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PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY AND THE ATTEMPT OF BRINGING A PROFESSIONAL AND

ACCOUNTABLE LOCAL GOVERNMENT INTO REALITY

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Abstract
Conflict and tension occurring often leading to many deviations in the organization of Local Government is due
to the application of absolute representative democracy giving the political party only the space as the main of individual
legislative (DPRD) members and giving the people the limited space to participate in any important political decision
making as well; therefore a participatory democracy system should be applied as the response to the frozen
communication and the conflict between Local Leaders and DPRD (Local Legislative Assembly).

Keywords: checks and balances and participatory democracy.

Introduction ideal formula is required as the result of balanced


Pseudo-democracy implementation and the partnership, developing instrument jointly in both
relationship between Government institutions implementation and evaluation as the reference to
functions as if running but actually infertile are improve and to anticipate every problem, so that Local
highlighted perhaps in the attempt of accomplishing Government will neither get the problem out of the
Normative aspect in order t be relevant to the Government mechanism circle in hurry nor position to
development of community interaction and expectation. overthrow each other.5
Confirming continuously the belief that a health Thus, has the local government governance
democracy is the one adjacent to people sovereignty 1 reflected participatory democracy so far? In which the
guarantees equality, similarity, and independence. community participates actively in escorting the
Democratic system may not be allowed to touch the organization of Local Government.
procedural aspect only rather than substance.
Quantitatively, many programs are stated as democratic Public participation is the reflection of people
but it has inadequate meaning, low quality and sovereignty
inadequate direct benefit perceived by community. History of Local Government Law giving the
One of threats to the legal norm and democratic executives more power space, so called executive
substance is the stronger democratic tendency leading to theory6, results not only in unbalanced power of
oligarchy2 and power elite movement tending to be in executives and legislatives in local area, but also in the
oligarchy form as well. Even the normal democracy will absence of public participation in organizing Local
be subdued to the oligarchys iron law. 3 Therefore, Government.
Wasisto Raharjojati4 considers it as damaging to Since the reformation has been launched until
dignities all at once: democratic institution and today, Local Government organization still looks for an
replacing democracy with fractionated patron figure in appropriate form. Djohermansyah Djohan 7 mentioned
some elite circles. that the too centralistic government organization will
Learning from various cases of frozen result in weak local area. Otherwise, the too
relationship between Local Leader and Local decentralized one will lead the central government t lose
Legislative assembly due to either the spirit of control. Local Government power often leaning to the
undertaking respective function or the different executive, and only once in legislative during the
perception by the two entities duty and authority, an enactment of Law Number 22 of 1999 - Local

