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Religious-based parties in election

In legislative election 2009 in Indonesia, happened the trend of decreasing vote for parties with religious nuances, both for Islamic or Christian nuances parties. This phenomena was attract me to write this post.

I see political party in Indonesia can be divided into two parts that is, religious nuances and moderate / nationalist nuances. In history of national scale election in Indonesia, the Christian nuances party not yet able to show significant votes. This could be happened, perhaps because the percentage of Christian population is very small. The interesting matter is, there is decreasing trend of votes for Islamic nuances parties in Indonesia (the world's most populous Moslem), except PKS party. The success of PKS to maintain their votes is because they have an effort to divert the issue of religious sentiment into general issue.

According to Lembaga Survei Indonesia (Indonesian Survey Institute) researcher, Burhanuddin Muhtadi (Jawa Pos newspaper, Saturday, April 11th 2009), the defeat is because among Islamic political parties snatch the same base voters, so the votes obtained by each party is decrease. "I call this cannibalism among Islamic political parties. Mutually eat to each other" said Burhanuddin. Still according to Burhanuddin, Islamic political parties not yet able to reach the market of nationalist voters, who in general as the object by majority of the parties. "That is because of selling the wrong issue. They are still selling religious issues, such as pornography, Jakarta Charter (Piagam Jakarta), or Islamic Sharia. Whereas voters majority no longer consider to the religious dimension, but more to the real problems", said him. It seems "market interstice" from the voters for Islamic political parties has been seized by nationalist / moderate nuances parties. From all of that, my mind come to some conclusions below:

  1. In political matter, modern society more thinking (interested) to the real issue such as education, health, housing, economy, social guarantee, employment availability, clean government, tax policy, national stability, environment, etc.
  2. The higher the average of education level in society, then they will be more critical in determining their choice. They are no longer choosing based on "individual charm" but more seeing the vision, mission, and the policy of a party. Maybe more interested to what is your positive contributions that has been done for this country.

Do you have another conclusion? or maybe you knows similar cases on other country? or maybe in your own country? Feel free to add it in comment. If you are interested to view the number of obtained votes for each participant party on the Indonesian Legislative Election 2009, please click here.

Pssst... there are some proverb in political world, like this: There is no eternal opponent or friend, there is only eternal interests. -and- Politic is who gets what. Believes it or not.


  1. waaah aku ngga ngerti tuh artinya...

  2. Haven't seen the strength of the religious parties. They just fight for their own religion, but they never pay attention to other religions. Party is for national interest, not just for one religion only. Our nation has grown up and think for their nation, more rather than just caring about their own group.

  3. What i think, even moderat party they still need ideological approach to gain the sympathy of their masses, maintaining low profile and keep steady step on the base of the party vision and objective. otherwise they will get loss in the next election..

  4. @Vicky Laurentina - I agree with you: "Party is for national interest"

    @Rampadan - why confused?

    @Mama Hilda - Yes, ideology approach with nuances nationalist / moderate (not religious approach) that can embrace all groups. This was evidenced by the party of Demokrat, Golkar, and PDIP. See the result of their obtained vote. They are listing in big three. In POLITICAL matter, modern society more thinking (interested) to the real issue.

  5. Congratulations to all Indonesia for the great election that you have had and the equally great result. Your post is very incisive and to the point.

  6. Obviously there are lots of important things beyond religion issues, just like you've mentioned above. Thank goodness people finally see that as priorities nowadays.

  7. From quite a distance it looks like the Indonesian voters have rendered the Indonesian democracy a huge service: they voted for common sense and moderation.

    And, since you asked for it ( "Are you have another conclusion? or seeing the differ cases with the same topic on other country? or maybe in your own country?"), there is this interesting case of Christian Democratic parties in Europe.

    They had their finest hours when they were struggling to "emancipate" their Roman Catholic and Protestant minorities in the predominantly conservative/liberal societies in the nineteenth century. That doesn't apply to the Islamic parties in modern Indonesia; no need for emancipation of Muslims in a country where 9 out of 10 person is a Muslim.

    But these Christian Democrats are still strong in countries like Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. They actually represent roughly 25 - 35 % of the voters in our secular societies. This lasting success is not because their voters choose "religious" candidates, but quite the opposite. They are successful because they did cut their ties with officials of the religious denominations. They are even welcoming members and voters of other religions, Muslims included. Atheists even. The majority of their present electorate consists of people who prefer their slightly left leaning socia-economic stand, combined with their moderately conservative moral issues.

    Maybe that can be a challenge for a party like PKS also; no specific radical issues in relation to Islam, but mildly left leaning centrist policies in socio-economic and moderately conservative on moral issues.

    As I said, these parties have no direct ties anymore with any organized part of either the Catholic or Protestant Church. Recently Angela Merkel ( the Christina Democratic German Chancelor = Prime Minister)for instance gave proof of this the other day by openly and strongly rebuking the Pope (Benedictus, who is a German by the way)who said quite stupid things about the use of condoms in the struggle against HIV/Aids in Africa.

