Indonesia wasted votes and fragmentation

From the Jakarta Post:

More than 19 million votes, or 18 percent of the total, were “wasted” because they went to the 29 parties that failed to make it to the House.

Well, the new threshold ‘worked’–at least in its ‘mechanical’ effect.

PD is the only party to have passed the minimum threshold of 20 percent of House seats to earn the right to nominate their candidate, the incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He will still need to form a coalition with other parties, if not to pick a running mate from, at least to beef up his party’s strength in the House. The combination of Golkar and Hanura ensures they have the right to field their candidate, most likely Jusuf Kalla, Yudhoyono’s estranged Vice President. The PDI-P of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri is still working to forge its own coalition.

One party over 20% of seats, even with all those wasted votes. Now that’s fragmentation!

10 thoughts on “Indonesia wasted votes and fragmentation

  1. Now this is “panachage”:

    ‘… According to a source deep within the Yudhoyono team, the most likely partner for Mr Yudhoyono in the July election would be former Golkar chief and one-time parliamentary speaker Akbar Tandjung.

    ‘This selection would effectively further split the Golkar vote for the presidential poll. The party, which was the ruling machine of former strongman Suharto, has, besides Mr Kalla, a number of other presidential hopefuls, including media magnate Surya Paloh, Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and current parliamentary speaker Agung Laksono.

    ‘But none of them is an electoral standout and Mr Tandjung is judged by the Yudhoyono team as the one who best performs the contradictory tasks of dividing the Golkar vote – which benefits the Democrats – and yet still bringing the party machine on board for a governing coalition.

    ‘”They (Golkar) can’t exist without access to key cabinet positions, including the Justice Ministry,” the source said. Mr Tandjung would then also replace Mr Kalla as party chairman…

    ‘Golkar will most likely hedge its bets by trying to get a candidate in the second spot on all the major presidential tickets, including that of former leader Megawati Sukarnoputri…”

    – Stephen Fitzpatrick, “SBY starts search for running mate,” The Australian (30 March 2009).


  2. The province of Yogyakarta, where Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X is governor, may have the weirdest constitution on the planet. The Netherlands East Indies included a number of princely states. Almost l sided with he Dutch in the independence struggle.

    Because the two princely states in Yogya went with the independence movement the govenorship of Yogya is hereditary to the sultanate and the vice-governorship is hereditary to the princes of the Pakulalaman, a Vatican-sized statelet within Yogyakarta. After reformasi it was decided there had to be an election for governor, so when a new sultan or prince succeeds they have to face election unopposed for the governorship or vice-governorship.


  3. Amazing. Indonesia, like India, a republican nation that gained independence with princely monarchies at the subnational level. Mind you, India eventually republicanised all its States (not quickly enough, in the case of Kashmir, to avoid that usual bloodshed that monarchism produces).


  4. If you have to have a monarchy, and I’m less against monarchs than I used to be, a succession referendum seems like a good idea.


  5. The Australian Parliamentary Library has a good summary of the parties as they go into the presidential election. Is the presidential election held after a counter-honeymoon election a post-counter-honeymoon or a morning-after election?


  6. (F&V doesn’t seem to have a “Malaysia” thread so the other Bahasa-speaking S-EA democracy gets the second preference…)
    Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, 92, has come out of retirement to lead the opposition to a surprise victory against his former party, ending its 60-year winning streak.
    Daniel Ortega, Alan Garcia, Jerry Brown, Terry Branstad… I do believe Jimmy Carter remains constitutionally eligible to run in 2020?


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