Editorial: Smart campaigns
The way Jakarta gubernatorial candidates are carrying out their election campaigns generally shows good democratic progress in the nation’s capital. The six pairs of candidates are no longer carrying out campaign rallies with large concentrations of people, as has usually happened in the past, but have instead been smarter in attempting to convince voters.
Since the campaign period kicked off on June 24, 2012, candidates have conducted campaigns through door-to-door tactics or by coming to traditional markets and
other places where groups of people usually gather. During the meetings, the candidates have talked to people
and have distributed campaign materials on the vision, mission, platforms and programs they are offering to
They have also been using the media to promote themselves via live discussion, debates and advertisements.
We must praise the candidates for leaving behind the old method of campaigning — massive outdoor events — which are not only unproductive as they lack substance, but also spark clashes between supporters of different candidates while worsening traffic congestion in a city that is already suffering on that count.
The candidates may have realized that this method of campaigning does not draw sympathy from voters and is in fact counterproductive, as people might feel annoyed or even disturbed by large concentrations of supporters.
We hope that the candidates will maintain these “smart campaign methods” until the last day of the campaign period on July 6. A successful smart election campaign in Jakarta will expectedly inspire candidates in other regional elections across the country as well as candidates for the 2014 presidential election to follow suit.
It is true that the candidates need to work harder if they are to proceed with such smart campaign methods. They need to meet as many people as possible and visit as many places as they can afford.
The media have an important role to play in allowing candidates to reach a larger audience and more potential voters. Therefore, candidates with access to the media will surely get greater benefits. Coupled with their good communication skills, candidates can maximize their campaign sessions to convince people that they deserve to get their votes.
The current election campaign in the city, however, still needs a lot of improvement as it has retained the habits of installing a large number of banners and attaching posters in public areas, thus making the city dirty and ugly. Such methods are not smart in the sense that the abundant presence of banners and posters has no direct relation to voters’ inclinations toward candidates.
Another negative aspect of the old campaign system is the practice of vote buying. We thus praise one Jakarta
gubernatorial candidate for rejecting some people’s request that he give them money in return for their votes.
This is a true “say no to corruption” campaign as elected leaders are supposed to serve the people who have voted for them and not seek the latter’s support in times of campaigning only.
In terms of bad campaigning techniques, enough is enough. As a good start, the Jakarta gubernatorial candidates can begin with some smart campaigning and completely abandoning all those vote-buying practices.
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.