From the outset the article emphasised the importance of breaking free from the historical determinism implicit within a liberal interpretation of political change in Indonesia and bringing the insights of area specialists, who question its relevance to East and Southeast Asia, to the wider theoretical debate on democratic transition. In particular, the article took issue with the clear separation of state and society implicit in liberal theory. Instead of searching for civil society forces pressuring the state, the article suggested that one should look for what is occurring within the state. Political Conditions in Indonesia Now At the present time, freedom of the press has been achieved in Indonesia, something considered to be missing in the life of the state in the past. Today, the press in Indonesia is able to grow and develop without having to face the threat of being closed down or repressive measures of the ruler. Agencies having the responsibilities for licensing, censorship and closing down of the press no longer exist in Indonesia. The press is free to write anything. Coverage that harms a person or an institution is no longer dealt with using political violence, but rather, it must be accounted for and resolved based on the law in a transparent manner. Currently, the Indonesian people can freely join and form political parties in accordance with the criteria they themselves agree upon. The Indonesian people are now free to establish political parties without being driven to follow a particular political party, as long as they meet the requirements based on the support of the people themselves. Why has then such political situation or environment developed? 2 2 Research data is the United Nations Development Program, the National Development Planning Agency, Central Bureau of Statistics, Ministry Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs, and the Ministry of the Interior launched the Indonesian Democracy Index 2010. Overall, the Indonesian democracy index in 2010 decreased from 2009, from 67.30 down to 63.17 value. It means that there is a national index decline by 4:13 points. The variables are grouped into three aspects, namely civil liberties is still relatively good, political rights that are in poor category, and democratic institutions are classified as being of the 33 provinces. For the civil liberties aspects, it dropped from 86.97 in
International Journal for Public Management and Politic Development – Vol. 1, No. 1 26 In the opinion, this has happened due to the tendency of our developing democracy to become somehow liberal without being followed by strong law enforcement. The people’s sovereignty has been developing in discordance with the rule of law. We cannot close our eyes and ears to the fact that there are many people protesting against the reform today. According to them, the New Order regime was right and we been wrong in implementing reform because in reality, the Indonesian nation is increasingly being thrown into disorder. Some even say that we have made a mistake by choosing democracy. Democracy, which is supposed to be from, by and
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