Democracy in Indonesia Under Threat

Since General Suharto’s fall in 1998, Indonesia has transformed from an authoritarian polity to one of the world’s most vibrant democracies. The state is a parliamentary republic, with a directly elected president who serves as head of state and government and a two-term limit. The bicameral People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) functions as an effective legislative branch, with nine parliamentary parties. In addition, the judicial branch operates with relative independence from the executive and legislature. A well-functioning public sector has reduced poverty and inequality, although uneven health and education services remain serious challenges. The activity of radical sectarian elements adds to domestic instability.

Political transitions and governance at the local level have not always been as democratic. Significant economic and judicial corruption persists, as does the continued role and power of the military. And respect for personal freedoms is constrained by broad and vaguely worded laws that date to the Suharto era or earlier.

Nevertheless, Indonesian citizens have demonstrated that they can identify and punish non-performing leaders. Over the past decade, voters have turned out four out of every ten incumbents seeking re-election.

The country has established a pattern of democratic handovers between rival parties since 1999. And the current presidency, occupied by Joko Widodo, was won by a candidate with a track record of fostering good governance.

But the democratic gains made in Indonesia are under threat from forces that seek to reverse the gains of democracy. A proposal to revert to indirect regional elections would not only undermine the credibility of democratic institutions, it would also deprive citizens of their right to choose their own government.

While there is no denying the troubling state of local governance, calls for a return to indirect elections misdiagnose the problem. They neglect the fact that the problems of direct elections are not primarily the result of electoral rules but rather the existence of a money-politics system through which politicians can buy votes and control state resources.

Moreover, the proposal to revert to indirect elections ignores the fact that voters have been willing to bear the higher costs of holding direct elections in order to have a say in their own government. Repeated surveys show that 93 percent of citizens are in favor of preserving direct elections, even when the costs are higher.

The current electoral rules were crafted through a long process described by some as a game of inches, with the interests of different parties negotiating for years and often bartering support for changes to the electoral laws in exchange for other changes. To undo these efforts to build a new electoral environment would be a major step backwards for the country’s democratic transition and governance.

Democracies and Democracy


Democracy is the idea of rule by the people. Its roots in Athens, Greece are derived from the words demos (people) and kratos (power or rule). The word is often defined in simplistic terms – a form of government where citizens vote for their representatives, a system that offers all individuals equal opportunity to participate in politics and government. But, it is a complex concept, and a well-functioning democracy requires more than voting every 4 or 5 years or participating in protests or running for office.

The idea that a government should be chosen by the people has been central to human thought for millennia. However, the democratic ideal has faced significant challenges in recent times as political upheavals – from Brexit and the election of demagogues to rapid social changes – have shaken traditional liberal democracy and created anxieties about its future.

Concerns that democracy is in decline have prompted some to call for its abandonment or even modification. Others have argued that democracy can only work with well-informed, engaged citizens who make reasoned decisions about the policies of their governments. But the reality is that most individuals – even those living in democracies with good governance and high levels of freedom – do not have enough information to engage in informed decision-making, particularly about issues they feel passionate about.

In addition, the democratic ideal is difficult to realise in practice because of the complexity and scope of the task. A democratic state needs to take on many tasks that fall outside its political territory or time horizons, and it is not always possible to reach consensus about the goals of policy (Moses and Kahan 2013). Decisions made in democracies have long-term impacts across generations and on people who are neither voters nor the legal inhabitants of the state – such as immigrants, those who have been denied the right to vote because they have a mental or intellectual disability or those who are still unborn (Lord, Ross and Lepper 1979).

There is an urgent need for more data on the quality and functioning of democracy. Organisations such as V-Dem, the Economist Intelligence Unit and Freedom House have documented a global decline in democracy. But, the precise reasons for this are unclear. Anger at political elites, economic dissatisfaction and anxiety about rapid social change all play a role.

Several existing indices measure aspects of democracy, but they are either limited in longitudinal availability or have been criticised by scholars for ignoring certain features of democracy. In this article, I develop a new question for the ESS that can be used to examine how people conceptualise democracy and find out whether it is important to them. The question has been tested for construct validity and psychometric properties, and it appears to be a useful tool to add to the existing suite of measures. I also suggest ways to address the issue of social desirability bias – which is prevalent in questions on democracy – and to evaluate associations between different dimensions.

