Jakarta: The Day of Voting

Arizka Warganegara

Currently, this is an uncertain situation particularly for the Jakartans to await the final result of 2017 Gubernatorial election by this mid-week. In my view, at least, there are three important questions that make this gubernatorial election is so fascinating as the researcher. First, Do they the double minorities, I used this term according to both ethnic and religion of associated with Basuki, could be elected. Second, how is the pattern of ethnic and religious sentiment affect the voter? And, third, does ‘the new hope’ in developing Jakarta presented by Anies-Sandi would result in a political changing for Jakarta’s leadership.

Statistical analysis might be able to look these three questions from limited point of view, I am more convicted to look this from 'the causality' approach. For instance, if the ethno-religious issues are important, to what extent, it would construct the ethnicity or religious sentiment toward the voter. Previously, the first round has given a political experience that the ethno-religious sentiment was still working in influencing the voter, it could be seen from the deterioration of the high popularity previously associated with the incumbent in the last three months.

As the double minority, taken experience from first round, Mr. Basuki Cahaya Purnama is currently facing a difficult situation for underpinning a political support by the majority Muslim voter due to his controversial speech some months ago in Kepulauan Seribu. Will this similar situation also occur in the second round stage?   

I could imagine that approaching the voting day, the voters are already facing the massive misleading information, to deal with this, I think the maturity and rationality of the voter are the important factor in giving a better political decision for the voter. It assumes a bit easier for Jakartans as the average of the well-educated voter are bigger rather than another province in Indonesia.

Mobilising the Voter

I do understand that the successful team has a responsibility to support their candidate to get elected. However, as I have mentioned in the previous opinion, I could not neglect for those who use the ethno-religious issues as the ‘campaign menu’ as long as it delivers in a proper and elegant way. Meanwhile, we also could not prohibit a particular voter to elect a candidate based on the religion or ethnic background similarity. The case of India, Malaysia, or the latest the US presidential election have confirmed that ethnic-religious sentiment are working and also considering in another country across the world.

Now, after five pollsters have been released their current survey on Jakarta’s Gubernatorial, it definitely seems that the final result of this election would be dramatic and so competitive, those all pollster result have revealed that the final result will be unpredictable, this relies on margin of error applied by each of the pollsters. Therefore, I argue in this situation that the capability of each successful team in mobilising the voter is one of the most important aspect, the patron-client politics would be the key factors in this situation. As the result, to strengthen the voter mobilisation, it seems that the ethno-religious issues vis a vis a new hope for Jakarta and the incumbent’s achievement would be the popular tool to be applied by each team toward the voting day. The next interesting question is, how do they (both successful team) mobilise it? And what kind of political machine is going to be used by both especially in the Election Day?

Finally, 19th of April will be an important day for development of local democracy in Indonesia. At least, we are going to see the final show, whether the incumbent or the opponent would be chosen by the voter. For political scientist, this political event would be a good living experiment that allows in predicting the future of the influence of ethno-religious issue in Indonesian politics.    


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