New publication on elections in Indonesia

‘Parties as pay-off seekers: Pre-electoral coalitions in a patronage democracy’, article by Adrianus Hendrawan (Australian National University),¬†Ward Berenschot (KITLV), Edward Aspinall (Australian National University) in the journal Electoral Studies.

In this article, the three authors discuss party coalitions for elections for district head and governor – the very elections taking place this week in Indonesia. Their findings are sobering: up until recently at least, political parties did not care much for the ideology, allegiances and electoral promises of their partners, as they are mainly interested in the money that candidates are offering. However, we also found some indications that this is gradually changing, as parties are becoming more strategic about the benefits they might get by backing a winning candidate. The upshot of this analysis: Indonesia’s political parties are failing as gatekeepers, as they tend to prefer rich candidates offering a lot of money over capable candidates.

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