Providing Elections Data for Voters Essential in Electing Quality Leaders
Jakarta (7/09) – What kind of information do the people need during the regional head elections (pilkada)? How to vote, where to vote and how to register as a voter. It is not hard to obtain those information as the General Elections Commission (KPU) has the tool to provide them, including the background of candidates. However, information regarding commitment and integrity is difficult to obtain. For example, what kind of criminal offense has candidate A committed? That kind of information is essential in electing leaders with integrity.
“Transparency must find its benefits,” said Erik Kurniawan, researcher at the Indonesian Parliamentary Center. In order to provide quality information, we need to filter what kind of information that will be given, to whom and what for.
“For incumbent candidates, we can provide data regarding the candidates’ commitment to women’s issues in the regional budget. We give the data to women so that they can decide whether the candidate deserves their votes.”
Pandu, from Code for Bandung, shared his experiences where the procedure to obtain building permits was confusing which is a good opportunity for middlemen to make money. “We draw together people from the agencies and the communities. It turned out the difficulty was in filling the form,” said Pandu.
Code for Bandung encouraged the Bandung city government to open access to data. In the last two years, Code has collaborated with several communities to promote open data to the people. “Information regarding how to fill the form could solve a problem,” said Pandu.
KPU provides pilkada data, but most of the data are not enough to generate public interest, which must be improved to add the value to the data. Besides that, crosschecking the data published by KPU must also be done to increase the value of information. [AH]