All Things to All Men

Feb 20th, 2009, in News, by

YudhoyonoPresident Yudhoyono’s Demokrat Party has no real political enemies and appeals to everyone.

In considering coalition options for the upcoming presidential elections Andi Mallarangeng of Partai Demokrat said recently: okezone

We have no enemies or permanent opposition, none. We can partner with anyone to build up Indonesia.

For now he said the party would focus on winning the legislative election, and after this think about coalitions.

Partai Demokrat is widely expected to greatly exceed its 2004 result of 7.45% after this year’s elections, joining Golkar and PDI Perjuangan to make a Big Three.

Some of the ways that the party portrays itself in the billboard wars and on television:

A foot in both camps

Ya Allah….

Spunky and sort of pious Ine….

Things are getting better, starring Roy Suryo.

Mothers’ friend.

23 Comments on “All Things to All Men”

  1. Ross says:

    Beware so-called ‘Democrasts’ whose grubbing about for sectarian votes impelled them to endorse SBY’s cave-in on Ahmadiyah.
    Suppression of religious liberty is the sign not of democrats but of hypocrites and opportunists.

  2. David says:

    Time and place Achmad, gotta pick em…

    Ross yes, Democrats, are they distinguishable from Golkar or anyone else? Bit of a mystery they are, power, power, power, money,…as long as they stick with Golkar they could just about permanently govern, I don’t think they’ll have any shortage of ‘personalities’ once SBY is gone, and ‘personalities’ and money is where it’s at.

  3. Rob says:

    I don’t know that the Demokrats are quite the shoe-in that people seem to think they are. I think there is a need to distinguish between the survey support for the president as the preferred president and the support for the respective parties.

    Just me.

    When it is all said and done, I would be happy to see a younger candidate and one not tied to old political interests and ways.

    Indonesians seemed to have been enamoured with Barack Obama but as yet have not been able to toss up a similar candidate preaching a message of change that we can believe in!

  4. schmerly says:

    Rob.. I don’t think there will be much change this time around, the good old boys are still well entrenched along with their money and power, and I still believe the army has a fair bit of influence behind the scenes, even Wiranto wants to get his foot in the door.

  5. Mike Oxblack says:

    “We have no enemies”

    A man with no enemies has no principles.

    Indonesia’s political parties STILL haven’t come up with any platform or manifesto. Why should I vote for SBY’s party or PAN or PDI-P or the odious Golkar over any other party? What’s the difference? What do they stand for?

    Democracy demands a strong and dogged opposition.

  6. schmerly says:


    What do they stand for?

    They stand for their own vested interests, one day, hopefully!! they will do the job their paid to do, and put the people first, or am I dreaming?

  7. bodrox says:

    @ mike

    “Democracy demands a strong and dogged opposition”.

    you said there isn’t real opposition in Indonesian democracy? Think it again, and remember the power of Golput…

  8. Rob says:

    Golput is an interesting phenomenon as a protest vote to express dissatisfaction with the incumbent politicians seeking re-election or the quality of the candidates that are offered up as alternatives to the incumbents.

    However, golput does not get alternative candidates elected to power or positions of influence.

    It is a sad indictment of the quality of candidates being put forward or the policy platforms of the parties themselves that Indonesian voters cannot find one candidate or one party that is representative of their interests. Golput would seemingly be a much more effective expression of dissatisfaction where there are only two or three parties in play.

    My belief is that a better way of voting to express dissatisfaction with the status quo or the poor quality being offered up by the major parties is to find a candidate or party that represents my interests and vote for them or it. My candidate or party might not win but I have shown my support for change, given my voice to that change, and perhaps at the next election more people will come on board for that change.

    I am not arguing that golput is not a legitimate expression of one’s democratic rights. I am suggesting that there are alternative ways of expressing the same or similar sentiments, where if there are enough votes, just maybe an alternative candidate will get elected.

    As I have said before, it is interesting that the adoption of Obama as some kind of hero in Indonesia as not lead to more talk about change politics and “change we can believe in”…

  9. Chris Komari says:

    The biggest challenge that other Presidential candidates have is the fact that they are lack of substance on addressing many critical issues facing Indonesia.

    Challenging SBY with style, rhetoric and courage does not do any good to win the heart and mind of Indonesian voters. SBY has substance and style and secondly, it does not change the condition on the ground. To win the public debate against an incumbent, it has to be on real core issues facing the country and challenging the current administration record to address those critical issues.

    George H.W. Bush was a very popular President in the US after wining the 1st Gulf War in the 90’s. He has a great resume from being a fighter pilot, US Ambassador in China, Director of CIA, former a Vice President under Reagan’s Administration and then become a President. Kicking Saddam Hussein’s arm forces out and liberated Kuwait from his aggression was a political victory that no significant Republican crowd in the US dared to challenge him at the Presidential contest. But what then the unknown Presidential candidate from Arkansas named Governor Clinton did to beat this very popular President?

    Then the Governor Clinton understood the issues; he articulated and communicated his comprehensive and measurable plans to address those issues with a great passion and at the same time, challenging President Bush priority during his 4 years in office. He prevailed, didn’t he?

    I don’t see how a new comer is able to beat any incumbent just by presenting a style, rhetoric, courage and expect to win. This is what I see in Indonesia.

    There are no other Presidential candidates who challenge SBY on substance and come up with comprehensive and measurable plans as an alternative for Indonesian voters to choose. Unless they do that, the Indonesian voters will see SBY better than other Presidential candidates since SBY has some accomplishments regardless how small and meaningless they are to show to his constituents.

    Or perhaps, they are there running for President just to win the PRESIDENCY to fulfill his/her vested interest and not the interest of the people who are elected them. Their nonsense rhetoric and style is just a mean to achive that goal.

    Chris Komari

  10. Mike Oxblack says:

    Some kind of genuine movement of working people is what this (and many other countries) needs. They’ve done it in South America, broken the stranglehold of the elites and propelled members from their own ranks to the presidency. Harder here. Attempts to unionise are usually met with goon squad tactics.

  11. Burung Koel says:

    Some kind of genuine movement of working people is what this (and many other countries) needs.

    The last time there was a national, broad based movement of workers and peasants was in 1965, and look what happened then. But I agree that some kind of purpose is required for a legitimate political party, not just a group organising around a particular personality, which seems to be the case in Indonesia. In the end you just get celebrity politics.

    George H.W. Bush was a very popular President in the US after wining the 1st Gulf War in the 90’s.

    @ Chris: Despite Gulf War I, he presided over an economic recession, and was (at the time) the least popular President since the beginning of opinion polls. Remember Clinton’s campaign reminder? “It’s the economy, stupid!”

  12. Chris Komari says:

    To: Burung Koel:

    I don’t disagree. But beyond that, then Governor Clinton was able to articulate his very comprehensive economic plan and the rest was history and economic surplus ever.

    The lesson that I want to share was that you can’t beat an incumbent who have somewhat a record with merely rhetoric, style and talks of courage just like what we have seen with the Presidential contest in Indonesia today. It has to be core issues that matter the most to the voters.

    And of course besides understanding those cores issues, the other candidates must be able to come up with a comprehensive plan to address those issues that are sound and measurable and able to articulate those plans publicly to the voters at large.

    Well, it is a sign that Indonesian voters are getting mature politically slowly and gradually, which is good!

    The sad part is that reelecting SBY is at best maintaining status quo, which I don’t want to see it happening in the next President election in July and September 2009. Indonesia needs a change on the ground badly and I can’t wait another 4 years.

    Chris Komari

  13. Mike Oxblack says:

    I think old Sri should step into the breach:

    She seems to be by far the most forward looking and progressive of the bunch and not afraid to kick some corrupt arse.

  14. schmerly says:

    Yea and the good old boys don’t like her, which is a good sign she’s doing the right thing, plus the fact she’s a woman and they don’t like that either, I just hope she can hang in there.

  15. dragonwall says:

    Everyone we see being a candidate to the presidentail election are connected to the past not withstanding anything.

    The only criteria to look for is the prudence and diligence in them. It seems that in Indonesia, all you need is to submit your application for a party and place your nomination. So all the placards is like window shopping. Then followed by vote buying and dirty politics.

    People get attracted to money, so who cares about who will win the presidency!

    Come election day and you will see a lot of RT RW Lurah and Camat going around the same drill to keep their seat and started to tell people to “Tolong Cucuk PDI” then the next thing is Mega wins the race.

    After a while when things doesn’t work out the same drill again and this time Cuck Golkar” and SBY became president.

    What are they going to do next? Is that going to be the same drill? If so then Indonesia will continue to be what they are. Besides SBY now you have JK, Wiranto, Prabowo, Mega. Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono.

    There are those corruptor in the candidacy, there are HAM violators, Sri Sultan seemed a subtle guy but unlikely due to lack of political exposure. So the most outstanding person is still SBY.

