EMERGING POLITICAL PARTIES IN INDONESIA: RAISING THE WATER LEVEL OF POLICY DEBATE? by Max Lane

“In the immediate years after Suharto, it was relatively easy for new political forces to offer new candidates. Without resources or access to the media, however, no new forces succeeded in winning a seat. Later electoral rules have made it even harder for small new parties to register to participate in elections. As a result, rigorous debate about policies languished. The registered parties had the same origins in the same New Order political elite; as a result, they shared the same political outlooks.”

“Among the informal discussion within civil society, many activists have yet to make up their minds whether the new initiatives discussed above are serious attempts to build civil society-based parties or motivated, at least in part, as manoeuvres to improve the bargaining power of some figures vis-à-vis the elite, making use of the electoral context. Will these new parties emerge as a new idealism or just a new version of opportunism? “

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