That Wasn't So Bad
It took 'Er Indoors nigh on an hour to make her choices yesterday. First she had queue for ages, then she had to find the party she'd already chosen, and then she had to find some Bataks to represent her interests.
I'm not sure what her interests are, apart from the usual ones connected with
peace of mind. I suggested that in the corruption and self-interest stakes, Bataks (from North Sumatra) are up there with the other venal politicos. However, she pointed out that her ethnic kin know they are bandits - and admit it. She doesn't like the deviousness of other politicians and prefers them to be 'in yer face'.
So, that's ok then.
The exit polls are a mirror of the pre-election opinion polls in that her party choice, SBY's Democratic Party
, is the only party with a sufficient percentage, c.20%, to nominate its own presidential candidate without resorting to a coalition. However, in order to have an effective government as well as a supportive legislature, alliances will have to be made.
My guess is that, as before, Jusuf Kalla, whose Golkar Party is stuck with c.14.1%, will continue as SBY's Vice President, and that Megashopper's PDI-P, with c.14.5%, will form the bulk of the opposition.
In order for candidates to actually be elected, the parties they 'represent' have to achieve a minimum of 2.5% of the votes cast nationally. It would appear, therefore, that only nine parties will be represented. These include Gerinda (the Great Indonesia Movement Party, a remarkably unfortunate name for those with a scatological frame of mind), of the non-human rights activist Gen. (ret) Prabowo with c.4.4%. He may well be Mega's chosen VP partner.
Hanura (the People's Conscience Party of former army chief Gen.(ret) Wiranto) has crept over the threshold with c.3.6%. Given the bad blood between them, I can't see a coalition between Wiranto and Prabowo, and I suspect that Wiranto will creep back into an alliance with Golkar as he was their presidential candidate five years ago.
Then there is a group of Islamic parties. The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) will probably continue in SBY's government. What could be a worry is the potential for the other parties, which have garnered c.16% of the popular vote to form an alliance, although as they range from 'moderate' to strict' in their interpretations of Islamic law I think it unlikely. The parties are PAN, the National Mandate Party set up by Amien Rais in the early days of reformasi
, PKB, the National Awakening Party set up by former president Gus Dur (although he quit in a fit of familial petulance), and PPP, the United Development Party which was allowed to be established as one of three political groupings by Suharto.
Overall, some 30% of the electorate did not vote. Many of them were confused by the seeming complexity of the process and the lack of manifestos.
This is a photo of the polling station at the end of my street. However, as it was intended for the folk who live on the other side of the road to Jakartass Towers, 'Er Indoors had to tramp a lot further than previously but at least she made the effort. The instant count locally indicated that SBY's Democrats were well ahead of all, with PKS and PPP in second and third places. With a high concentration of Jakarta's indigenous population, the Betawi, PP have traditionally done well here.
To sum up, it would appear that we are in for more of the same for the next five years. This can't be a bad thing as we are seeing a gradual erosion of the endemic corruption among legislators. If those who receive salaries from the state, the police, armed forces and bureaucrats can be made aware that they have their positions in order to be public servants and that they are there to serve us rather than the other way round, then Indonesia has a brighter future.