Our political system, accommodative or hostile?
9 candidates will stand for the Indonesian Presidential election. We can't find even one willing to stand unless the ruling party nominates him. And the restrictive rule that one must be an elite before one can even qualify further removes a large number of good candidates. The Indonesian do have their rules governing eligibility, like being a member of a political party and with a 15% representation in Parliament. Another built in barrier favouring the ruling party. What is important is that there is no dearth of qualified and respectable candidates offering themselves to the people. In our case, even without the elitist ruling, not many will want to stand. Some misfits may stand up. But we cannot simply dismiss the intelligence of the people to vote for a freak. Let's have more trust in a people that is well educated, well informed and good enough to be comparable to a first world country. And Chok Tong was talking about tweaking the system to make it more relevant. The question is that why is the current system unable to throw up more good people in politics and the presidency? Is the system accommodative or seen as hostile to political participation? Obviously the latter, given the lack of participation and only participates when invited. If the system is allowed to continue without any serious changes, what will happen is that no good people will want to come out voluntarily. And those who come out will join the opposition and probability have a kind of attitude that the ruling party fears most. A recklessness or do or die attitude, bring down the system before the system brings them down. The divide will grow and becomes irreconcilable. And things will naturally gets more vicious and unrestrained, for the good of neither side. We are seeing this happening. Why would good and decent people want to get involve in politics when their little indiscretion could suddenly be a national issue? Things like putting a ball point pen from the office in his bag and use to sign his personal cheques as well. Or his little relaxation in a spa in Bintan suddenly floated in the rumour mill. Or worst things could even happen. Chok Tong talked about a system that would throw up good leaders in both the ruling party and the opposition. Is our system doing that? Looking at the opposition camp, we know that it is definitely not. Looking at the ruling party, it is apparent that they are scrapping at the bottom of the barrel. Other than the key appointment holders, let's face it, ...I shall save my comments as they are not very flattering. We need a system that promotes healthy participation from good people in politics. We need to accept and listen to alternative views and grow with them. There seems to be some changes in this line of thought in the ruling party, with more conciliatory messages for a better opposition. Would it turn into a reality or just a red herring? Under the present system and political climate, it is near impossible to have good people forming their own political parties to provide a decent alternative to the ruling party. They won't. The rules of the game is stacked against one side and the price for participation can be untold misery, when the opposition becomes a real potential to win an election. No one knows what will come out when the gloves are off. Can we really move forward and evolve into something healthier?