🇮🇩 It's done? You thought!

What you missed beyond the headlines

Good evening friends!

My body has not recovered yet and my brain definitely hasn’t, but it’s been awhile since we last spoke.

Bar absolute disaster, Jokowi will be returned and the opposition camp isn’t here for it. The refusal to accept results was expected and a beef with both electoral bodies was set in motion months ago, but I think for foreigners and non-nerds it could sound scary. It had the potential to be, but nah. This one from Resty Woro Yuniar at SCMP explains the opposition’s case and speculates on why Prabowo is so keen.

Today we’re just looking at the broad strokes and the good-reads. I will be back a couple of times next week with the legislative results and some deep-nerding on party politics as well as any and all updates from challenges and the Ganti Presiden groups.

And then after that I think I will probably turn this into an elections project, not just Indonesia, so will continue with the upcoming midterms in the Philippines and maaaaybe Singapore later in the year?

And finally! This week on Indonesia dan Lain-Lain, Hayat and I recorded first thing in the AM on Thursday and I think you can tell I had quite the evening the night before. But! We really get into what it was like here in Jakarta on the day, what we expect next and what we’re both thinking on the legislative results. You can also find it on whatever podcast app you prefer.

Okay, crack in!
Erin Cook

It’s the voters who should be congratulated, says the Jakarta Post in its editorial the day after. And hard agree there. “Voters behaved in an admirable way by casting their decisive votes and moving on with their holiday plans.” Too true, it felt done and dusted in my neighbourhood by 10 am.


Friend of IRL but Specifically NOT the Letter Harry Pearl has an overview of the major issues with not just one but THREE of my favourite experts. "The fact you do not go to the streets and bring your guns if you want to dispute a vote, rather you go through a court process — that is very much part of Indonesian democracy," says Dewi Fortuna Anwar.


I have always wanted to do a story about the Trisakti Shootings, in which four young students were killed in the early days of May 1998 and how that thread traces to where the country is now. One day I hope to do something much, much longer and deeper but that’s a while off! In the meantime, here’s my OZY story.


This from Lowy Institute’s Ben Bland for the Atlantic, ooh! It was published prior to the vote and runs down the mechanics of Indonesian electoral processes. A brilliant resource, but also makes my favourite shouting-at-the-pub point: Taking account of these deeper structural problems, it is easy to dismiss Indonesia as a “procedural democracy.” But not that many countries moving out of decades of military rule can get the procedures right.


Likewise, this from ANU’s Ross Tapsell for the New York Times was published beforehand. It looks at how disinformation and hoax campaigns worked to undermine both candidate teams. I would be very interested to see how these formalised campaigns, particularly, are re-worked and possibly re-deployed in the future.


The impact of golput is yet to be seen. Record turn-out doesn’t necessarily translate to no movement, but I would hazard a guess that the campaign had loud voices but not mass support. Which I think is very interesting, because regardless it set a fire under the Jokowi re-election campaign who were clearly terrified of a successful, widespread golput eating into his vote. Stanley Widianto wrote about the movement and its historical roots for Foreign Policy.


Who cares about policy? I’m here for the memes. This is what Ratri Arifin and her mum liked. The Prabowo slapping the lectern to Eye of the Tiger is the new gold standard.