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The Community Plays  a Role in Creating Safe and Conducive Elections

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By : Janu Farid Kesar )*

The General Election (Pemilu) is a moment where the public will use their voting rights to elect leaders or members of parliament. Of course, the public has a role in monitoring the running of elections in order to create safe and conducive elections. 

During elections, challenges or problems such as black campaigns are old songs that are still things to anticipate. Black campaigns usually contain hateful narratives without accurate data, sometimes spiced up with impolite sentences, and ultimately lead to horizontal conflict. This of course must be a concern for the public so that they are not easily provoked by black campaigns.

People who have gadgets are also expected to protect themselves from sinking into provocation narratives which will have an impact on the emergence of polarization. Social media makes it easier for anyone to campaign, but it also makes it easier for someone to create a black campaign narrative to bring down their political opponents.

It needs to be understood that stability and conduciveness in an area are very important so that the democratic party can run well. The success of elections of course cannot be separated from the participation and participation of the community, because this is a form of a citizen’s responsibility in the life of the nation and state.

When the political situation is heating up, of course people should not easily pit themselves against each other, instead people should respect each other between supporters and give each other positive energy. Peace and conduciveness must be maintained, because during the campaign period, prospective leaders can increase their emotions to create a situation getting hotter. Therefore, the public must also remember that the campaign, election and post-election can be carried out peacefully without any conflict in this country.

When there is conflict, there will be losses, such as the potential for the election to fail due to severe riots. Warring communities can vent their emotions by burning down voting stations (TPS). As a result, the election will be a frightening and traumatic moment.          

It cannot be denied that when elections take place in the reform era, they are more tense. Not only because there are many new presidential candidates, but also because there is the potential for division, not only in the real world but also in cyberspace.

If you look at the 2014 and 2019 elections, feuds often occurred in cyberspace and the situation was so heated that there were bad nicknames from each of the supporters of the presidential candidates at that time. Of course, don’t let this happen again, because society should be able to act maturely and leave hostility behind.

Hostility must of course be eliminated, because it can be exploited by provocateurs or individuals who want to take advantage of difficulties. Don’t let social chaos arise because of their actions. Therefore, the community must play a big role in creating peaceful elections, so that there are no riots that lead to brawls and can result in casualties.

A good election process must of course adhere to the principles of honesty and fairness. Apart from that, it must also be clean from any dirty practices. So, broad supervision is needed by collaborating with all elements of society and forms of political education.

People who have a control function must have the courage to report to Bawaslu if they find out about election violations, such as distributing basic necessities or distributing money by showing sufficient evidence. This dirty act is of course not justified and could damage the health of democracy in Indonesia.

Money politics itself does not yet have a standard definition. The term known as money politics is used to describe the practice of political corruption, clientelism, and vote buying. Money politics itself is an attempt to bribe voters by providing money or services so that voters’ vote preferences can be given to the briber.

There are also various types of money politics. There are things that can be categorized as money politics, such as the use of state facilities for personal gain in connection with elections or Pilkada. Another type of money politics can be in the form of providing road facilities or providing bridge facilities that use the state budget for personal interests.

Money political actions only increase the potential for the emergence of corrupt candidates who undermine state wealth. So supervision from the public during elections will still be needed to produce honest and trustworthy leaders. Not a leader who actually intends to “return capital”.

In this case, the Corruption Eradication Commission’s Director of Socialization and Anti-Corruption Campaigns, Amir Arief, also stated the importance of political parties to prevent money politics. According to him, political parties should have an important role in political contestation in Indonesia. Because political parties are the holders of the people’s vote which leads their cadres to sit in public positions, both executive and legislative.

The community must also play a role in reducing all forms of political intimidation, because after all the community has the right to make their choices without having to face pressure from any party. This is of course in line with the principle that the voice of the people is the voice of God.

A safe and conducive situation before, during and after the election is also an issue that needs attention and anticipation from the community, because the community is the front guard in realizing a safe and conducive election. 

)* The author is a contributor to Ruang Baca Nusantara

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