Flawed Democracy

Dec 7th, 2006, in News, by

Indonesia ranks 65th in the 2006 Democracy Index, a flawed democracy.

Put out annually by the Economist magazine this year's "Economist Intelligence Unit democracy index" ranks 167 countries, dividing them into four categories:

  • Full democracies
  • Flawed democracies
  • Hybrid regimes
  • Authoritarian regimes

Indonesia is grouped in the "flawed democracies" list and ranks 65th overall, equal with East Timor, with a score of 6.41 out of ten. The score broken down into categories:

  • Electoral process and pluralism - 6.92
  • Functioning of government - 7.14
  • Political participation - 5.00
  • Political culture - 6.25
  • Civil liberties - 6.76

Of the nation's contemporaries and neighbours the Philippines is ranked at 63rd, scoring 6.48, Malaysia is at 81st with a score of 5.98, scoring poorly on the "political participation" level, with 4.44.

Moving down into the "hybrid regimes" list Singapore ranks at 84th and scores 5.89, with a woeful 2.78 for "political participation". Thailand is at 90th/5.67.

The top ten were:

  • 1. Sweden - 9.88
  • 2. Iceland - 9.71
  • 3. Netherlands - 9.66
  • 4. Norway - 9.55
  • 5. Denmark - 9.52
  • 6. Finland - 9.25
  • 7. Luxembourg - 9.10
  • 8. Australia - 9.09
  • 9. Canada - 9.07
  • 10. Switzerland - 9.02

The list is available in PDF format at www.economist.com but it's easier to view the Google html version.

47 Comments on “Flawed Democracy”

  1. avatar Rudy Hendra says:

    So, Dimp.

    If you are in my friend’s position, which one will you pick, my dear?

  2. avatar Rudy Hendra says:

    There is a different between initiating a bribe and actually extorted for money.

    No, the firefighters did not force you to give them the money.
    They leave you 2 choice like I describe above.

    Have you decided yet, which one would you pick?

  3. avatar Dimp says:

    Hey Rudy,

    You just don’t get it.

    Firefighters are suppose to do the job regardless they are being paid or not, for them putting your house as a ransom means that they are extorting money from you, it is not you who initiate the bribe.

    Unlike people who gives money so they can cut corners in other issues, this is initiating a bribe.

  4. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Rudy Hendra,
    read my comment carefully, please.
    The situation of your friend is an extrem situation and an extrem situation needs sometimes an exceptinal solution.
    Example: I’m again violence. But if I watch someone is thrating my child, I would try to do something against it, if necesary with violence. But I’m still an opponent of violence.
    Do you understand the word “extortion” (=pemerasan)? Why not paying in such extrem situation? But it is very important to do something against this extortion after that. Do you understand what I mean now?
    Case closed, who cares. The failure does always the other. Good luck.

  5. avatar Rudy Hendra says:

    Well, thanks, man.
    I understand now.

    But in many cases, they extort us in many ways.

    Like PERTAMINA case.
    Maybe in your country, there are many fuel sellers.
    Here, as you know, PERTAMINA holds monopoly.
    And the fuel/bunker service for ships in Jakarta is only in one place.
    The guys there want money.
    If we don’t give them money, they will say : go to that man… and that man will say… go to that man… and so on… until you tired and give up, and give them money.

    In case like that, is it extorted also?

    If it is… then if we give them money, it is not our fault. I guess.
    It’s a kind of soft extortion, is it?
    We are a fuel buyer, and of course we will pay the legal price for the fuel.
    We do not want to give extra money.

    And also, for our ship that goes ocean-going, we purchase fuels in Singapore waters, not here.

  6. avatar DianDoank says:

    Hi Rudy,

    In much smaller scale, I have experienced the request to be involved in bribing bureaucrat in order to have a piece of paper. Not with the Pertamina but with the Department of Justice when I made recommendation letter for visa request. So the story was if you want to request visa for temporary stay at several EU countries, you need some recomendation letter from Dept. of Justice and later dept. of Foreign Affairs.

    Since beginning of the process, I have heard lots of stories that it will take lots of time and money. Some people suggested that I better use “calo” (I don’t know what is the english word of calo) to make it faster and easier eventhough I might have to pay like 3-5 times more expensive than if I did it by myself (I heard that if you Chinese it might be even more to pay on things like this). However as this is my first ever temporary visa, I opted to do it myself in order to experience and see the loopholes. I scheduled around 14 days to get these two papers. At the end the process costs me around four working days and 100.000 rupiahs real administration cost instead of 2 days and 500.000 rupiahs. Plus now I get the knowledge on how these bureaucratic procedure actually proceed.

    What I want to say basically, to pay bribery is an option. Not pay means that it will take ages to do simple thing (but it will happen anyway) and if you pay, it goes fast but if you have a conscious then you feel bad. I wouldn’t dare to judge Rudy for taking all necessary action to make the ship run. it is damn hard to do business in Indonesia without pay bribery. But if we don’t start from somewhere, nothing will change.I know it won’t solve your issue with Pertamina as I don’t know the loopholes in procedures but please don’t take the bribery as the only sole action to get the fuel for your ship.

    By the way about the police taking wallet during accident, I have experienced that as well but the police took it for identification. And if he/she took the money, REPORT the police to their boss even better these days lots of mass media love these kind of scandals. It would not be hard to put it to the news.In bigger scale, mass media is the best way to put social pressure on corruption. hemm who knows it will works if you give an anonymous tip to the TV station on those that you have to bribe at Pertamina???:) it might stop you in getting faster service at the fuel terminal but hey it definitely stop you to pay the bribery!!!

