There is No Need to Raise the Current Parliamentary Threshold
The discussion around raising the parliamentary threshold in General Election Law from 4 percent to 7 percent should be brought to an end. Higher parliamentary threshold could potentially corrupt the principle of representation in general elections. Four percent is already an ideal number.
The comment was made by Mr. Saleh Partaonan Daulay, a Member of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia in a press briefing, Monday (1/6/20). “We don’t need to raise the parliamentary threshold anymore because if we do so, it will corrupt the principle of representation.”
The Commission IX (health, labour, population) of the Indonesian House member expects that public opinion be taken into account in the plan to revise the General Election Law. “I think the more public interests are accommodated, the better the law will be. Therefore, there is no need to rush. There is still enough time to accommodate and hear what people have to say in the matter,” the Vice Chairperson of the Ethics Council of the Indonesian House maintained.
Saleh added that there should be an in-depth deliberation and studies on the parliamentary threshold in the current General Election Bill. The bill is not a final document. It is only the preliminary draft. “Opinions have not been solicited from party factions, and neither has the public opinion. There is still enough time to discuss and deliberate it,” Daulay explained. The National Mandate Party Faction, which Daulay represents, will actively involve the public to discuss more about the parliamentary threshold.
“It is all about inclusivity. Even if the idea was to have smaller number of political party factions, it shouldn’t go as far as to snuff out certain political parties. I think everyone understands the concept of political party simplification, which we have done many times. In fact, we continue to accommodate that in every deliberation of the General Election Law. It would be very great if the parliamentary threshold is not raised any higher,” he said.
In his statement, Daulay expressed how he couldn’t imagine the many seats that would be gone if the threshold were to be raised to 7 percent. According to him, the total votes that couldn’t be converted into representative seats could reach as many as 40 seats. That’s not a small number. People’s voice used in those votes will be gone and replaced by other parties that happen to have more votes. (mh/es)