Only 51% plan to vote in elections
Cynical electorate is uninterested in political process, poll warns
Just 27% of people trusted politicians, with 70% saying they trusted them "not very much" or "not at all".
The above is taken from todayâ€™s paper
, but not the Jakarta Post
There is a general election campaign in full swing here with 24 participating parties. Yes, twenty four. Iâ€™ve yet to meet anyone who can tell me what the specific programmes are. I know thereâ€™s a Christian party because I was waiting for a taxi yesterday and their â€˜paradeâ€™ of motorcyclists carrying party flags caused a minor traffic hold-up ~ minor that is by Jakarta standards.
There are a number of Muslim parties, but none of them are openly espousing the introduction of syariah law. As in Malaysia last week, the general population rejects extremism whilst expressing solidarity with Hamas.
One worry is that the old New Order rÃ©gime of Suharto has openly resurfaced. With his daughter Tutut as its presidential candidate, the Partai Karya Penuli Bangsa (the Patriotsâ€™ Party) is seeking a return to the â€˜good old daysâ€™.
The problem is that without corruption and intimidation being channelled through the Suharto family, now every one who can has their nose in the trough. Things are definitely worse than before the smiling generalâ€™s â€˜abdicationâ€™. Reformasi has yet to make a real impact on everyday survival, except for the super-rich. ('This is Indonesia - Consuming Passion
' - Australian Financial Review. February 27, 2004. Unfortunately you have to pay Oz$2.20 for the 'privilege' of reading this.)
So the electorate will go to the rallies of those parties which offer free T-shirts, food, an honorarium of Rp.50,000 and some dangdut
(Arabic/Indian hybrid music) performances. Theyâ€™re not interested in political speeches.
But then, who really is? Whoever you vote for, the government gets in.