Academic journal article Researchers World

Strengthening Local Democracy through Local Political Parties in Aceh

Academic journal article Researchers World

Strengthening Local Democracy through Local Political Parties in Aceh

Article excerpt


Democracy in many countries such as America and European countries have developed massively. It is reasonable in general because democracies develop as high-income countries. However, it is important to note that there has been a variety of developmental experiences among democracies particularly in low income and developing countries including Indonesia.

The impact of democracy can be seen in the constitutions adopted in Indonesia. The impact of democracy can also be found in the political spectrum of Indonesian daily politics. The journey of Indonesian democracy has also shown many type of democracy adopted in Indonesian history from "guided" democracy to Pancasila democracy. (Beni Ahmad Saebani & Wati, 2016) Pancasila, as a national identity of Indonesian democracy, is a form of representative democracy in which the powers of the majority are enshrined in constitutional provisions designed to guarantee the individual and collective rights of all citizens. The influence of democracy can be also found in the growth of political parties after the collapse of New Order regime.


Democracy and Political Parties:

Democracy as Modern State-Political Foundation:

There are ten democratic values, particularly in emerging democracies, which are adopted by several countries as follow: (Suyatno, 2004, pp. 26-27) (1) Pillar of constitutional government. Every act of government should be based on a recognized constitution; (2) Democratic Election. Election of leaders is conducted by open mechanisms and involving the people by protecting the rights of freedom and secrecy; (3) Federalism, State and Local Governments: the distribution of state power from center to province is based on the decentralization mechanism; (4) Law-Making Process. The process of legal or law formation is open and involves multiple stakeholders considering the aspirations of the people; (5) An independent judiciary. Judicial institutions that are not intervened by external powers in performing law enforcement duties; (6) Powers of the presidency: the power of the presidential institution is subject to a recognized constitution in which the president is not a king but a servant of the people; (7) Role of a free media: the media becomes a balance of power control in a country in order to avoid abuse of power; (8) Role of interest groups. Interest groups act as advocates of public interest and control of state power; (9) Public's right to know. The government must be open to ensure the people's right to know any government decisions or policies to prevent abuse of power; (10) Protecting minority rights: The state shall protect the rights of minorities from the domination of the majority based on the principle of equality before the law.

Those are keys to understand how democracy has evolved and how it operates in many countries. It is also important to note that all powers in government must come from the people, and must be accepted by them as legitimate. This validation takes place through a variety of means, including the processes of making law as well as free and fair elections. (Urofski, in Suyatno, 2004, p. 28)

Democracy in the modern era is not only focused on state but also on three analysis focus namely state, society, and market. Those three focus of study of democracy has encouraged many type of democracies including democracy of state; democracy of society; democracy of market). Three types of democracies can be described as follow: (Gatara FH & Sofhian, 2012, pp. 127-134)


The study of democracy which focuses on state dominantly has been developed in European society since Middle age. During this age, some philosophers proposed their idea on democracy. The debate on the issue of government has begun since 1600s. Since that era of empirical power is weakened, there has come to be an idea of the form of democracy pioneered by the philosophies. Niccolo Machiavelli wrote his famous book The Prince based on this feudal system, teaching what he believed to be basic principles of governance for a ruler. …

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