Jakarta Elections Test Indonesia’s Democratic Maturity

As 4.4 million Jakartans went to the polls to vote for the governor of Indonesia’s capital city on July 11, I needed only to step out my front door to experience the pervasive influence money has on politics here. The first campaigner I spoke to on election day told me about the envelopes of cash he had distributed to voters the night before. His concern was not of corrupting the process, but rather that another campaign was paying three times as much. Gubernatorial elections in Indonesia’s vast capital are a big deal, involving 7 million registered voters and 15,000 voting booths across the city.

Pivots Toward Peace in Mindanao

A fortnight ago I blogged about the energy for peace I found at two very different events in Mindanao. We might now ask: what is the origin of that energy, and of the general surge toward a peace agreement? At first glance, this may seem to have an obvious answer, since it is clear from citizen surveys…