Methods that have been used to change policies
It is usually CSOs or activists who initiate movements to change policies, but not a few of the general public support the movement. Various ways have been done to change the policy, among others:
In Indonesia, demonstrations have become a common practice since the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrations occurred almost every day in Indonesia, especially Jakarta.
You may remember the great demonstrations that have taken place in Indonesia. For example the Tritura Demonstration (1966) which demanded three things, namely the disbandment of the PKI and its mass organizations, reshuffling the Dwikora cabinet, and lowering prices. Then, there was the Reformation Demonstration (1998) where students occupied the DPR to remove President Suharto from his 32-year position. This is one of the biggest demonstrations in Indonesian history. Then there was the Demonstration Against Fuel Price Increase (2012) which was carried out by the labor union by surrounding the DPR building. Then there was the 212 Demonstration led by FPI which demanded Ahok to step down from his position as governor of DKI Jakarta after violating the blasphemy article. In addition, there were demonstrations against the RUKHP and the revision of the KPK Law (2019) regarding controversial articles1
Although demonstrations are freedom of expression and part of human rights that must be protected, many people do not agree with demonstrations for fear of anarchy and disturbing public spaces. This fear is often used by “unscrupulous” people who want the public to lose sympathy for the protesters, or even the issues they are promoting.
2. Online petition
A petition is a statement submitted to the government to request that the government take action against something. The petition is carried out by asking for the signatures of several people who show support for the petition. In online petitions, signatures can be submitted via a platform such as Change.org and the number of signatures sought can be very large to strengthen the petition.
An example of an online petition that has successfully attracted the attention of many people is the petition to abolish the National Examination. The petition received 24 thousand supporters and succeeded in getting a response from the Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Makarim who issued a policy to abolish the National Examination and replace it with a new program2
Petitions can indeed be a way to voice disapproval of something that is set by the government or carried out by a party. However, unfortunately in Indonesia itself there are no regulations that oblige the Indonesian government to respond to petitions, under any circumstances. Unlike the United States, there are certain conditions that can force the government to act. If a petition gets more than 100,000 endorsements within 30 days of the petition being created3
, the United States government must respond in various ways, for example the government must provide a statement or update policy within 60 days4
Campaigns can have practical goals that pursue social change. There are two types of campaigns like this according to Charles U. Larson, namely:
- Candidate-oriented campaigns are carried out by political candidates to gain supporters in political activities in a government.
- Ideological or cause campaigns or social change campaigns that are oriented towards specific goals and often have the dimension of social change
The two types of campaigns above can use various media such as above the line (such as billboards) and below the line (such as newsletters or canvassing aka face to face with residents, door to door). However, online campaigns are popularly used for cause campaigns due to limited funds, and we know that online campaigns are relatively cheaper.
One of the online campaigns in the form of a social change campaign is the #SahkanRUUPKS campaign. This campaign was proposed by Komnas Perempuan in 2013 and the current condition is that the government is pressing for the ratification of the PKS Bill immediately to the DPR. The large number of netizens who participated in this campaign made the hashtag #SahkanRUUPKS viral in 2020. Although this campaign is classified as very popular in the community, the changes demanded have still not been achieved.
With the development of the internet, online campaigns have become one of the most popular ways to demand government changes to policy. In addition to the low cost, online campaigns can be a solution to the problems that will be faced if you carry out face-to-face campaigns during this pandemic.What Is True Creativity?