Democracy in America at a Crossroads

Democracy in america

Throughout history, the United States has championed democracy as a means of strengthening its own power and spreading it around the world. Many countries have made a successful transition to democratic governments, while others are still in the process of democratization. However, the American model of democracy is at a crossroads. In fact, some experts have even called it into question.

Amid a rise in political violence and an erosion of trust, the American people are increasingly dissatisfied with their democracy, and a large number believe that it may be at risk of collapse. The US political system is rife with conflicting interests and special interest groups that can hijack the election process and corrupt public affairs. In addition, the Electoral College system distorts popular representation and encourages partisanship.

Furthermore, in an era of declining public confidence in the government and heightened suspicion of the media, the political landscape is ripe for the rise of dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. This situation has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is dividing the population and triggering further social tension.

As a result, democracy in america is at an all-time low. The majority of Americans say that they don’t trust their government, according to a recent poll. Only 9% think that democracy is working well, and 40% believe that it’s not. Moreover, the public is deeply divided on major issues such as race relations, economic policy, foreign policy and immigration.

Despite their deep dissatisfaction, the two major parties are unable to change the system. They lack the necessary courage to confront the problem and have been focusing on party interests. As a result, the two sides have drifted further apart in their political agendas and common ground has virtually disappeared. This has created an antagonism and a veto culture in the country. Moreover, both parties have become more and more willing to violate democratic norms in the pursuit of power.

A plethora of facts, media comments and expert opinions show that the current state of democracy in the US is alarming. It is impossible for the US to spread democracy and serve as a model for other nations if it can barely uphold its own version of it.

It is high time that the United States reconsiders its strategy and stops exporting its corrupt model of democracy to other nations. Otherwise, it will find itself facing a global backlash against its foreign policy. Until the US recognizes its domestic problems and stops trying to impose its system on others, we will not be able to enjoy peace and prosperity in the world.

Block Distractions With Freedom


Freedom is a word that means different things to different people. Some may view it in a political context, where they see freedom as the right to vote for particular ideas or people. Others may see it in a financial context, where they seek to free themselves of debt or bad credit. And some may simply see it as the ability to block distractions and get work done on time.

Orlando Patterson, a Harvard historical sociologist, has argued that the idea of freedom is actually three-fold. The first is the idea of freedom from, which is the civil liberties version of freedom. The second is the idea of freedom to, which is how we build our own political community and participate in it. And the third is the idea of freedom to enslave, which he says goes back all the way to Athenian democracy.

What all of this reveals is that the idea of freedom is really a spectral illusion, something that you can never truly grasp but will always be wrenched out from under you. And this is perhaps most apparent in the way we use apps to help us be more productive. There are a lot of them out there, but one that has been getting a lot of attention lately is Freedom. This app blocks websites and distracting apps on your device to make it easier to focus and get work done.

The idea behind this app is that you can set up specific times to block certain sites and apps so that you have the space needed to get your work done. This is especially helpful for those who struggle with procrastination or have a hard time focusing when they are trying to work on a deadline. The app works by installing a VPN profile that can block access to websites and apps. The process is very simple and only takes a few moments. After it is finished, you can select when you want the session to end and what kind of work you are trying to do.

When you start up the app, it will ask you to enter your name and email address before moving onto the set up page which has just two questions about how you plan on using the app and what devices you are planning to install it on. From there you can choose to start a block-time straight away, schedule one for later or set up a recurring session.

Once you have created your sessions, the app will then run in the background and you can control it from the online dashboard. The online dashboard also allows you to check your history and add notes to sessions. The only downside is that if you quit the app during a session, it will instantly unlock all of the blocked sites and apps. This can be a little bit frustrating at times. However, if you are able to stay disciplined, the app is definitely worth checking out.

The Study of Law


Law is a set of rules created by the state that form a framework to ensure a peaceful society. It ensures that all people are treated fairly, regardless of social class or background, and that core human, property and civil rights are protected. It also makes it possible to punish those who break the rules, by imposing sanctions. Without laws, a world of chaos and anarchy would ensue.

