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Between Populism, Charisma and "Money Politics": President Yudhoyono and the Evolution of the Indonesian Party PowerPoint Presentation
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Between Populism, Charisma and "Money Politics": President Yudhoyono and the Evolution of the Indonesian Party

Between Populism, Charisma and "Money Politics": President Yudhoyono and the Evolution of the Indonesian Party

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Between Populism, Charisma and "Money Politics": President Yudhoyono and the Evolution of the Indonesian Party

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  1. Between Populism, Charisma and "Money Politics": President Yudhoyono and the Evolution of the Indonesian Party System Dr Marcus Mietzner, ANU Wednesday Lunch at Lowy 22 April 2009

  2. Structure of the Talk • Results of the parliamentary elections of 9 April • The reasons for Yudhoyono’s and PD’s victory • A new Yudhoyono dynasty? • The future prospects of the established parties (Golkar, PDIP, Islamic parties) • The “Philippinisation” of Indonesian politics? Personalised parties and the rise of celebrities • Democratic consolidation in Indonesian: 4 key problems

  3. Results of the parliamentary elections of 9 April Source: “Quick Count” Data from Lembaga Survei Indonesia

  4. The reasons for Yudhoyono’s and PD’s victory • The victory of Yudhoyono’s democratic Party (PD) was primarily due to massive cash-for-the-poor programs implemented since mid-2008 • More than US$ 2 billion distributed in cash assistance, school allowances and micro-credits • These policies copied elements of “Thaksinomics”, which have also been partially adopted in other Asian Democracies (India, Philippines) • Populist economic policies helped Yudhoyono to achieve a remarkable political come-back

  5. Source: Lembaga Survei Indonesia (Saiful Mujani/William R. Liddle)

  6. Source: Lembaga Survei Indonesia (Saiful Mujani/William R. Liddle)

  7. Source: Lembaga Survei Indonesia (Saiful Mujani/William R. Liddle)

  8. Source: Lembaga Survei Indonesia (Saiful Mujani/William R. Liddle)

  9. The reasons for Yudhoyono’s and PD’s victory • But despite Yudhoyono’s borrowing of elements of “Thaksinomics”, he is unlikely to copy his Thai counterpart in other areas • Politically, Yudhoyono is much more moderate and restrained • He also has a clean image, leading the most extensive anti-corruption campaign in Indonesian history • Arrest of father-in-law of Yudhoyono’s son in November 2008 boosted the president’s anti-corruption credentials

  10. Source: Lembaga Survei Indonesia (Saiful Mujani/William R. Liddle)

  11. Source: Lembaga Survei Indonesia (Saiful Mujani/William R. Liddle)

  12. A new Yudhoyono dynasty? • Whether Yudhoyono, his party and his family can entrench themselves in the Indonesian political landscape in the long term depends on the popularity of the president in 2014 • Even if he leaves office with high popularity ratings, there are three key obstacles for Yudhoyono in terms of arranging his succession • 1.) PD lacks credible senior leaders; young cadres need another 10-15 years to prepare • 2.) PD remains institutionally weak at the grassroots • 3.) Yudhoyono’s sons are probably at least two decades away from being seriously considered for the presidency

  13. A new Yudhoyono dynasty?

  14. A new Yudhoyono dynasty?

  15. The future prospects of the established parties (Golkar, PDIP, Islamic parties) • Prospects for established parties better than their losses in the April election suggest • In contrast to PD, many of these parties are historically and socially rooted, with some of them tracing their foundation to the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s • The introduction of a parliamentary threshold (2.5%) is likely to lead to a concentration process in the party system, benefiting the established parties • If the established parties can overcome internal conflicts and advance their regeneration, the prospects of them remaining fixtures in Indonesia’s party system are good

  16. The “Philippinisation” of Indonesian politics? Personalised parties and the rise of celebrities • Some observers see Indonesian politics as undergoing a process of “Philippinisation” • They refer to the rise of personalised parties, such as Gerindra and Hanura • But both parties have been huge disappointments for their founders • Both Prabowo and Wiranto have spent tens of millions of dollars on their parties, which are now the two smallest in parliament • The examples of Gerindra and Hanura, in combination with the new parliamentary threshold, are likely to serve as disincentives to the establishment of more purely personal electoral vehicles

  17. The “Philippinisation” of Indonesian politics? Personalised parties and the rise of celebrities • Another sign identified by analysts as an indication for the “Philippinisation” of Indonesian politics is the rise of TV celebrities as successful legislative candidates • Indeed, some celebrities have gained more votes than senior party leaders • This trend has been made possible by a change in the electoral system, which is now based on a fully open party list • However, fundamental differences between Indonesia and the Philippines remain • In the Philippines, celebrities have been elected president and senator; in Indonesia, the highest office so far gained by a TV star is deputy governor

  18. Democratic consolidation in Indonesian: 4 key problems • Entering its 12th year in May 2009, Indonesia’s multi-party system is stable and shows no sign of degeneration or imminent crisis • Support for democracy remains high, voter turnout is healthy, and no other form of governance is currently being promoted by any key socio-political group • Nevertheless, there are four areas that have the potential to delay or obstruct further democratic consolidation SOURCE: USAID/DEMOCRACY INTERNATIONAL INDONESIA ANNUAL PUBLIC OPINION SURVEYS 2008 REPORT

  19. Democratic consolidation in Indonesian: 4 key problems • 1. Unpopularity of the political parties and, more specifically, their representatives in the legislature – while a global phenomenon, in a young democracy like Indonesia’s, this must be a source of concern • 2. Decline in the quality of electoral management since 2004 – mostly due to the increasing disengagement of foreign donors • 3. Increasing commercialisation of political affairs, i.e. growing dependence of elected officials on financial sponsors • 4. Continued problems in the fight against corruption

  20. Conclusion • 1. Yudhoyono and his party PD have achieved a remarkable political comeback, boosted by multi-billion dollar cash hand-outs • 2. However, Yudhoyono’s and PD’s long-term political prospects remain uncertain, while the established parties are likely to recover from their recent losses • 3. The trend towards more personalised parties is likely to be reversed, and TV celebrities – while winning many votes in the elections – are unlikely to have the same influence as their Philippine counterparts • 4. Indonesia’s process of democratic consolidation is much more successful than predicted in 1998, but four problematic areas need to be addressed in order to further stabilise its multi-party democracy