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Jakarta Post

The dark side of liberal democracy

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Fri, July 13 2012   /  08:28 am

It has been more than a decade since Indonesia reconstituted its democratic politics. Despite various problems, such as ethno-religious violence, rampant corruption and widening inequality, the country has enjoyed a series of relatively peaceful elections, sound macroeconomic stability and international recognition.

Nevertheless, one big question remains unanswered: Are we sure that our current form of electoral democracy is enough to answer our problems?

Liberal democracy, or more accurately, a functioning electoral democracy has been seen as a “panacea” since the demise of dictatorships — from fascism, Stalinism, and authoritarianism in the East and in the West.

Nevertheless, since the end of the Cold War, we have witnessed how electoral democracy alone is not enough; ethnic conflict, economic inequality and elitism are some examples of the problems faced b...