    SBY should put more efforts into quelling the inflation. The next thing he should do is to pressure the AG to recover all the missing files and get those scumbags indicted for criminal charges. Get Prabowo and Wiranto to the green table facing the International Tribunal for violations of Human Rights and ethnic cleansing.
    SBY should have a sepcial force and that is to ensure the enforcement of laws. You can have Sharia formated banks bnut not Sharia Laws.
    Why does European countries have many different departments in law enforcement? Well we should learn more with them in order to get Indonesia a better tomorrow.

    Without anything to substantiate his willingness to better Indonesia’s image in the political world, the chances of Indonesia getting another know nothing useless no brainer to their president.

  16. doos_101 says:

    When I take my stand in this nation I will cure the political impurities as follows:

    1. Abolish Money Politics
    2. Destroy parties without ideologies
    3. Destroy minor parties that make up a huge number in the amount
    4. Create a dual/tripple party system
    5. Assimilation of minor parties to the major parties, such as Golkar & PDI P.
    6. Create loyalty towards major parties to remove uncertainty in politics.
    7. Boost entrepreneurship.
    8. Boost entrepreneurship.
    9. Boost entrepreneurship.
    10. Animate individualism into the poor and middle class to stimulate cooperative businesses.

    No. 7 – 9 is repeated because relates back to No. 1. Make money in the market, not politics!

    Or atleast someone old enough who see this list could do it before me.

  17. Burung Koel says:

    5. Assimilation of minor parties to the major parties, such as Golkar & PDI P.

    Plus ca change. Didn’t Suharto do that?

  18. DoOs_101 says:

    In his era, Suharto silenced the rights of the parliament, creating an authoritative and centralized system. No. 5 simply eliminates the excess amount of parties in the government. To put it this way, too many parties result in a political dissent which can cause severe instability in the future.

    Talk is easy, however, the government must pass a bill that rules: a party will be politically recognized if it has reached x amount of seats in the parliament. Failure to achieve recognition after the first year will result in the party being legally disbanded by law.

    The problem will arise in the parliament however, such bill like this will take awhile to be passed.

  19. Burung Koel says:

    The problem will arise in the parliament however, such bill like this will take awhile to be passed.

    Indeed. Politicians don’t have a great record around the world for voting themselves out of a job.

  20. doos_101 says:

    That is why I said assimilation my friend. The major political parties must do work to assimilate the weaker parties, that way we would have seats in the parliament composed of only the major parties.

    Afterwards, it is likely possible for the parliament to pass such restrictive bills against the creation of parties.

  21. Rob says:


    When are you going to take this stand?

    Countries with two or three-party political systems are not perfect. Multiple party systems have added challenges in the form of having to find common ground for alliances to come together.

    I am always interested in the opinions of those who champion democracy but simultaneously seek to restrict and limit the ability of citizens to express their views. Perhaps the problem in Indonesia is not the number of parties contesting an election but rather the people running the parties themselves and their motivations.

    As an aside, assimilation sounds so Borg in the Star Trek sense. For me, why would one want to assimilate into a larger party that does not represent their interests?

    Maybe I am too idealistic and not sufficiently realistic.

  22. doos_101 says:

    Well, I’m idealistic too and sometimes I ignore the facts of reality.

    Alternatively, it could be the fact the the problem with political instability is caused by the people running the parties. This is true, lets go back to the history of American politics. The creation of the electoral collage was solely done by the founding fathers under their concern that the people were not yet able to judge politically. Back in the early centuries, people did not have as much education as people do now. My point is that, its not yet the correct timing.

    I’d love to have Indonesia become the next champion of democracy, but people in Indonesia do not have sufficient education and it is why political instability is rampant. That is why to safeguard stability in politics, we need to restrict freedom in creating parties, until the moment we have reached the ideal point of maturity.

    Just a quick question, why hasn’t America remove the electoral college? Lol…

  23. dragonwall says:

    What Suharto did may cause the dislike of others. But he did the right thing by bringing them in and listening to their views. But guess he didn’t do that good enough to be betrayed by his close aides.

    Having more parties tend to give the public a distorted view but absorbing the others and make it one will strengthen and broaden one political view.

    There are many so called deomcratic society with different views. They have not increase their chance of winning the battle and subsequently fade away in time.

    What people wants to know are facts not mouth service because promise are always made to be broken.

    1,2 6, 7 and 10 may be the main factors.

Comment on “All Things to All Men”.

RSS feed

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-2023
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact