CDI Supports New Indonesian Research on Indonesia’s Parliament | April 2013 | Jakarta
The Indonesia parliament (DPR) is repeatedly criticised by the media, NGOs and academics for failing to meet its own targets for the passing of legislation, for not seeking public input and for producing laws which are of low quality. Recently published research by Indonesian NGO Perludem (Perkumpulan Pemilu dan Demokrasi – Elections and Democracy Association), sponsored by CDI, has thrown up some interesting new perspectives on these common accusations. According to Perludem's new publication Politik Hukum Sistem Pemilu, the Parliament is in fact superior in some of these areas than agencies of executive government such as Ministries and their officials.
In Perludem’s case study of the passage of the Law on Parliamentary Elections in 2012, the NGO found that the parliament had far better processes for public consultation and input than those of government ministries. This is particularly significant in the Indonesian context because the country’s Constitution specifies that legislation must be passed through a process of joint discussion and joint agreement between the Parliament and the President or his/her representatives in the Ministries. Executive government is an integral part of the legislative process and its failure to provide mechanisms for public input into its discussions on the legislation was seriously deficient. While, in this aspect at least, the Parliament functioned better than executive government, the legislature rarely receives credit for such progress in strengthening its procedures.
The public launching of Politik Hukum Sistem Pemilu took place in Jakarta on 25 April in the presence of a large contingent of media and interested people from the NGO community, academia and international organisations. CDI Director, Dr Stephen Sherlock, gave an opening presentation at the launching. He expressed CDI’s pleasure at being able to support the deepening of research into political processes in Indonesia by the NGO community and the sharing of the results of this research with the wider public. Dr Sherlock highlighted the important findings of the book and suggested that its conclusions and recommendations provided valuable material for NGOs and lobby groups working with the parliament, as well as for local and international organisations seeking a better understanding of how the legislature works. He also stressed that this project came about because of a close working relationship between Perludem and CDI, and expressed his wish that the connection could be maintained and developed into the future as an element of closer relations between researchers and thinkers in Indonesia and Australia.
Click on these links to access the book and coverage of the launch in Jakarta: