Indonesian election analyst, Titi Anggraini, a prominent member of the Advisory Board of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), has voiced her disagreement with the proposed removal of the counter-argument phase in presidential and vice-presidential debates. In a climate where political debates are being scrutinized for their efficacy and relevance, Anggraini's argument sheds light on the importance of rigorous discussion for robust democratic processes.
A Platform for Testing Policies
Anggraini posits that debates are not merely platforms for candidates to present their programs. Instead, she highlights their role in testing the feasibility and relevance of proposed policies. According to her, the counter-argument mechanism specifically allows for a deeper assessment of the candidates' understanding of their own, as well as others' ideas. This, she claims, enables the public to evaluate the candidates more thoroughly, ensuring a more informed electorate.
Counter-Arguments: Reflection of Authenticity
Further, she underscores that counter-arguments can showcase a candidate's focus and command over debate themes and issues. This, Anggraini stresses, reflects authenticity and originality; traits that are essential to effective leadership. She advocates for longer durations for question-and-answer sessions between candidates rather than responses to moderators' questions to facilitate genuine discussion and preparation.
Debates: A Crucial Tool for Political Education
Anggraini also highlights the importance of debates in the context of political education for voters. Broadcasted via electronic and digital mass media, these debates serve as a vital method of campaign and political education, focusing on substantive political ideas rather than superficial campaign promises. The National Campaign Team (TKN) of Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka previously suggested the removal or reduction of the counter-argument portion in the debates, a proposal acknowledged by TKN Advisory Board member Drajat Wibowo. However, Anggraini's arguments present a strong case for preserving and enhancing this mechanism.