During Indonesia’s independence, it has been recorded that twelve general elections have been held, namely from 1955 and most recently in 2019. Various systems in the election have also been implemented, both the proportional system (Multi-member Constituency) and the district system (Single-member Constituency). (Miriam Budiardjo, 2008).

What is a proportional system?

The proportional system (multi-member constituency) is an electoral system in which the available seats in parliament are divided among each political party as a participant in the general election, according to the percentage of the number of votes obtained by the political party.

The advantages of the proportional system include:

  1. It is considered better in translating votes into seats so as to overcome the disproportionality generated by the district system.
  2. Encouraging the formation of new political parties, as well as facilitating the representation of small political parties.
  3. The proportional system is considered to be more favorable to women.

In Law Number 10 of 2008 concerning the Election of Members of the DPR, DPD and DPRD, it is stated that the implementation of the open proportional electoral system is limited, but this system was revoked by the Constitutional Court with a decision Number 22-24/PUU-VI/2008 which replaced the previous system with a new system. pure open elections. This is based on a limited open proportional electoral system that is contrary to the principle of popular sovereignty espoused in the 1945 Constitution.

In the electoral system in Indonesia, it has adopted a proportional presentative list or list system in the form of a closed list (closed proportional system) and open list (open proportional system).

Closed Proportional System

In this system, voters only choose political parties participating in the general election and cannot choose candidates for legislative members, with the serial number system in the election where the smaller the serial number, the greater the chance of occupying a government seat. In this system, candidates for legislative members are determined by political parties unilaterally.

Open Proportional System

In this system, voters do not only choose political parties, but voters can choose legislative candidates, voters are free to choose their candidates according to the will of their conscience.

Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the existing system

Open Proportional System

excess :
  • Can create a fairly good participation space
  • It is representative in the sense that every vote is taken into account and no votes are lost
  • This system is considered representative because the number of party seats in parliament is in accordance with the number of people’s votes obtained in elections
  • Able to encourage political parties to be more transparent in nominating candidates
  • The people are fully sovereign in choosing candidates for members, both legislative and executive candidates
  • An open proportional system guarantees that the people determine who sits in the parliamentary seats
deficiency :
  • The rise of money politics, because legislative candidates are competing to get people’s votes in various ways
  • Vulnerable to causing unhealthy competition between candidates for legislative members with one another from the same or different parties
  • Resulting in the creation of members of parliament who lack knowledge, so that they are not optimal in carrying out their leadership functions
  • In open proportionality, the elected representatives are likely to be unknown to the people who have elected them, so that the bond between the representatives and their people becomes tenuous.

Closed Proportional System

Excess :
  • Able to minimize the existence of money politics because the cost of general elections is much cheaper than the open proportional system
  • the public chooses political parties in the general election, in which political parties choose superior cadres to parliament, because parties know the appropriate candidates in terms of integrity, capacity as well as structural and cultural narratives
  • Guarantee the party’s sovereignty without sacrificing people’s representation
deficiency :
  • The party oligarchy is very strong
  • There is a crisis of legislative candidates, because legislative candidates are not just anyone who sits in parliamentary seats, namely candidates who are considered political parties capable of
  • Keeping the relationship between voters away after the general election
  • Closing greater public participation.

In general, there is no perfect electoral system, there is an appropriate electoral system, which is the most suitable in one country. The election of the electoral system is closely related to the needs of a country related to the purpose of the election. There are at least four election objectives that need to be underlined, namely accountability, representativeness, effective governance, and national integration.