Political dynasties II

Kompas.com – November 6, 2023

From an oped piece by Sandro Gatra titled "Political Dynasties and the Betrayal of Democracy".

"Whoever plays with power will be crushed by their own power because there is no everlasting and eternal power" – Chester Barnard.

This theory of power coined by Chester Barnard reminds us all that we must be able to put the brakes on the desire for power that is too dominating.

The polemic over Constitutional Court ruling Number 90/PUU-XXI/2023 on Additional Provisions of Experience Serving in Elected Positions on the Minimum Age of Presidential/Vice Presidential Candidates, which gave a red carpet to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka to become a vice presidential candidate, signals that our democracy has suffered a further regression.

Actually, from each election to the next, state administrators should have more quality, competence and integrity. The fact is however, the celebratory events that are held every five years only give birth to a great many politicians, but a deficit in statesman.

As a result, these power chasing politicians have cut the linearity correlation between time and quality so we are trapped in a liberal democracy that produces an elite of stupid politicians (Nashir, 2020).

Corruption, collusion and Nepotism (KKN) are flourishing. The involvement of family members is widespread.

A son-in-law as a regional head, a first-born child as the successor and the holder of his father's authority, the next child appointed as the general chairperson of a national political party after receiving a membership card (KTA) only two days before, and a brother-in-law as the chief justice of the Constitutional Court.

This is despite nepotism being regulated under People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Decree Number XI/1998 and Law Number 28/1999 on the Administration of a State that is Clean and Free from KKN, and perpetrators of nepotism are even subject to two years in prison.

However, in the era of reformasi – the political reform process that began in 1998 – with a direct and open election system, the practice of political dynasties continues its course and is given space to be able to perpetuate its power.

Nepotism is closely tied to the formation of the Indonesian people's mentality and is difficult to overcome. His mouth tells media chief editors that he won't cawe-cawe (meddle) in the affairs of the 2024 elections because of his commitment to upholding independence and neutrality so the elections can run safely and smoothly.

But his behavior and actions are far from the values of democracy. Politics without ethics is pursued. All means become halal (lawful under Islam) as long as your counterpart looses.

For the sake of his child gaining power, the Constitutional Court was dragged in and taken advantage of while it is chaired by his uncle. When else can he use this momentum.

Politics is pursued brutally by utilising the law as a political tool. But he doesn't care that what is being done is bringing about the decay of democracy. Critical reasoning and democratic common sense are deliberately turned off.

In a discussion on Kompas TV titled Welcome to the Jokowi Dynasty, one of the speakers, Sukidi, a great thinker on diversity, referred to this phenomenon as Machiavellian politics...

[The full text of the article can be read at: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/11/06/13543061/dinasti-politik-dan-pengkhianatan-demokrasi.]