While there is no such thing as an absolute law, most countries have a constitution (written or tacit) that sets out some fundamental principles, such as the protection of private property and the rule of law. These basic principles help to shape politics, economics, history and society in a range of ways.

The study of law is therefore a fascinating and varied subject. It covers many aspects of the social order, including major societal problems and the legal responses to them; the practical considerations that go into designing various social policies; and the social institutions, communities and partnerships that make up law’s political basis.

In addition, the study of law teaches students about the nature and importance of human rights. It provides an opportunity to explore fundamental issues that are important for our own well-being and the survival of the human race, such as the need for enforceable standards of behaviour and for an impartial system of justice. It also offers a useful way to understand a complex and sometimes confusing part of our daily lives, and the challenges we face in trying to live in a civilised society.

While there are a number of different theories about the meaning and function of law, most agree that it is a vital component of any modern state. The purpose of law is to promote and protect the general welfare and it is essential that any state tries to achieve this. The power of law also allows states to maintain the peace, enforce the status quo, protect minority rights against majorities, and facilitate orderly social change. Some systems of law are more effective at meeting these goals than others.

Law reflects and shapes society in many ways, from the rules that govern air traffic to those that regulate the financial sector. It also helps insure against the risk of economic crisis by setting minimum standards for bank capital and ensuring that the public have access to essential services, such as water and energy, when they are in need.

There is also a lively debate about the role of law and the people who create and administer it. Some believe that judges should be free of politics and act as technical technicians, while others argue that they must be aware of their own values and sensitivity, and be sensitive to the social context in which they work.

Democracy in Indonesia

democracy in indonesia

Amid the chaos and violence of World War II, Indonesia’s nationalist leader Sukarno inspired his countrymen with patriotic rhetoric to resist Dutch attempts to regain control. Amid the optimism of this newfound independence, a constitution was drafted in 1945 that enshrined democratic aspirations. A formal separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government was established. In 1955, a national election was held for parliament and the presidency. The sweeping reforms that followed the election of Sukarno’s successor, President Abdurrahman Wahid, created the conditions for an Indonesia with strong institutions and broad popular participation in civic life.

The Indonesian electoral process continues to improve with each passing election, and elections at the local and regional level are largely free and fair by international standards. Foreign observers have consistently reported improvements in electoral management, including reductions in vote-buying and intimidation. The system of pilkada serentak, whereby voters select their own regional and district representatives in indirect elections and the national legislature elects a president and vice president, has been effective at increasing voter engagement and promoting good governance.

While the legal framework for political parties and competitive groupings is broadly democratic, party competition in Indonesia remains limited by strict funding rules and a requirement that new parties undergo a lengthy fact-checking process. In addition, election laws tend to favor large parties by increasing eligibility requirements for candidacy and raising ballot-box thresholds.

Nevertheless, many analysts have lauded the consolidation and stability of Indonesian democracy and have credited it to the country’s vibrant civil society. But the same analysis also suggests that it is difficult for non-governmental actors to create change when they face a government that does not seek their input and a state that remains adept at inhibiting dissent.

Although a robust private sector exists, it is vulnerable to corruption and government-owned enterprises dominate a number of sectors. In some cases, state-owned companies reportedly abuse land rights, with indigenous communities and ethnic Chinese in Yogyakarta particularly affected. A substantial percentage of the population lives below the poverty line, and social protections such as child care and health coverage are inadequate.

The legal system is largely independent, but corruption and other problems mar the efficiency of the judiciary. Judicial decisions can be influenced by religious considerations, and due process is violated in some cases, especially during interrogation of suspects. Police also engage in arbitrary arrests and detention, and existing safeguards against coerced confessions are sometimes not enforced. Indonesians’ personal social freedoms are generally respected, but freedom of religion is constrained by restrictions on non-Muslim worship. The country also has a well-functioning informal economy, with the labor market providing opportunities for millions of Indonesians. In addition, the country has a strong educational system that includes a broad range of vocational training. In the future, these strengths can be bolstered by strengthening policies that promote economic mobility and technological education. The country also must invest in infrastructure, including better roads and public transportation.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Democracy


Democracy is an ideal system of government that has been praised by many for its ability to provide equal rights to all people and represent them in society, allowing citizens to voice their opinions and make decisions. However, a democratic system of governance is not without its drawbacks. Some of these issues include voter ignorance, political manipulation of the media by influential individuals, and high costs associated with holding elections. Furthermore, democracy may lead to social and economic inequalities between different groups of people due to differing socio-economic statuses and their resulting voting power. Ultimately, it is up to individuals to decide whether or not democracy is the right form of government for their own country.

