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The Importance of Understanding Pancasila Democracy to Realize Quality Elections

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By: M. Radityo Priyasmoro )*

General Elections (Pemilu) are one of the most important moments in the democratic life of this nation. Every citizen has the right to choose their leader through elections, a process that must be carried out with integrity, honesty and without violence. In welcoming the 2024 elections, it is very important for all of us to understand the main role of ethics and law in ensuring the creation of peaceful elections and still prioritizing good quality.

With elections, democracy is considered a system that guarantees the freedom of citizens through the absorption of votes as a form of broad public participation. In Pancasila Democracy like in Indonesia, elections are a means of establishing power based on people’s sovereignty.

The most important thing connected with quality elections is the commitment of political parties to participate in providing extraordinary quality competition in the context of democratic civility. The public needs to understand elections as a democratic mechanism that can bring change to the nation and state in a better direction.

Therefore, it is important that elections are carried out directly, publicly, freely, secretly, and honestly and fairly. Direct means that the people elect their representatives directly according to their conscience. General, namely all citizens who have met the requirements to vote, and have the right to take part in elections. The meaning of freedom is that every citizen is free to make his or her choices without any pressure or coercion from anyone. Meanwhile, confidentiality means that when casting their vote, voters are guaranteed confidentiality of their data and that it is not known by any party. 

Meanwhile, the meaning of honesty emphasizes that in every election held, government officials, election participants, supervisors, observers and all parties must act honestly. The principle of fairness, that in holding elections, participants and voters receive the same treatment in accordance with applicable regulations.

Elections are a dynamic democratic mechanism, in line with the context of time and the conditions behind it. Political dynamics that describe the power relations of various forces cause the election process to require study, notes and recommendations for strengthening.

Quality and democratic elections will be greatly influenced by three factors, namely  electoral law, electoral process  and  electoral management . The resultant combination of these three pillars produces  an electoral outcome . Electoral law  concerns the choice of electoral system used by citizens in choosing their representatives. The electoral system has consequences for the degree of representation in election results, the party system (especially the number of political parties), government accountability, and the cohesion of political parties. The dynamics of conflict, between political representation and government effectiveness, can be seen in the political laws used in every election. The legal basis as the arrangement for  electoral law, electoral process, and electoral management , as well as a unified series of arrangements for the government system, representative system, election system, and party system, continues to experience seemingly endless changes.

Legal practitioner and social and cultural observer, Agus Widjajanto, said that the elections were held to realize the goals of democracy, namely government of, by and for the people. According to Agus, in order to achieve this goal, the implementation of elections must reflect democratic values. Legal practitioner and social and cultural observer, Agus Widjajanto, said that the elections were held to realize the goals of democracy, namely government of, by and for the people. According to him, in order to achieve this goal, the implementation of elections must reflect democratic values.

Agus revealed that Pancasila Democracy is a constitutional democracy with a direct election mechanism. This is a form of popular sovereignty to elect state administrators and government based on the constitution, namely the 1945 Constitution. According to him, as a democratic country based on Pancasila, its implementation must also be in accordance with Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

Furthermore, Agus said that the rule of law and democracy have a very close relationship. Therefore, a country without fair legal regulations, it is impossible to achieve democracy. The supremacy of law and legal sovereignty itself essentially comes from the sovereignty of the people which is given to their representatives, in this case the ruler and the DPR.

The law also provides sanctions for violations of established ethics and rules. Strict supervision and firm law enforcement will create a sense of justice among election participants and the public, as well as reduce potential violations that could threaten the security of the election process.

Apart from that, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) does not deny that the five-yearly democratic party in the 2024 election could cause friction between different choices in society. Jokowi reminded that differences are normal. Because Indonesia is a country that adheres to a democratic system. 

Jokowi said that the democratic party which started with the presidential election (Pilpres), legislative member election (Pileg) and regional head election (Pilkada) should not end up dividing society. In fact, with the presence of the democratic party, social harmony is increasingly maintained.

Quality elections also require active participation from the community. By being actively involved in the election process, citizens can ensure that the election of leaders is carried out correctly and fairly. Therefore, it is important for the government and educational institutions to ensure that citizens understand the importance of elections and their impact on the country’s future.

)* The author is a contributor to LISI

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