Jakarta -- The popularity of the large political in the lead-up to the 2004 general elections is continuing to decline in the eyes of the public. People believe that the political parties don’t care about the future and the interests of ordinary people, they are egotistic and the elite are constantly squabbling.
The results of the survey by the Center for The Study of Development and Democracy (Cesda)/Institute for Social and Economic Research, Education and Information (LP3ES), was presented by researchers E. Shobirin Nadj, Rahadi T. Wiratama and Wildan Pramudya Arifin on Thursday.
The survey involved 3,000 respondents from 13 provinces and was carried out over 12 days between May 1-12. “The image of the political parties in the lead-up to the 2004 elections is continuing to decline and [they are] failing to fulfill the hopes of society”, said Shobirin. This can be seen from the number of respondents who were not convinced that the political parties could become a vehicle for the aspirations of the ordinary people (64 per cent). Furthermore, 49 per cent of respondents said that they did not trust the political parties. This figure is far higher than that of respondents who said they trusted the political parties (29 per cent).
When questioned about which political party contesting the election cared about the interests of ordinary people, 23 per cent of respondents said there was not a single party which cared with 35 per cent of respondents not answering.
They don’t care
According to Shobirin, there was an interesting finding on the question of the political parties consistency [in campaigning for the interests of ordinary people]. The PDI-P consistency as the party which won the last elections has also declined. The previous year, 13 per cent of respondents said that PDI-P cared about the interests of ordinary people, this year it was only nine per cent. The assessment of the consistency of the National Mandate Party and the National Awakening Party also dropped from three per cent (2002) to two percent.
Furthermore said Shobirin, these figures will have an influence on the people’s choices in the 2004 elections. The data from the survey indicates that 19 per cent of respondents will switch political parties in the 2004 elections because, among other things, the aims of the political parties are less and less clear, they have neglected the interests of their supporters, they are egotistic and the leaders of the political parties are constantly squabbling.
Changes in the choice of political parties was also clearly demonstrated in the Cesda/LP3ES survey. Support for PDI-P tended to weaken in comparison with the same survey conducted in 2002. In 2002, PDI-P was supported by 11 per cent of respondents, this year it is only seven per cent. Conversely, support for [the former state party of President Suharto] Golkar has actually increased from three to 18 per cent.
According to Wildan Pramudya, this increase in support for Golkar may be because of the regions surveyed. He said that the regions surveyed, which were chosen randomly, fell on those regions which had a Golkar support base such as South Sulawesi, North Sumatra and West Java. “This of course needs to be rechecked”, he said. (BSW)
[Translated by James Balowski.]