Traditionally, philosophers have justified democracy along at least two different dimensions: instrumentally, by reference to its outcomes compared with other methods of political decision making; and intrinsically, by reference to values that are inherent in the method (Caplan & Rawls 1977; Brennan 2016). More recently, there has been increasing interest in the idea that democratic institutions can enhance the moral character of citizens. This is based on the observation that people who take part in making public decisions are forced to think carefully and rationally about their choices, and also to listen to other viewpoints before acting. This can have positive effects on the characters of participants, as it makes them more willing to compromise and respect others.

However, it should be noted that democratic participation is not necessarily a good thing, and it is possible for the institutions of a democracy to become corrupted or undemocratic as a result of the pressures of politics. For example, a politician might choose to use his or her office for his or her personal gain rather than for the benefit of the community; in this case, the institution becomes less likely to be seen as legitimate and trustworthy.

In addition, it has been argued that democratic systems can lead to inequality because they are not always effective at addressing the underlying issues of poverty or disease. This is because it is often impossible to enact policies that address these issues effectively without taking into account the interests of different social and monetary classes. It is therefore important for democracy to be practised at a local level, where issues of concern are more easily addressed and the impact of votes is greater.

In summary, democracy is an important tool for promoting prosperity and liberty around the world. While it has its flaws, it is a vital means of governing that should be encouraged in all countries where it is possible and appropriate. In the end, it is up to individual nations to determine whether or not a democracy suits their own national contexts, and to work together internationally in support of the development of a global democracy.

What Can Be Expected From a Democracy?

democracy in america

The development of democracy in the United States was a revolutionary step. It helped negate feudal autocracy, and the abolitionist movement, civil rights movement and affirmative action are all achievements of the American democratic revolution. The concept of “government of the people, by the people and for the people” proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence has become an international standard.

However, as a practical matter, the US democratic system has fallen far short of its ideals and is plagued by problems. Money politics, identity politics, wrangling between political parties, and the growing chasm between the most liberal and conservative Americans have all led to a loss of faith in democracy.

The US’s ill-conceived attempts to promote its own “model of democracy” in other countries are also damaging. It wantonly interferes in the internal affairs of other nations under the pretense of “spreading democracy”, causing political chaos, social unrest and military conflict, with disastrous consequences.

What can be expected from a democracy is not only the full set of institutional procedures, but more importantly, substantive democracy, meaning that the citizens’ participation in society should be guaranteed. It is impossible to uphold public ethics, ensure economic prosperity and advance public well-being with such a hollow democracy as the US has today.

To be a real democracy, a nation must have the right to choose its rulers, not only at elections but through various processes throughout the entire year. It must be a democracy that respects the right to life, liberty and equality of all citizens. To be a true democracy, the government must be accountable to the people and answer to the citizens’ calls for justice.

It is impossible for a functional democracy to be achieved when the whims of the wealthy dictate the rules of the game and the rules themselves are constantly changing. It is a hollow democracy when election campaigns are nothing but a noisy circus show where politicians feign interest in the common good and woo voters with high-sounding promises, and when they forget them once elected.

Moreover, a truly functional democracy must have the right to make laws and to protect its citizens’ interests. The US’s current system of government is in violation of this principle, as the Supreme Court has been hijacked by partisanship and its decisions reflect the wide schism between “two Americas”. In addition, the US wants to export its so-called model of democracy around the world but it is not achieving the desired results. Its democracy transplants have a record of failed transplantation, plunging other countries into political instability, economic turmoil and war. The country needs to do some soul-searching about its own flawed democracy and stop meddling in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of promoting democracy. Only then will it have the courage to face up to its own problems and learn from others’ experience. Only then will it be able to give the world the example of a truly functional democracy.

