Join with JOINT: Political Volunterism in Yogyakarta city’s election 2017

By: Alhafiz Atsari
RBK Volunteer

There is a new phenomenon organized by people in Yogyakarta city-affiliated with a volunteerism movement called Jogja Independent (JOINT). It endeavored to nominate and demonstrate how independent candidates battled in Yogyakarta city’s election in 2017. It was conducted by electing several candidates in public. This research was conducted to apprehend the process of independent candidate’s election conducted by JOINT. By doing observation, interview and theory analysis, this paper determined some conclusions that the process of independent candidate’s election conducted by JOINT had been a bandwagon and democratic. The election processes were divided into four steps: candidate nomination, appointing selectors, public fit, and proper test, and deciding the final candidate. It resulted in a couple of candidates elected democratically.

The democratic transition in general other than marked by the collapse of the authoritarian regime is a strong hope of high optimism towards the immediate achievement of the end of the struggle by formed of civil society in the national to local political arena. The term civil society which used by Alexis de ‘Tocqueville is defined as organized and characterized social life areas such as voluntary, self- generating, self-supporting, high self-reliance with the state, and obedient with the norms or legal values followed by its citizens. The election in Indonesia is demonstrated by the emergence of the phenomenon of political volunteerism lately. The emergence of volunteers cannot be separated from the culture of Indonesian society who enthusiastic to work together. The birth of the voluntarism movement is a manifestation of community participation in the democratic system and cites the term Sorensen as a mass-dominated democracy as a system with mass actors who have power over traditional ruling classes. They encouraged reforms from below, attacked the power and privileges of the elite.

Jogja Independent (JOINT) is a movement initiated by the people of Yogyakarta City in March 2016 to escort and battle the general election of the head of the region to be held in early 2017. The birth of JOINT is inseparable from the concern of some people of Yogyakarta City against the poor process of recruitment of political parties in Indonesia and the leadership of Haryadi Suyuti as a mayor for five years in Yogyakarta City. Recruitment processes which have been happening are the prevalence of nepotism behavior which occurs in the body of political parties by distributing power to certain families or people without open process. People who do not have capital will not be able to follow the process of candidacy by political parties. Political parties tend to provide an easy way for candidates originating from their group such as the candidate originates from the party leadership as well as party officials who have strong influence. It does not conduct well with the candidate election process of political party that produces the leader of what Firmanzah calls the peanut-fry politics, i.e., instant politics and without debriefing as long as the candidate has high popularity in society.

JOINT provides an alternative nomination process for candidates for regional heads through an independent channel by eliminating the practice of money politics in political parties. This alternative becomes a new phenomenon because of the formation of a new movement and the process of political education which in a narrow coverage addressed to the people of Yogyakarta City and in wide coverage to the people of Indonesia. It explains what Mansour Fakih means as a power which is the core of social structure and leads to the struggle to get it.

There are four democracy steps in JOINT: candidate nomination, appointing selectors, public fit and proper test, and deciding the final candidate.

JOINT applies two models in assigning candidates such as designation model and selection model. Both models are used because JOINT has two convention steps.

Firstly, the pre-convention. JOINT only conducts trials by the selector team with no people involvement. Five candidates resulting from the pre-convention are candidates determined by appointment by the selector team. It is following the theory described by Rahat and Hazan on selection using a system of appointment is a process of non-democratic choice [19]. The absence of a hierarchy within the JOINT causes the selector team as political party agency deciding on a candidate.

Secondly, convention. JOINT employs an election model in the candidate determination. According to Rahat and Hazan, the election model on candidate determination is the process of selecting all candidates through election voting procedure without a selector which can change the list of compositions [19].

It is done in the convention process undertaken by JOINT. JOINT conducted voting from the 105 votes. Of 105 ballot papers, one ballot was declared invalid. The proportion of voters are divided into two parts: from the chairman of the villages and mass organization and people. The votes originating from the chairman of the villages and mass organizations have a higher value one level than people.

Candidates who finally established as a candidate for mayor and vice mayor who carried by JOINT are Garin Nugroho and Rommy Heryanto. They are not documented about the percentage of assessment weights among the selector teams, chairman of the villages, mass organizations and the citizens.

The results of the determination by JOINT reflect a democratic process. Meaning, that all citizens are invited to determine who will be the mayor promoted by JOINT by involving at the convention process. Therefore, JOINT exhibits that the voice of the people is significant not only in determining who is in power but also whether the process of electing and mandating the JOINT are democratic, honest and fair or in the opposite. Like what Gramsci said, JOINT, in a certain way, is a movement where people create alteration and history so, citizen appraisals, in this case, are a democratic legitimacy of JOINT [11].

On the other hand, JOINT failed to collect 45,000 ID cards which is a requirement set by the KPU. Moreover, JOINT gains obstacles in fulfilling the verification requirements by the KPU. There is factual verification by census method by directly meeting each supporting candidate who submitted his / her ID card. If the supporters of the candidate cannot be found, the candidates will be given the opportunity to present them at KPU. However, if the candidates cannot bring their supporters to KPU, the candidate’s support will not be eligible. It means that there is an odd task to be performed by JOINT concerning the verification of the KTP supporters.

Some important findings, firstly, the political process at the local level is not always the domain of a political party. The case of Jogja demonstrates the dynamics of non-party political movements that are organized in JOINT practicing procedural democracy and scheduling changes in political power amidst a firm electoral regime. Second, the movement of political volunteerism in Jogja as a movement for the education of democracy is adequate. Nevertheless, as a real political movement there are still various obstacles which will make this movement fade before developing.

*this article from researchgate.net

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