The discourse on the need to increase the level of parliamentary threshold (PT) – the minimum threshold that is required to gain seats in the parliament – from 2.5 percent in the 2009 legislative elections to 5 percent in the 2014 elections in the revised Elections Law has been increasingly discussed. The main argument to increase PT is to simplify the number of political parties, while at the same time improving the quality of democracy and the effectiveness of the government.
The plan to increase the level of PT has even received various responses from the political parties such as the idea of merging parties. The reason is almost uniform: to simplify the party system in Indonesia. The National Mandate Party (PAN), for example, has introduced a term of party confederation. The Democratic Party is also supporting a similar idea, a merger of political parties, but by using a different term: the assimilation of political parties. Meanwhile, the Golkar Party has offered a discourse on the fusion of political parties, like the one that was done in 1973,
The next question is how far the idea of merging the parties through a confederation or other terms can solve the problems of the multiparty presidential system? Does the idea of confederation or the assimilation of the parties actually has positive contribution to cementing the presidential system, or it just a trick to build power in the 2014 elections? This edition of the Indonesian Update will raise a main theme on the logic of confederation and the effectiveness of the presidential system.
This edition of the Indonesian Update also raises some important topic in several fields. On the economy, it talks about the electricity tariffs and the revaluation of the Chinese Yuan and its impact on Indonesia Rupiah. On politics, it discusses the minister performance evaluation and the Andi Nurpati case and the independency of the General Election Commission. On social affairs, it talks about women’s participation in public policy making and the struggle to realise the freedom of the press.