May 22, 2019 / 19:25

Electoral similarities

The Hanoitimes - The time ahead will not be not easy and comfortable for the election winners and for their countries.

Official results of the parliamentary elections in India and Australia as well as of the presidential election in Indonesia have been announced. They showed that all incumbents, India's Narendra Modi, Australia's Scott Morrison and Indonesia's Joko Widodo (Jokowi), retain power and will all hold office for another term. While the re-election of Mr. Modi and Mr. Widodo had been widely expected, the victory of Mr. Morrison in Australia was a big surprise, even to the winner who described it as a miracle. But there are indeed some common factors leading to these outcomes of the three elections across the Indo-Pacific.
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
First, all incumbents attained important and positive achievements during their times in office and therefore were all honored by voters. The constituents might not be fully satisfied with them but did not disapprove their work and their success. The majority of the electorate preferred continuity rather than uncertainty, secured stability rather than risky unexpectedness. They all wanted to hold what they surely have and were not ready to bet against what might happen.

Second, all the three electoral winners benefited from their electorate’s rational reasoning. In Indonesia, it was the fear of the religious radicalization that convinced and forced electorate to vote for Jokowi. In Australia, it was the conservative mentality of Australians to preserve the status quo rather than accepting revolutionary changes. And in India, it was the weak opposition to Mr. Modi and the ruling BJP, providing the office holder an easy game. In all the three countries, the voters let their intellect control their emotion.

Third, in all these elections across the Indo-Pacific, the candidates themselves and not their parties or political alliances played the decisive role. In that way, either Mr. Modi in India or Mr. Widodo in Indonesia or Mr. Morrison in Australia were all in the much more better positions than all of their political opponents.

But electoral similarities also mean likenesses of political impacts and social consequences in these 3 countries.

First, there will be nothing new in the near future of India, Indonesia and Australia because all the three re-elected incumbents had nothing new in their election programs. No new political ideas. No new road-maps for political, economic and social reforms required for the future of these countries. Continuing the present is more likely than having new developments.

Second, the elections were over but the political class and the society are still polarized, even deeper polarization.

Therefore, the time ahead will not be not easy and comfortable for the election winners and for their countries.