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Political Campaign in Bali  

by on Wednesday, 5 November 2008No Comment | 1,044 views

Indonesian General Election is approaching; the legislative candidates promote themselves zealously, you can see ballyhoos, posters, and banners of the candidates line up on both side of the street and on the strategic places such as intersections or junctions decorated all over the island of Bali. The smiling photos of the candidates and the logos of the parties that compete in the election are practically everywhere; every direction you turn your head you can hardly miss them.


Yes, aggressive campaign of the parties and the legislative candidate seizes the island of Bali. Every imaginable way is used in this campaign. Some candidates corporate Balinese term for their campaign activities. Dialogical campaign is no longer called “kampanye dialogis” (Indonesian term derived from the word “campaign”) but “dharmasuaka” (a Balinese term which derived from the word “dharma” which means “goodness” or “righteousness” and “suaka” means “dialogue”. This Balinese term is popularized by the candidates of the last Bali Gubernatorial Election.

bendera partai

The campaigns also begin to infiltrate into religious organization. In the previous general election, the legislative candidate held their dialogical campaign on the banjar (hamlet/sub-village) meeting hall and targeted the member of the Banjar. Now the candidates begin to target the temple congregation (pemaksaan), and begin to hold the dharmasuaka in the meeting hall of the temple. This new strategy is considered more effective since the bond of temple congregation especially the clan temple is stronger than the bond of Banjar (hamlet organization). Balinese has strong communal feeling. The candidate hopes to win the vote of the members of temple congregation by addressing the voters as parts of communal group, in this case he temple congregation.

bendera partai

Politic infiltrates into almost all kinds of Balinese communal group, I hope this phenomenon does not bring negative effect such as disintegration to Balinese communal group or deterioration to Balinese communal spirit

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