Blater, from Affinity to Tyranny? The Phenomenon of Sole Candidate in the 2015 Local Election in Blitar Regency, Indonesia
- 10.2991/icsps-17.2018.35How to use a DOI?
- Pilkada, Tyranny, Javanese Voters, Democracy, Blater, Local Politics
Direct election for local leader (pilkada) surveys reveal that the criteria of populist leaders (close to the people) are most desirable, including among Javanese voters. Experts explicate that those findings show evidence of functioning appearances-based inferences (image) constructed by politicians (Olivola and Todorov 2010). Lawson et al (2010) echo that image is a powerful arbiter of the success of politicians to gain public offices. In Indonesia, popularity and likeability are two factors contributing to high electability (Qodari 2010). Recent qualitative case study discovers that the personal construction of a candidate regent known as blater (friendly, easy to socialize) becomes the leveraging factor of popularity and likeability. Blater character represents the Javanese leadership philosophy of Prasaja and Manjing Ajur-Ajer (want to live modestly and get along with ordinary people). In Javanese social relations, blater is the antithesis of elitist priyayi behavior. Moreover, blater is also compatible with Javanese wisdom, particularly for a Javanese leader, in order not to adigang (pride of power), adigung (pride of greatness), and adiguna (pride of skill and expertise). Beyond this excellent character of Javanese leader, blater has actually given rise to a tyranny leading to sole candidate in the 2015 Blitar Regency election. Firstly, blater results in high popularity and likeability of incumbent candidate and induces difficulties for potential challengers. Secondly, this situation encourages the rationality and opportunism of political parties in nominating regional heads, and finally to set sole candidate. Lastly, citizens are persuaded to accept the election with sole candidate as a condition of electoral democracy, although it limits voting space. Hence, pilkada with sole candidate has eliminated the essence of democracy as a competitive arena of leaders' selection and space for expressing people choice. The absence of competition and capability to vote are two aspects negating the progress of democracy.
- © 2018, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
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- This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Cite this article
TY - CONF AU - Wawan Sobari PY - 2017/11 DA - 2017/11 TI - Blater, from Affinity to Tyranny? The Phenomenon of Sole Candidate in the 2015 Local Election in Blitar Regency, Indonesia BT - Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Social and Political Sciences (ICSPS 2017) PB - Atlantis Press SP - 167 EP - 172 SN - 2352-5398 UR - https://doi.org/10.2991/icsps-17.2018.35 DO - 10.2991/icsps-17.2018.35 ID - Sobari2017/11 ER -