Existing Blank Box Causes in Regional Election in Indonesia
In Indonesia’s democracy system in more recent years, Blank Box, however, has perfectly existed in level of regional election consisting of province, city, or regency. Such of term emerges in all of three simultaneous elections that had been held in 2015 and in 2017, and then the following election will be coming on June 27th, 2018. To prove this new strict phenomenon, as the product of democracy’s system in Indonesia, three regions that had merely one candidate in 2005, increased exponentially to nine-regions in 2017, and then inevitably numbers have gradually rose thirteen-regions in 2018. By consideration of this, in my point of view, there are several reasonable factors why this evidence should exist in Indonesia’s simultaneous regional election.
Yet, first and foremost the significantly increasing number on both-cost politic and money-politic, that have been implemented, election-to-election, are inevitable. With the clear consequence of the implemented-full democracy system, most of the prominent actors where they have a comprehensive potential leadership are in either regionally or nationally to join the democracy’s party moment, but unfortunately most of whom prefer to refrain a political pathway as circumspect choice rather than spending much budget and wasting much energy and time. Taking Enrekang in South-Celebes of the East-Indonesia, as one of the regions include in the election of the 2018, actually, some of potential figures committed to political campaign in such establishing personal branding on digital media, poster or keep in touch with societies before. Based on the strict contemporary perspective, one of the severe obstacles that would have been faced by them was much money provided, in order to give up from.
To support the statement about a must to own much budget in general election, not only is able to gain parties’ support, but also to pay vote well known as part of money politic. By further explanation to these phenomenon, most of political parties in regional commit to introduce and to implement the burden of prized-requirement as part of cost-politic by candidate to pocket a party’s clearly legal support and fee to registration. In the one words, relying on commonly political behavior of Indonesian voters has become long-term tradition in each election as the large majority of them must be paid to give a vote. It means lack of society’s understanding and awareness on a basic purpose of the democracy and politic is the seriously fundamental problem. With taking the assumption, stakeholders and society that go hand in hand with the responsibility to teach and spread the essential meaning of democracy are fail to increase political awareness education into particular of poor people. Furthermore, for some of Indonesian people group, having and using much money in political process are deemed as the paramount demand.
Another cause on the emerging blank box, the potential cadre’s crises is slightly existing in most of political parties, in order that they span to espouse another figure who is not cadre from. This is unfortunate to attack the real function of political party as expected to generate the next great leader. As subsequent condemnation of the fact, the absence of the political party trains and produces the number of the great cadres in regions to be formidable leader by having a wide range of knowledge and experience could be deduced as fatalistic problem internally as well as they tend to legitimate one from ex-internal party. On the other hand, some of political parties actually have a potential cadre in regions, but those do not have a window of the opportunity to battle in election because of some adverse obstacles. Having further less budget is as the first aspect, and then the majority of political party depend on decision of central officer as top policy in determining the final candidate – “the second reason”. Even the patriarchy system still exists in some of party in which the only leader has the strong authority to decide, as the last.
It is interesting to note that, though, with candidate versus blank box, majority of candidates that fight to defeat blank box are from incumbent, due to eight of nine in 2007 and twelve of thirteen in 2008 respectively. Looking at those incumbents to throw all of previous possible candidates and to become the only one participation in the competition, as long as I am concerned the issue that those have successfully maneuvered perfectly toward the election steps as single candidate will be in face-to-face with blank box. In the one words, assumed that all of them have a strong influence to effect and dominate many different political parties as the supporting parties. It carries out the rise of old political perspective that they make an enormous effort to defend and empower the strategic position in long-term power relatively. It does mean such the issue proves the basic meaning of politic in simultaneous regional election is art of influence. Moreover, popularity and electability that have been had by incumbents, might possibly be more indispensable consideration for party official to choose her or his as the result of good decision.
Based on the fact to outline mentioned-above, the significantly increasing budget either cost politic and money politic, the crisis of cadre’s political party, or the tremendous power of incumbents assumed to encourage in such “Single Candidate versus blank box” in simultaneous regional election is undisputable on its existence. Therefore, I personally believe the most noticeable causes in the existing phenomenon is further much less optimistic and brave in potential prominent people from several entire sectors in such the successful businessmen, politician, economist and academician having the quality of leadership rather than incumbents.
*) M. Jusrianto, Alumnus of International Relation Porgram at University of Muhammadiyah Malang