The issue of election system has been a source of fierce debate during discussions and meetings regarding the content of the new Election Law Bill. There are at least three political parties, they are Indonesian Democracy Party-Struggle (PDI-P), Golkar Party, and Justice Prosperity Party (PKS), which support the implementation of the limited open-list proportional system as proposed by the Government. PDI-P, Golkar, and PKS consider pure open-list system violates the authority of political party to determine its own candidate for the Parliament.
As a response to such assertion, the Grand Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) states that pure open-list system does not violate party’s authority to produce high-quality legislative members. The key is, according to Gerindra, inclusive recuitment mechanism, so that every party only recruits the best possible politicians.
“There is no good reason for us to implement closed-list proportional system. If political party aspires to fill the parliament with the best politicians, then they will have to provide voters with the best candidates on the ballot,” says the Vice-Chairman of the new Election Law Bill Committee from Gerindra Party, Ahmad Riza Patria, during the public event “Civil Society Consolidation to Guard the Election Law Bill” in Jakarta (12/22).
Many activists agree with Ahmad’s statement. A member of the Civil Society Coalition says what we need to do right now is to improve the current open-list system, not to change it into closed-list system. Open-list system allows voters to fully participate in the electoral process. This in turn will make the elected officials to be directly accounted for their actions to the public.
“We believe open-list system is the best alternative for Indonesia today. We admit this system has encouraged money politics. However, it does nor necessarily means that the system is inherently faulty. Money politics is mostly caused by pragmatic tendency of the politicians who want to win the election the easy way,” says the Executive Director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), Titi Anggraini.