Dynasty Politics or Political Dynasty?

Dynasty Politics or Political Dynasty

Some time ago, the General Chair of the Perindo Party, Hary Tanoesoedibjo, attracted public attention because he nominated all his family members to be candidates for members of the People's Representative Council (DPR) . The public views this as an attempt to build a that could damage democracy.

It didn't stop there, the public was again shocked by the political maneuvers carried out by one of President Joko Widodo's sons, , who joined and immediately became General Chair of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI). Kaesang entered the world of politics following in the footsteps of his father, his older brother Gibran Rakabuming Raja, and his brother-in-law Boby Nasution. The public also views this as part of a plan to perpetuate his family's political dynasty.

Head of the Political Science Masters Study Program, Muhammadiyah University Jakarta (UMJ) , Dr. Lusi Andriyani, M.Si., explained that there are two different contexts that must be understood when discussing this issue, namely dynastic politics or political dynasties.

Dynasty politics is political power exercised by a group of people who are related by family ties, for example a father inheriting his power to his son. A system like this is commonly used by countries that adhere to a monarchical system.

This is different from political dynasties, which are deliberately constructed so that power can only be controlled by one family.

Lusi emphasized that political dynasties have a negative impact on democracy in the country. Because this kind of politics deliberately prioritizes the interests of the group.

“Of the two things (dynastic politics and political dynasties), the negative impact is the political dynasty that is more pronounced. “Because there was an attempt to deliberately reconstruct the condition of his family to be placed in certain powers, for the benefit of his group,” said Lusi.

Even though these two rights do not have any significant differences, they both involve family, friends or relatives, the thing that needs to be taken into account is the competency of the prospective candidate himself.

“These two concepts cannot be separated from dynastic politics and political dynasties. Both carry out regeneration and reproduction. Regeneration is permitted, for example if we have children who will later be directed to the same competency. “However, if you reproduce it, there is an impression of coercion, when one family does not have the appropriate competence just to perpetuate power,” concluded Lusi.

According to him, this impression of coercion ultimately made the public criticize it. However, Lusi also explained that both concepts were valid. Prohibiting someone from nominating someone who has the right to be elected also violates political rights and is therefore contrary to the principles of democracy.

“In this context, political dynasties are legitimate, when someone tries to provide space for their competent family. “The important note about this problem is that it is forced when one does not have the competence to continue or perpetuate the power of a certain group,” emphasized Lusi.

This UMJ lecturer who is also an observer of local politics agrees that political dynasties are a practice that is unhealthy for democracy. Because it reduces the chances of potential non-dynastic people sitting in government seats. “If we want to say that this political dynasty is negative, yes, it is. In a democratic space, fairness without rules will be destructive. These two things will narrow the space for the general public who have competencies above them to emerge so they cannot compete. When this is created , whether it is potential or forced, both are created. “If it's like that, there will be efforts to make it happen, they will mobilize all their strength, the general public will finally have no more space,” said Lusi.

“Political dynasties cannot be seen as just black and white, you have to look at the cases that occurred. We cannot immediately ban it, we feel sorry for families who have the potential that when they appear they will automatically be labeled like that. However, if you force it, it's also not good. If you really have competence, society doesn't have a problem with it. It's different if you don't have competence, then you are forced to perpetuate the power of your group, which is undesirable. “Being present is no problem, but don't build and maintain it, there must be another successor from the family, that's a problem,” added Lusi.

What happened in the context of the family case of Hary Tanoesoedibjo and Kaesang Pangarep who was the general chairman of PSI, both of which are legitimate things in democracy. However, it is not permissible to force it by denying applicable procedures for the sake of an interest.

“If they have the competence and the community agrees, for me there is no problem. As long as it's all done with a good process. A good process has stages that must be followed, for example they follow a series of political party cadre process from below. “But, if it's ‘ultimate' then their competence is still being questioned, that will be a big question in society, that's what I think is important,” explained Lusi.

Lusi further explained that the reason why political dynasties flourish in is the high political costs and the culture of Indonesian society. “Because democracy opens up space for anyone to compete.

The political costs are great. If there are capital owners, from children to nephews, running for office is fine because they have the capital to do so. They have economic capital, intellect and networks. “This gives rise to players with large capital, they can survive,” said Lusi.

The seeds of this trend in kinship politics have long been rooted in traditional means, namely the patrimonial system. A system that prioritizes political regeneration based on genealogical ties. This situation is part of Indonesia's political history which once adhered to a royal system.

Lusi emphasized that we cannot prohibit the emergence of political dynasty practices in democracy, but the practice of political dynasties can at least be prevented and inhibited so that they do not become rampant and damage the democratic order. Prevention can be done by providing political education and building a rational culture in society. “People must understand that politics is important, people sometimes don't want to actively understand the political context. When they appeared, they protested. We must be present in a context where potential must emerge, encourage that potential so that it can be seen and be able to compete, don't just give space to the same people. Then build a rational culture in choosing. “Dynastic politics or political dynasties have already taken root, uprooting them directly is impossible, but intervening in that space so that we can take part there and color it so that it can be prevented,” concluded Lusi.

Writer: Fazri Maulana
Editor: Tria Patrianti