What You Need to Know About Indonesia Ahead of Next Week's Election
On Wednesday of next week, the world’s largest presidential election will be held. Voters in Indonesia will go to the polls to decide whether to give incumbent president Joko Widodo another five years, or elect former general Prabowo Subianto.
I think of Indonesia’s presidential election as the “world’s largest” for a couple of different reasons. One, voters are given the day off, which encourages higher turnout. In 2016, some 138 million Americans voted in the general election, compared to 193 million Indonesians who are expected to vote next week. That’s despite the Southeast Asian country having a smaller overall population than the U.S.
And two, Indonesians get a direct vote. Whereas the U.S. elects its presidents indirectly through the Electoral College, voters in Indonesia get to choose their presidents directly—one voter, one vote.
This effectively makes Indonesia one of the largest democratic countries in the world.
In the meantime, the Indonesian market has been in a holding pattern so far this year as investors await the election outcome.
I’ll share something else investors will really want to know about Indonesia—but first, a brief American history lesson. Don’t worry, it will all make sense.
The Economic Windfall of the U.S. