The attention to democracy, both theoretically and practically, has been increasing significantly since 'the third wave' of democratization has begun in 1974 (Huntington 1991). According to Samuel Huntington (1991), during 1970s to 1990s, more countries have moved to democracy, hence it emerges the optimistic view about the future of democracy, or more precisely liberal democracy. For Francis Fukuyama, it expresses the victory of liberal democracy over its ideological rivals (authoritarianism and totalitarianism), by which he believes that 'the end of history' is coming (Fukuyama 1992). Since then democracy has been becoming more popular and even to be an influential factor in international relations.
Apart from the emerging democracy in the world, it is thought that enforcing democracy is not an easy task for a country which is divided deeply into race, ethnicity, religion, language, culture, gender, and social stratification differences. Rather than offers a positive thing, moving to democracy potentially stimulates tension and even horizontal conflicts among societies who have such different backgrounds. Jack Snyder, for example, shows that the early phase of democratization has triggered nationalistic conflicts in some countries (Snyder 2000). This is a reason why democracy fails in countries which have a plural society. Moreover, democracies also tend to fail in weak capacity states as it has been occurring in third-wave democracies (Dominguez and Jones 2007, 7; Tilly 2007, 15-21).
Given this fact, what kind of democracy is more suitable for a divided society? The scholars of political science have been discussing such a question and some of them have tried to offer a remedy for a divided society. This essay will review briefly this discussion and then take a standing point that constitutional democracy should be considered for a divided society. It begins by discussing the suitability of several types of democracy for a divided society and then examining it in the case of Indonesia.
2. Types of Democracy
There are various types of democracy that has been introduced by scholars that indicates there are many views on democracy (for example, Held 1987; Heywood 1997).
Electoral democracy emphasizes the importance of universal suffrage right in which one person has one vote. Electoral democracy defines democracy merely as giving vote in elections in order to choose public officers to represent people's interests (Schumpeter 1987). In this regards, electoral democracy has a close relation with representative democracy. The problem with these democracies is inclined to benefit majority and neglect minority. In such democracies, the will of the majority must be obeyed (Mueller 1997, 84). It is believed that if a competition is solely based on the number of votes then minority will lose. Therefore, these kinds of democracies are not enough for a divided society.
For this reason, electoral democracy should be combined with another type of democracy so that it is suitable for a divided society. Arend Lijphart (1977) offers what he calls consociational democracy for divided societies. He sketches favourable conditions for consociational democracy. He and other scholars pay much attention to the importance of constitution to make democracy works properly (Lijphart 2004; Horowitz 2000; Issacharoff 2004; Reynolds 2005). Deliberative democracy is another type for a plural society. Theorists of deliberative democracy argue that democratic process should open spheres for public involvement in policy-making that related to public interest or common good (Chambers 2003). Deliberative democracy is useful to prevent the domination of majority group in democratic process and give an opportunity to minority or marginalized groups to voice their interests. Deliberative democracy is a remedy to reconcile the clash between democracy and right as well as between the majority will and individual rights (Chambers 2003, 311). Some theorists of deliberative democracy stress the importance of rule of law and constitutional rights (Chambers 2003, 309-11), but less attention has been paid to the relationship between deliberative democracy and constitution. Although between deliberative democracy and constitutional democracy seems has a similar idea, the main attention of deliberative democracy is not to constitution, but rather to how people have an equal opportunity in democratic process.
No doubt that democracy is a complicated one so it is somewhat difficult to claim that one type of democracy is better than the other types. In practice, it is common to apply a mixed type of democracy to complement each other. However, democracies for divided societies should be poured clearly into a constitution. A well-functioning democracy in a divided society requires a constitution.
Constitutional democracy is necessary for divided societies as it regulates and guarantees the enforceability of democracy for a divided society. Any type of democracy can be called constitutional democracy as long as it is stipulated by a constitution. Constitutional democracy is a big umbrella and the other types as its branch. Democracy constitutional is as primes inter pares among other types.
3. Constitutional Democracy
Literally, constitutional democracy is the combination of constitutionalism and democracy terms. Thus it is useful to see what constitutionalism and democracy are.
The Oxford English Dictionary …