Summary of the Cultural Democracy Debate by Jerry Sambuaga and Lee Nathanael Santoso

Pages: 24 (7618 words) Published: November 21, 2012
Cultural democracy - Summary

This is the summary of the conference or debate between the two speakers Mr.  Jerry Sambuaga and Mr. Lee Nathanael Santoso, discussing the topic of Cultural Democracy. 

The first topic that is discussed was on the ideal form of democracy.  Mr. Jerry said that the ideal form of democracy is the one that prioritize freedom, to have liberalism implemented, which will eventually lead to individualism. In his opinion liberalism should be implemented in all aspects, such as in politics and economy. The examples of liberalism in politics are presidential election or parties, whereas the example of liberalism in economy is human rights. The freedom of speech, freedom to express opinions, since 1998, is the key to liberalism (direct democracy). On the other hand, when discussing the topic on the ideal form of democracy, Mr. Nathanael raises up the question "Whether democracy is universal or locally?" as his comeback. People now have human rights, the right to choose what they think democracy is. He said that in Singapore the government plays a larger role compared than the role of freedom of speech (representative democracy).

Mr. jerry said that democracy is invented in the west, and the democracy in Indonesia is still very fragile, there are aspects that have not yet been touched such as civil society, law enforcement, etc. 

There is a statement that Mr. Jerry gave that Mr. Nathanael also agrees on, and that is "Democracy is not a destination but a goal". Mr. Nathanael added that democracy indeed is a mean or a goal, and the goal is not democracy but to make sure that every people have basic necessities (security, etc).  

Mr. Nathanael asked a rhetorical question, " which political system that can guarantee their country to be flexible enough to attain political grid lock?" From his point of view, Singapore is the closest one that has been able to achieve this.

The second topic that the moderator discussed was, "Should a country this big (Indonesia) use a federal system or a unitary system?" Mr. Nathanael said that our country should adopt a mix of the two systems. From Mr. jerry's point of view, Indonesia should use a federal system, because Indonesia is very diverse, if we force something it can cause damages. Mr. Nathanael debated Mr. Jerry's statement by saying that Singapore also has diversity, but they know how to harmonized the different point of views, opinions, etc. He said, "Minorities and other ethnicity receive the right to take part, to give a voice.”

Mr. Jerry debated Mr. Nathanael’s statement by saying that Singapore has an oppressive or an authoritarian system, instead of having a freedom of speech. “Singapore has a good system but can it last with that system? Indonesia may not yet be successful now, but with the existence of liberty, and opportunity given for people to be able to govern, may lead Indonesia to become a developed country.” Mr. Nathanael debated Mr. Jerry’s statement saying, “The authoritarian system in Singapore is different compared to China, in Singapore the law is clear, you can have a say on criticizing the government, but you must have facts to support it.

Mr. Jerry’s opinion is that our country is best suited with having a little number parties, because a large number of parties slows down decision making, and does nut suit the presidential system. While Mr. Nathanael said that democracy is not about political parties, part of government, it is about achieving national interests. He said that, “only the parties with money that can win (in indo), but in Singapore if you have a good vision you will be heard”.

“Should democracy control freedom?” Mr. Jerry said that one’s freedom of expression could violate another's freedom of expression. Freedom should be controlled but not limited. Democracy may not be the best system, but it is still better to educate the people to participate. He added, “Freedom of rights of Singapore must be...

References: Full enfranchisement of citizens was not secured until after the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968) gained passage by the United States Congress of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[35][36]
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