1 4
Robert A.Dahl, How Democratic is The American Wasisto Raharjojati, Aklamasi Berbuah Oligarkhi,
Constitution?, Yale University Press, New Heaven, Rubrik Opini, Kompas, 9 Mei 2015
5
2001, p. 162. Adnan Pandu Pradja, rubrik opini, Demokrasi
2
Peter Salim, The Contemporary English Indonesia Partisipasi, Kompas, Edisi 21 Mei 2015.
6
Dictionary, Jakarta, Modern English Press, 1996, p. Anas Saidi, et.al., Amandemen Undang-Undang Dasar
1292 Tahun 1945 dan permasalahannya tahap I, Jakarta, PMB
3
Yusril Ehza Mahendra, Dinamika Tata Negara LIPI, 1999 pp. 20-27.
7
Indonesia, Kompilasi aktual Konstitusi Dewan Dhjohermansyah Djohan, Repotnya Otonomi Daerah ,
Perwakilan dan Sistem Kepartaian, Jakarta, Gema Rubrik Opini, Harian Kompas, 10 October 2016
Insani Press, 1996, p 164
government power leans to legislatives (legislative The function of DPRD as stated in article 96
heavy). This condition is also supported by the gap of clause 1 of Law Number 23 of 2014 about Local
supporting facilities between executives and Government is the function of establishing Local
legislatives, in the term administration or staffs, Regulation, Budget and Supervision. Clause 2 states that
affecting clearly the performance of the two institutions. the three functions, as included in clause 1, are
Tripartite forum of Local Leader, Local implemented in the frame of local people representation,
Legislative Assembly (DPRD) and public (community) and then clause 3 confirms that in the attempt of
is intended to avoid the colluding relationship between undertaking its function as mentioned in clause 1,
Local Leader and DPRD and to repair the poor Provincial Legislative Assembly screens the peoples
communication. From budget aspect, for example, the aspiration.
application of e-budgeting is called as the early step of The position of local areas as the autonomous
public participation and needs Local Governments area and its authority of developing Local Regulation
strong commitment and supporting regulation that could have supported the elements of Local Government
respond to any healthy innovation, as it is given space in organizer to reform the law and ordinance in the local
the Law Number 23 of 2014 about Local Government in area. In addition to maintaining the sustainability of
the term of local innovation8. regulation set in the society (Sociological
Tripartite is a part of space provided to public jurisprudence)12, it is possible to keep reforming the law
participation. Access to public participation is necessary in line with the conditions demand, or in other words it
as the control, particularly when the relationship is intended to find the relevance of law to the mankinds
between Local Leader and DPRD is unhealthy and less benefit demand. Nevertheless, after almost two decades
conducive. Yasraf Amir Pilliang9 stated that in of reformation age, the problem of local regulation still
developing public participation as the peoples power of leaves many things related to the quality of Local
controlling and driving the existing regimes power in Regulation published. The law regulation reform relying
order not to deviate from the principle of achieving the on the spirit only is not enough. Basic knowledge on
peoples goodness, aiming to ensure that the elected political philosophy is absolutely desirable to every
officials hold on their mandate. legislator. The problematic legal product generally
Local autonomy principle contained in the results from the legislators limited knowledge on key
organization of Local Government is intended to give problems in political philosophy such as freedom,
the public more opportunity of playing active role in human rights and equality. This condition is due to a
following the development, government, and societal shallow political relationship as well between legislator
progresses in their own areas. Taking the scope more and constituent, with the excuse of maintaining the
proximate to the mutual activity of government and electability and the political career sustainability, often
community compared with embracing centralization compelling the willingness of certain group so that
system the public can identify the governments although it is not in line with the political philosophy, it
problem easily and engage in political participation and remains to be the legal regulation.
in other interest groups. It is what Brian C Smith10 called The big idea in organizing Local Government
a freedom of expression and of participating actively in is to accelerate the realization of public wellbeing
decision making process. through improved service, community empowerment
In direct democracy, in which Local Leader and participation. In developing countries, it is
and DPRD are selected by the people, public recognized that there is still a wide gap between the law
participation should not only be accomplished by its written and its implementation, in which the
norm to stimulate the participation but also be arranged governments service is outlined in the government
to grow as a culture living within society, rather than norm and it requires the strong and synergic apparatus.
silent culture as the manifestation of the publics It can be accomplished when the government format is
reluctance to participate (Loekman Soetrisno) 11. The organized as the integration of some parties into public
implication of direct election is that the position of service. Actually the regulation of Local Government is
public participation, instead, becomes the instrument of easier as the organs governed is small in number, by
strengthening the relationship of both Local Leaders and positioning the Local Leader and DPRD in one
Local Legislative Assembly to their electorates. performance and responsibility and competition to
obtain the best outcome, so that the yield of improved
Public Participation and Local Government service, empowerment and public participation will
Governance appear immediately.

8 11
Undang-Undang Nomor 23 Tahun 2014 Bab XXI Loekman Soetrisno, Menuju masyarakat Partisipatif,
Pasal 386 Yogyakarta, Kanisius, 1995, p. 207.
9 12
Yasraf Amir Pilliang, Rubrik Opini, Harian Kompas, 7 Otje Salman, Ikhtisar Filsafat Hukum, Bandung,
September 2015. Armico Cet. Ketiga, 1999, p. 52
10
Brian C. Smith, Decentralization : The Territorial
dimension of the state, London : Asia Publishing House,
1985p. 24.
References
Adnan Pandu Pradja, Demokrasi Partisipasi, Rubrik
Opini, Kompas, 21 Mei 2015.
Anas Saidi, et.al. 1999. Amandemen Undang-Undang
Dasar 1945 dan Permasalahannya Tahap I.
Jakarta: PMB-LIPI
Brian C. Smith, 1985. Decentralization : The Territorial
Dimension of The State. London : Asia
Publishing House
Djohan Djohermansyah, Repotnya Otonomi Daerah,
Rubrik Opini, Harian Kompas, 10 October
2016
Loekman Soetrisno. 1995. Menuju Masyarakat
Partisipatif, Yogyakarta: Kanisius
Otje Salman. 1999. Ikhtisar Filsafat Hukum, Bandung:
Armico Cet. Ketiga
Peter Salim, 1996. The Contemporery English
Indonesian Dictionary, Modern English
Press, Jakarta.
Robert A.Dahl. 2001. How Democratic is The American
Constitusion?. New Haven: Yale University
Press
Undang-Undang Nomor 23 Tahun 2014 Tentang
Pemerintahan Daerah
Wasisto Raharjo Jati, Aklamasi Berbuah Oligarkhi,
Rubrik Opini, Kompas, 9 May 2015.
Yasraf Amir Pilliang, Rubrik Opini, Harian Kompas, 7
September 2015
Yusril Ehza Mahendra.1996. Dinamika Tata Negara
Indonesia, Kompilasi aktual Konstitusi Dewan
Perwakilan dan Sistem Kepartaian, Jakarta:
Gema Insani Press