easier or better... if that is possible.
Surely that’s what everyone wants?
So why is there such a scramble to seize and keep power? Why do political parties exist if everyone wants the same thing? A peaceful, ordered, clean, efficient life? Apparently not. It seems that some want different things. They don’t want free medical service or better education or an integrated transport system, but they don’t want to tell anyone! This is what politics is about as far as I can see, people with hidden agendas trying to fool people with open aspirations to vote for them so they can exercise their falsely gained power for their own personal benefit.
And are the people fooled? Well, it seems that despite the valiant efforts of a free press and a very active online community, they are! It is simply amazing that people who should not be let near the mayor’s office of a one horse town can end up running, well, a large city or perhaps even a large country.
Is there a better system? The old kingdoms rather depended on having good kings and queens. Which sometimes happened but not that often. The many dictatorships of old weren’t that popular to say the least. Mostly repressive and violent. The old communist regimes? Better not mentioned. So that’s what we have, politics, the essential element in democracy. Tell the truth and get blasted, lie and get loved. That seems to be the best system we can come up with, so dig deep before you vote, get active and get informed otherwise you only can blame yourself and wait for another 5 years till the next chance comes around. Which fortunately it does and the bad guys who have shown their true colours get booted out.
That’s life. Enjoy it!
Alistair G. Speirs