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Uphold National and State Ethics in the 2024 Election

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By : Maya Naura Lingga )*

As the stages of the 2024 General Election progress, the political elite continues to present actions that are full of surprises, with candidacy debates that are not only colored by rhetoric, but are also sparkling with cheerleaders who enjoy shouting, dancing and occasionally drama. However, the meaningfulness of this political contestation cannot be measured just from entertainment performances alone.

The importance of ideas that can improve the quality of democracy is a crucial basis, and from there, a fundamental question arises: How can the ethics of national life be strengthened through general elections?

The discourse on ethics in general elections may seem trivial, but don’t let it become a fringe issue that doesn’t sell. In this context, it is important to trace the history of the struggle through MPR Decree No VI/MPR/2001, entitled “Ethics of National and State Life.” This document is not just a formal acknowledgment, but also a reflection of concern regarding serious threats to national unity and the decline in the ethics of national life.

When we look at the values ​​of Pancasila, we find that ethics has a central role in maintaining balance and justice in an ethical government system. A government that is based on just laws, a principle that is strongly emphasized by Pancasila.

However, is the existence of democracy and political ethics just a symbol of formality? In fact, both are the foundation for the sustainability of a nation’s life.

Democracy, as government of the people, and political ethics, as the moral guide of leaders and citizens, complement each other. In the Pancasila concept, democracy is manifested in active community participation, respect for human rights, and freedom of expression.

On the other hand, political ethics focuses on the behavior and morals of leaders and citizens, by prioritizing justice, honesty and unity.

It is important to recognize that the ethical values ​​of Pancasila are not just juridical or political legitimacy, but are also socio-cultural in nature. Whatever changes occur, the identity of the Indonesian nation remains linked to the philosophy and ethics of Pancasila. Therefore, efforts to realize the ideals of this country cannot be separated from the development of national and state ethics.

As we enter the 2024 election campaign stage, we are faced with the challenge of upholding ethical, aesthetic principles and provisions that must not be violated. According to the West Sumatra KPU Commissioner, Hamdan, campaigns must contain the vision, mission and programs of election participants without violating the rules. However, there is still a view that campaigns are a platform to shine without regard to ethical principles.

Technology and social media have become the main terrain of modern campaigns. However, Hamdan emphasized that the distribution of campaign props must prioritize ethical and aesthetic principles. He also highlighted the prohibition on campaigning in certain places, such as places of worship, hospitals and educational places, which should be avoided out of respect for public space.

Nonetheless, challenges remain. Are election participants able to comply with regulations and ensure an ethical campaign? Bawaslu, as an election monitoring institution, has an important role in ensuring that campaigns are carried out in accordance with regulations.

In the case of violations, Bawaslu has a warning and action mechanism, including removing campaign props that violate the rules.

In this digital era, technology has become the main tool in spreading campaign messages. The use of social media, online advertising and other online platforms allows campaign messages to reach more people. However, behind this convenience, new challenges arise related to ethics. Elections are not just a competition for popularity in cyberspace, but also a test of morality and integrity.

Ethical questions arise regarding the dissemination of false or provocative information. How can election participants use social media ethically, ensuring the information conveyed is accurate, and does not create polarization in society? This is a critical highlight in the face of modern elections, where image and narrative are often given more attention than the substance of policy.

In an effort to overcome this challenge, the role of supervisory institutions such as Bawaslu is very crucial. They are not only tasked with monitoring violations of campaign rules, but must also be guardians of ethics in the democratic process.

The Campaign and Campaign Fund Information System (SIKADEKA) used by the KPU and Bawaslu is an important tool for monitoring and responding to violations quickly and effectively.

Even though rules and technology are available, election participants’ awareness of ethics remains key. Political maturity in using social media, disseminating correct information, and respecting the boundaries of campaign ethics is a shared responsibility.

Ensuring that political competition does not harm the integrity of democracy is a joint work for all parties involved.

As a country and nation that carries the spirit of democracy, we must continue to maintain the existence of democracy even under limitations and pressure. The 2024 election is not just a democratic party, but a stage where national ethics can make its mark.

Hopefully, through this process, we will be able to strengthen national and state ethics, ensure quality democracy, and direct Indonesia towards a better future. With that, we can prove that ethics is not just a discourse, but a solid foundation for the progress of this nation.

The existence of democracy and the ethical values ​​of Pancasila must continue to be maintained and strengthened. Elections are not just about winning or losing, but also about maintaining the morality and integrity of democracy. Therefore, let us welcome the 2024 elections with a spirit that not only strengthens our democracy, but also ensures that national and state ethics become a strong pillar in building a more just, prosperous and democratic future for Indonesia.

)* The author is a contributor to Ruang Baca Nusantara

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