POPULISME, PILKADA DAN MASA DEPAN DEMOKRASI
Populism has risen to become a contemporary political phenomenon at both the global, national and local levels. Electoral contestations, including the election of district heads or “Pilkada”, were infiltrated by populist political practices. In this paper, I mostly use the perspective of political philosophy on populism. The main thesis of this paper is that populism threatens the existence of democracy when populist actors and politicians exploit the ethnic and religious sentiments of the voters, or exploit the people's vulnerabilities as mere populist narratives and rhetoric to win the electoral support. On the other hand, the discourse on antagonism in left populism is able to make a positive contribution to democracy as long as it is always placed within the framework of an antagonistic democratic discourse. Within the framework of antagonistic democracy, left populism consistently exposes the depravity of power, constructs the “people” as a group that opposes the oligarchic and neoliberal elites, and struggles for the right to social justice of the oppressed. This politico-philosophical analysis of populism is relevant in reflecting on the moments of electoral contestations such as the election of district heads (Pilkada) and on the fight for a better future of democracy.