Political Analysis


So it now appears that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Golden Bridge has come crashing down as the points of Golkar’s Golden Triangle get sharp with each other. 

In truth, the coalitions— the bridge of the Democratic Party/ the National Awakening Party, or PKS/ the National Mandate Party, or PAN; and the triangle of Golkar/ The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P/ the United Development Party, or PPP —were doomed to fail. 

Voters were always going to be overwhelmed by a number of considerations, the most pressing: that the bridge and the triangle were both golden. The use of the same metal by the two coalitions would have been problematic for voters, who have already expressed concern about being able to distinguish between candidates given the similarity of their policies, party colors and equal payment rates for rally attendance and voting.

Should any coalition manage to be salvaged, SBY, Kalla and Megawati, et. al, would do well to reconsider the formation of their triangle and bridge in nickel or silver to truly set their party policies apart in the lead up to the presidential polls in July. 

Given the recent discovery of gold on Sulawesi Island, Kalla’s heartland, it would be fair to say that the current vice-president has first dibs in the metal, which may be of comfort at a time when first dibs in anything seems unlikely. Links to the industry on the island may also allow Kalla to construct a significantly larger golden triangle than SBY could do with his bridge, if size is at all a consideration. 

If it is, both Golkar and SBY would be well advised to consider the importance of the PDI-P’s leader. The addition of ‘Mega’— has certainly brought something to past coalition tables—at the very least, another name. The United Development Party, or PPP, logo, a star (bintang in Indonesian), became a very large star, or ‘Mega Bintang’, after working with the PDI-P leader. Surely, a ‘Mega Bridge’ or ‘Mega Triangle is better than an ordinary bridge, or, for that matter, an ordinary triangle.  

Either way, investors in the metal are likely to be buoyed by increased demand for the metal if construction of the (mega?) triangle and/or bridge goes ahead, having already enjoyed modest gains as the US greenback plunges further.

Aesthetics could make things problematic for Golkar. A triangle has three sides, and is therefore likely to represent three parties— namely Golkar, the PDI-P and PPP. However, any further development of Golkar’s relationship with the Democratic Party could seriously confound the arrangement. Whether the Golkar elite would accept the evolution of the union into a rectangle is not yet clear. However this commentator is unaware of Kalla’s personal preference for shapes. What effect the allusions the name of Kalla’s political coalition makes to Southeast Asia’s other the Golden Triangle —

the opium drug run in Thailand, Vietnam and Burma, will be interesting to observe. 

The political musical chairs being played post-election have revealed the true colors (or perhaps, the shade of the moment), of some parties.

The PKS’s approach to the Democratic Party: ‘I won’t be your friend if you’re friends with Golkar’  is a schoolyard threat and should be dealt with as such. I.e: A response of “ Well, nah nah, nah nah nah, we have all the votes and we’ll do what we want,”appears most appropriate here.

Yet the solidarity shown between the 12 defeated parties in the legislative elections to denounce the conduct of the polls is just lovely. This commentator assumes the said parties were too busy focusing on the legitimate political process to be aware of alleged ‘fraud’ and ‘constitutional violations’ they obviously had nothing to do with.

But on with the political musical chairs metaphor. Perhaps the most touching gesture of the post-campaign shuffle has been watching two former enemies in particular overcoming their differences after being left without a seat when the election music stopped.  

Instead of moping around, or even admitting to be out of the game, the new best friends have rolled up their sleeves and constructed a new, postmodern chair-that-is-not-a chair of their own. Not ones for golden gleam, they’ve given their arrangement an entirely new name: the election fraud chaser machine, or EFCM.

The  ‘Don’t mention the war’ law between the new best-buddies coalition is, at the very least, an exciting project in historical revisionism.  “Why are people so excited about our meeting?” said one to another. “What is the fuss?”

Many Indonesians appear to have also embraced the pair’s fondness for postmodernism in regards to sackings, abductions and other imagined (?) constructs of the human historical paradigm. 

For those who choose to embrace a more optimistic “historical truth can be known”take to their election politics, the pair’s old tensions could remain the large white elephant in the campaign room. Whether that elephant will step into the triangle, or walk under the welcoming arches of the bridge, is an entirely different matter. As is whether the elephant could become an even bigger elephant, namely, a mega one. Perhaps for next week’s analysis.


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2 Responses to “Political Analysis”

  1. Marmalade Says:

    Very impressed and amused.

  2. Marmalade Says:


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