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Enliven the Youth Spirit in Democracy

Golongan Putih (golput)/non-voters/abstainers  in general election (election) in various regions in Indonesia still shows a fairly high number nationally, i.e in the range of 29.1 percent (kompas.com). The feast of democracy that will be held in various regions in Indonesia in 2018 and 2019 will be the focus of the General Election Commission (KPU) to increase youth participation in choosing future Indonesian leaders, in local elections, legislative elections, and presidential elections.

The community has been invited to participate in the elections, giving the voting rights to elect the head of the region who will continue the leadership. Appropriate familiarization of elections needs to be aquired so that the public will understand the proper implementations of the election.

Through familiarization among students, it is expected that (university) students as the embodiment of young intellectuals are able to comprehend general information about the election to be conducted in Indonesia. KPU as the state institution that organizes the election is also trying to ward off the widespread phenomenon of false news (hoax), black campaign with SARA/Ethnicity religion and race issues, and various kinds of information that generate confusion in the community.

Rock the Vote Indonesia

One of the most imminent democracy parties in the province of West Java is the election of the governor and vice governor. Therefore, Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) in cooperation with the Election Commission (KPU) and the Center for Election and Political Party of FISIP University of Indonesia (CEPP-UI) held a workshop entitled “Electainment on Campus: Rock the Vote Indonesia, Increasing Youth Voter Participation in West Java Gubernatorial Election 2018 “in FISIP Unpar Building, on Thursday (26/4).

The purpose of the workshop is to enliven the spirit of youth in democracy in Indonesia. The concept used is electainment or election entertainment , in the sense that there is a different approach to revive the spirit of youth.

The concept of the event was given shape in an informal way by using the small-group approach, through a youthful delivery style and closed by the declaration of young voters to actively participate and become ambassador of voters to inform the election activities that will be faced in the near future.

The event (which was attended by 150 Unpar students) was opened by the Rector of Unpar Mangadar Situmorang, Ph.D. In his speech, Mangadar advised that students as youngsters can play an active role in the democracy party marked by a proper recognition of candidates for governors and by being responsible for the choices that have been made.

The seminar speakers who shared the material and related experiences were among others Lecturer of Public Administration Sciences, Unpar Dr. Pius Sugeng Prasetyo, Lecturer of International Relations, Unpar Stanislaus Risadi Apresian, S.IP., MA, the Chairman of West Java KPU. Yayat Hidayat, and CEPP-UI Senior Researcher. Abdul Aziz SR.

In the workshop, students were provided with general knowledge about the upcoming election, how to assess whether a candidate is good or not through understanding his/her vision or mission as well as a program of the candidate’s simulation about how to choose a leader in voting place (TPS) during the democracy party/election to be held.

In particular, the Chairman of the Committee who is also the Vice Dean for Student Affairs of FISIP Unpar Dr. phil. Aknolt Kristian Pakpahan stressed that the Rock The Vote Indonesia (RTVI) event is expected to build students’ awareness as young voters and the next generation of the nation for the importance of participation in the election of governors, especially the election of West Java 2018’s regional head that will soon take place. Moreover, the students should be expected to be smart young voters in the democratic party that will be held.

One of the Workshop participants , Ricky Antonius (a student of International Relations – HI class of 2015) revealed, that through the RTVI program, students get a fresh understanding of elections and democracy.

According to Ricky, students have fundamentally understood what democracy and elections are. However, only on the surface. The same feeling was expressed by Nindyo Setiawan, an RTVI committee member who is also a student in the HI class of 2015. For him, RTVI had been interesting and fun . The KPU team provided knowledge on the procedures for holding elections and how voters should behave in response to the momentum.

Through the RTVI activity, it is expected that young voters can have insight into the election and actively participate to make use of their voting rights in the upcoming elections. In addition, this activity is expected to increase awareness of democratic and political values ​​in Indonesia.

Source: KOMPAS – Griya Ilmu (Tuesday, May 8, 2018)