Is Democracy in Trouble?

If democracy is to work, people must be able to govern themselves. This is why most democracies establish rules and procedures that put power under public scrutiny. But these laws, and the systems that implement them, are only as good as the people who carry out and enforce them. And when they aren’t up to the task, a democracy is in trouble.

As the world grapples with a range of global challenges, many Americans and other citizens are questioning whether democratic institutions are up to the challenge. A number of experts have raised concerns that the American system of democracy is not working, with partisan polarization and dysfunction in Congress symptomatic of a system that has lost much of its credibility.

In this environment, political infighting, money politics and vetocracy are stifling the ability of politicians to deliver on the promise of quality governance that citizens expect from their government. The resulting estrangement of the American public from political process and institutions has contributed to the rise of extremist ideologies and populism, a trend that is amplified by the lack of effective media as a gatekeeper.

A recent survey by CIPE found that Americans are pessimistic about democracy and the future of their country, with only 19% saying they feel very confident in the results of the presidential election. This is a new low, and one that is likely to have long-lasting consequences for the legitimacy of the US government and its role in international affairs.

It is difficult to understand the current state of American democracy when we consider its history. The founders of this republic created a system designed to address the problems faced by a newly developing nation. They did so by combining the advantages of a monarchy with the checks and balances of a republic. They aimed to ensure that the government was responsive to the citizens and protected them from tyrannical leadership.

Today, America’s democracy is a shadow of its former self. The oligarch class dominates the political and economic landscape, while the multiparty system is a façade. The two major parties fight constantly for the support of wealthy and influential donors who control the state apparatus, manipulate public opinion, and enjoy enormous perks.

The result is that a minuscule percentage of the population has a very large impact on legislative priorities and the passage of legislation. This makes a mockery of the idea that we are a “democracy of the people, by the people, for the people”.

The US needs to take on more international responsibilities and provide more public goods to the global community, rather than using its self-styled “model” as a justification for military intervention and subversion in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the process, it would help to reclaim the true meaning of the word democracy. Tocqueville understood this, and his thoughts are as relevant today as they were in 1823.

Understanding the Concept of Freedom

Freedom is a complex concept that means different things to everyone. The definition of freedom is highly personal and it varies by individual, culture, religion and more. People often define it as being able to do what you want, when you want and not having to worry about others or their opinions. It is important for individuals to understand what freedom means to them and work towards it.

The word freedom comes from the Latin word “libertas,” which means liberty or the power of doing what one wants without being hindered by constraints. The meaning of freedom is also closely linked to the idea of autonomy, which refers to a person’s ability to act on their own based on their own beliefs and ideas without having to consult others or adhere to traditional structures or rules.

Some philosophers argue that freedom is a fundamental human attribute, and that all humans are born free. This view is sometimes referred to as the intrinsic freedom argument. It is a form of libertarianism and is a central tenet of some political ideologies.

Others believe that there are certain limitations to freedom, and that the notion of freedom is only a practical fiction. In this view, the ideal state of freedom is one where a person can choose what they wish to do, but in practice they are limited by external forces and limitations. The most common example of this is the law that prohibits vandalism, which limits a person’s freedom to choose to break laws, but in reality they are not free to do so.

Other philosophers, such as Immanuel Kant, argue that freedom is only possible in the mind and not in the physical world. He claims that in order for a person to be free they must have an unerring idea of what is good and how to achieve it, and they must have the ability to work toward this goal without being constrained by an external force.

Still, others think that the idea of freedom is relative and that it depends on the context in which it is being discussed. For instance, some people believe that all people are free to express themselves without having to worry about being judged or punished, while others believe that freedom should be reserved for specific groups such as women and minorities.

To help students better understand the complexity of the concept of freedom, it can be helpful to have them work in small groups. Each group should be assigned one of the different freedoms that made it onto the list that they created as a class. They should then spend at least 10 minutes creating two frozen representations of society – one showing a society practicing the assigned freedom and the other depicting a society without it. Then they should share their results with the class and discuss what aspects of freedom they saw in each image. This can be followed by a discussion on how to move forward in a way that promotes the idea of freedom for all of humanity.