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Jakarta Post

'Golput', what's the worry?

  • Sunny Tanuwidjaja

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 3 2008   /  10:38 am

As the national election gets closer, and due to the low turnout in several regional elections, politicians and political observers are increasingly concerned with the increasing prevalence of golput (non-voters). These concerns are for good reason. First, golput can mean that the people do not like the choices available to them in the election, and that is why they choose not to participate. They perceive the incumbents, opposition and newcomers as unqualified. The incumbents failed to perform when they were given a chance, the opposition does not have the capability to perform better than the incumbents, and nor do the newcomers. Second, golput can mean that people are disappointed with the failure of free and fair elections to improve their lives. For this reason, they do not see that the benefit of voting can outweigh the cost of coming to vote. They see voting as a w...