  8. to my perspective, Religious name used by political party in indonesia is only a label. to prove that the party is religious or not is by seeing their actions in the field. there may be so many political parties with religious name but very small number that really base all their movement to the religious name they use. Societiy today wants more proof in the field rather than slogan and empty words...

  9. @Rummuser - Thank you. I heard your country, India, also holding general elections, same with Indonesia which starting on April 2009. How do people react towards the party with nuances religious in India. It's interesting to hear your reply.

    @Devi - I also thanks to the God for this great result (like Rummuser said).

    @Colson - Thank you very much for sharing an interesting case. From your comments above I captured its points as follows:

    1) No direct ties anymore with any religious denominations.
    Seem they have been putting a clear distinction between the matter of religious and country, and I tend to think like this.
    How with you?

    2) Moderately conservative moral issues which comfortable to all group, and NOT specific radical issues.
    I do not know whether that referred to "ideological approach" by Mama Hilda is like this.

    @Azarre - Only a label or not... people will knows.
    But I agree with you: "Society today wants more proof in the field rather than slogan and empty words"

  10. Menurut saya, rendahnya keterpilihan partai berbasis agama karena mereka tidak memiliki diferensiasi. Publik tdk bisa membedakannya dengan partai lainnya selai issu agama yg mereka bawa. Sementara issu agama itu sendiri tidak menarik bagi publik yang sebagian besar cenderung sekuler.

  11. Yes, you right. As an innovative company that make diversification to their products. If it does not make any changes, it will continue to fall behind.

  12. maaf saya telat mas Tikno, membaca postingan menarik ini. Betul bahwa PKSlah yang paling berhasil namun hanya dibawah 10 persen saja itu karena strategi PKS yang menganut poligami dan anak banyak hahaha, mungkin 20 tahun lagi mereka menang.

    Tapi memang juga pesona Gerindra dan hanura cukup fenomenal juga dengan mengusung isu ekonomi dan pendidikan, cilakanya memang mereka tidak memiliki mesin politik yang tangguh, sementara mesin politik golkar juga sudah banyak tersedot ke Demokrat yang rajin mengumpulkan suara sedikit demi sedikit seperti PKS juga.

    Namun jika dihitung perolehan total suara partai berbasis agama dan nasionalis bisa berimbang juga loh, maklum karena multi partai sehingga sekatnya banyak... waduh komentarnya kebanyakan... hahahaha

  13. Apapun yang terjadi Indonesia harus tetap utuh

  14. @Suryaden - Can be said nearly balanced, but unfortunately part of their voters was move to the nationalist based parties.

    @Ibnu - My hope also like you.

  15. I think the most important is not in the type of party. The most important is how they build Indonesia, give the best for the nation, no corruption, fair and not standing in party and it's group.

    Yes, I'm going with you in the last paragraph, In politic There is no eternal opponent or fellow

  16. Apapun Partainya, Minumnya Teh ..

    Eh salah, .....My Loyalty to my party ends, when my loyalty to my Country Begins ....

    Nggak ada ya Politisi yang Kayak Gitu ...

  17. @Seno - Feels, you also think like moderate.

    @Mas Dan - You have point of view which it very good.

  18. A new Indonesian Movie 2009
    "campaign as market"
    "parties are merchants"
    "national as internet"
    "Islam as microsoft software" (holy pirated)
    "voter as potential buyer"
    "Media as Google adwords"
    and I am just merely beggar at market, dont know what the heck movie is this, because I never like indonesian idiot movie.. LOL

  19. Partai dengan platform "religi" hampir semua mengalami penurunan suara dalam pemilu legislatif karena :
    Masyarakat perlu pembuktian keseharian dalam bersikap tidak hanya pada saat kampanye saja (kondisi keamanan dan kenyamanan dalam bernegara)
    Belum adanya isue yang diangkat yang membumi dan general artinya tidak khusus untuk agama tertentu


  20. @Bhart - You are very poetical.

    @Jenny Oetomo - What's wrong with their daily attitude.

    @Pandu - welcome to you.

  21. pada awalnya domain politik adalah sekular, ini pendapat Saya Pak. Jika kemudian ada nuansa religiusnya, mungkin lebih pada spirit dan moralitasnya (kalau masih ada....). Kalaupun kemudian muncl partai2 berbasis agama tertentu; pasti akan bertabrakan dengan arus utama demokrasi; contoh kemenangan Front Islamic Salvation di ALjazair dianulir atas campurtangan pihak luar; Indonesia akan bergerak ke arah domain politik di mana basis religius setingkat lebih bawah di bawah garis demokrasi sekular; dan ini bisa konfrontatif di kemudian hari, jika pihak ketiga selalu meng-kompori. Peroleh suara yang mengecil akibat mekanisme poltik yang berubah menjadi komoditas; something like Machiavlism.

  22. Muanwar,
    Did you mean the number of vote also depend on money politic?


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