    I agree with the two ways of conviction on corruption; people that bribe and the party who took the money. Even better make sure that those that pay bribery get the same amount of penalty as those accepted the bribery.

  7. avatar Rudy Hendra says:

    Well, in that case, Ms. Dian…
    I think, I will be a lone fighter.
    One man against the whole system…
    Have you seen “Hero” movie?

    You know, I have experience go to PERTAMINA, and well… all buyer there give money, openly, to the guy at the desk.
    The guy always make his drawer opened, and all buyer, all of them put money to the drawer, after the guy finished working on their paper.

    I think it is some kind of ‘tanda terima kasih’.

    And because I understand … how small their salary is… how many their children is… I understand. How can he live in Jakarta with all of his family, only from his salary? I understand. I give him the money.
    Please don’t judge that as corruption.

    You ever live in Indonesia. You must know how much a government employee’s salary is. (Gaji pegawai negeri).

    And the policeman on the street, asking for money if you are get caught. We also understand. How can he live in Jakarta with all his wife and children with small salary? I am fully understand of their condition.

  8. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Rudy,

    One man against the whole system, this is why corruption will never cease, as everyone hesitate to do something to fix the system, they always think that you cannot do it by yourself. True you may not be able to fix the system, true that you may not be able to finish the project, but you can start it.

    One man can start, another will follow, you will never know, if you never try.

  9. avatar Dimp says:

    BTW Rudy,

    You mentioned the movie “Hero”, I think this is not a good movie to compare to this problem, true that he is just one man going against the whole Empire, but then he actually realised that his action was inappropriate, thus he did not kill the Emperor, rather giving himself up.

  10. avatar DianDoank says:

    Hi Pak Rudy,

    I think you definitely not alone when you fight the coruption system. Or at least in this forum you won’t be alone 🙂 hehehe
    I understand it is hard to fight something that become a culture but when you never try to stop it, in the end it won’t give anything good come out from it.

    I am really sorry pak Rudy but I still think that when you give something to someone as thankyou note when they finished their job which they are obligated anyway…it is still a coruption. It is hard to say but well it is a coruption. Police asked money in the street yes it is a coruption. There should be a line on this. thank you money I guess would be if you ask your office boy to buy cigarretes or lunch in his leisure time then after that you gave him some money. It was not his task to provide you with your personal needs but hey he is nice – hemmm is that good example hemmm:)
    As you mentioned…live in Indonesia is hard. Still it doesn’t justify to ask for more money for doing their job description…just because it can be fast and less pain.

    By the way on topic of government employee got less pay that’s true but still not a justification on get “thank you money”. Both my parents are government employees. My father used to be school director for a government institution. Not a big government institution but still once you finished your education, you can be a government employee.

    Every year near the acceptance exam, lots of prospective student came with their parents and wanted to give money to him. My father always turned it down. He thinks that he just can not live with that kind of way. Doing these action, made him to think how to stop these thank you note actions and change it with a healthy financial source to those people below him that used to accept these kind of money. So then he opted to develop the research facilities of the institution. As an educational institution, there a capacity to do lots of academic researchs not only for government projects but also to private sector. Once they can built reputation around it, these staffs able to use their expertise and eventually got their additional finance from there. Even better the students also has perfect possibility to involve in reasearch which then improved their knowledge, sometimes pocket money and extended CV.

    It was not always worked at every place where he stationed. Actually at one other place he was disliked due of his anti corruption attitude, it was a hell actually for our family at that time. But he at least he lived up to his principle and earned respect from doing right things. And at some level people who works with him know the feeling of doing right things!! And there’s an option for everything!! I think that is important as well to experience before you surrender to act of coruption.

    Would that make my father a tragic hero? Hehehehe dunno coz we need to ask him on that regards but I feel proud to have parents that dare to against the stream because he has principle. Further, he did live up to his expectation on that. Anyway, who said that if you live up to principle you will always a happy material life but definitely we are rich in our soul (haiyaaa:)

    Begitu pak Rudy yang baik…. 🙂

  11. avatar DianDoank says:

    My favorite quote in regards to change management:

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

  12. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Right, DianDoank!
    Millions of ants are able to move a big stone.

  13. avatar Hassan says:

    Oh, (big time) corrupters, did you know that the money you stole could instead be used to feed people with busung lapar all over Indonesia? But you care more about your fancy cars, multi storey houses and apartments, Jewelry, yachts, and the money to educate your children abroad.

    I wondered how Indonesia would be if our country were not plagued by corruption since our independence. Japan? Korea? Taiwan?

  14. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Hassan,

    The problem with our country is that “law” can still be bought, so the big time corruptors do not see the “law” as something that they need to be fearful of. We can still clearly see how the “law” punish the rich, Tommy Soeharto, was only punished lightly. Akbar Tandjung can still resume his political career after convicted. The “law” in Indonesia is a joke.

    We need to be strict like China, we need to provide coffins for these big time corruptors.

  15. avatar 1ndra says:

    We need excellent punisher that couldnt be bought.

  16. avatar Sjahrir says:

    Hi Kanakahuko,
    your comment is quite interesting!!! I’m not a supporter of islamic law, but should be understood that such demand comes from some groups in the country. Beside, if the absence of law regulating pornography and religious law is an indicator of democracy, Sweden will not be the first ranked country because it has state-church (which just abolished in 2000), and Canada would be there as well because it has regulation on pornography.

    Come on Man, democracy does not mean you can do everything seenak udelmu!

  17. avatar PG says:

    Flawed democracies in SE Asia and its peripheree seem to be the majority . The democracies have been pirated by political familes and their friends , have a look all over this region , its very bad .

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