Our New Dream for Democracy and Ecology

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Presidential election in Philippines on last 9th of May inevitably reminds us that general election in Indonesia is drawing near, in two years time. The ambience for the upcoming 2024 election in Indonesia has come to real. Coincidentally, as dry season begins and cloud developing to grow, the temperature in some regions in Indonesia has recently been heating up. All seems to be contextual. 

Back to the Philippines election. The victory of the son of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., the former dictator and president of Philippines overthrown in 1986, here has drawn polemic. The former power of authoritarian regime for 21 years should not have been eliminated from the memory of the Filipinos. But the victory of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., or dubbed Bongbong, might be questionable. Many asked why the son of former dictator is now deemed credible to lead Philippines. Is that easy to leave out his father’s political sins from the Filipinos’ collective memories?

Analysing Trias Kuncahyono’s opinion in Kompas, the election of Bongbong as the 17th Philippines president here appears to be relevant to the situation in Indonesia. Bongbong victory, in fact, is not separable from the supporters team roles in playing social media among young generation. Social media was utilized to run for Bongbong election and at the same time as the attempt to clean the historical wickedness from the Filipinos’ collective memory.

Bongbong’s fanatical fans and supporters use Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter and influencers strategically. They used disinformation contents to manipulate historical fact to win over the election. Social media has become the vital weapon to frame public opinion on Bongbong image. The strategy of social media use has become the driving force of victory which could put Bongbong on the top Filipinos leader.

Indonesia has convincing social capital to gear up the upcoming 2024 presidential election. The 2020 population census shows that the Y or millennial generation (born in 1981-1996) is 69.4 million or 25.9 percent of the Indonesian population. Meanwhile, the Z generation (born in 1997-2012) is 74.9 million or 27.9 percent. According to a  survey, 86.7 percent of those generations is willing to participate in the 2024 general election.

On the other hand, based on the Indonesian Digital Report 2022, there are 191.4 social media users in Indonesia as per January 2022, or around 68.9 percent of the total population. At the same time, Facebook users are 129.9 million, YouTube 139 million, Instagram 99.2 million, TikTok 92.1 million, Twitter 18.5 million in Indonesia.

Amidst the political warming up, many political parties have serious awareness to explore the youth potentials as the driving force that could hardly be overlooked, particularly the Z generation born in digital era and know nothing about the dark ages of Indonesia and political sins of the former regimes. The number is quite significant and prone to dissemination of disinformation from social media content.

We have powerful social capital in this respect. Perhaps, it is the time for us who was born as the former generation prior to millennials to provide political education. We can call them to build a new dream of democracy and ecology in Indonesia. The prolonging rotten democracy and ecology need serious improvement. Those two issues are the major issues to run for election to prevent Indonesia from being a fail nation in the context of democracy and ecology. So to speak, never let any authoritarian leader lead the country that will merely destroy democracy and ecology for the sake of instant investment and economic desires.

I hope young people and the fresh voters are not used by short term political interest through digital manipulation in social media. Do not let anyone who is unqualified that wins over the election due to social media branding lead the country.

It is the time to construct a new dream to create a so-called bonum commune or common welfare as the purpose of public life in a political system. There will be peace and equal democracy without any polarization. We should build awareness among youngsters to vote an integrated leader candidate who cares about environment and is clean from corrupt mentality.

Young people, you are the young generations that will become the new voters and owners of the future of Indonesia. Build your #MimpiBaru (new dream) of Indonesia with better democracy and ecology in the near future.

Bustar Maitar

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