Indonesia’s 2014 Elections: Parliament and Patronage

Issue Date October 2014
Volume 25
Issue 4
Page Numbers 96-110
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Analysing the 9 April 2014 legislative elections in Indonesia, this article presents a case study of patronage politics in an open-list proportional-representation electoral system. Under this system, candidates focus on increasing their personal vote rather than votes for their party. Most candidates did so in the 2014 elections by relying on personal brokerage networks rather than party machines. They also distributed material rewards—including individual gifts, club goods, and pork barrel projects—to voters, and engaged in straightforward vote buying. The paper concludes by suggesting that, in order to move beyond clientelism, Indonesia needs to explore options for electoral reform.