No.1 is Mr No Moustache and No.2 is Mr Moustache, but that's on the ballot paper you'll get on Wednesday ~ assuming your name isn't one of the 2 million missing from the electoral roll and assuming you actually think your vote for the next Jakarta Governor is going to make any difference.
Jakartass doesn't have the vote so I must be careful not to sway the electorate. All I can do is lay certain 'facts' before you and allow you to make up your own minds.
No.1 in terms of political party support is Mr Moustache, but then that's because all the fading Suhartoist groupings believe that having a moustache is a sign of virility. (And, yes, Jakartass is similarly adorned, so it must be true.)
No.2 suggests that the Indonesian for moustache, Kumis
, is hubris (although he did have one
two years ago) and relies on a predominantly Muslim political grouping for his support.
Some things all residents agree on is that the uncontrolled growth of Jakarta with minimal adherence to spatial plans has resulted in grandiose commercial centres at the expense of public space, rapidly deteriorating public services ~ which weren't very good in the first place, and the alienation of communities.
Blame lies within City Hall. And this is where No.2 has been building his fortune, reportedly
(c.$4.5 million), for the past thirty years.
No.1, meanwhile, has overseen the transition of the police from a military force to a civilian force. Not that the populace have yet learned to love them. Respect has to earned honestly rather than through brown envelopes and 'special fees' for public services rendered.
But he has stated that good public services would lead to a 'friendly' city and he has also signed an anti-corruption contract, unlike No.2.
No.2 thinks that a decent public relations department will make the city expat-friendly, not that he is demonstrably expat-friendly himself. Far from it. Five years ago, his intervention in the marital problems of his cousin Sherisada Manaf (Richardson) demonstrated how corruption, cronyism and nepotism destroyed quality schools
No.2 has been responsible for newspapers extolling the support he's got from the likes of former President Megashopper. The immense tonnage of waste paper his campaign has generated proves he is not a committed environmentalist.
But then given that neither candidate bothered to turn up and sign a contract on environmental policies drawn up by the Jakarta Environmental Caucus, one must wonder about their commitment to the long-term future of the city.
As No.2 famously and fatuously said about Jakarta's floods earlier this year, what's the problem? Other places also experience floods.
I could go on because there are differences, not that they matter. That there are only two pairs of candidates in this election is unfortunate. Challenged as to why candidates had to have the backing of political parties which had already demonstrated their 'popularity' in a previous poll, the courts decided that this was unconstitutional and the law is now in the process of being amended.
Independent candidates can now stand - in future elections - and, as the majority of Londoners demonstrated in their election of Ken Livingstone
as Mayor, this can be a good thing.
This election in Jakarta is
important, if only because it is the first ever direct election for the city's Governor. The choice of just two establishment figures may not suit the majority of the electors and citizenry, so there is a third choice. Turn up, sign in, but don't actually cast a vote. The term is Golput
- a white paper.
And if I could vote, my choice would be the man who would not be king of the castle.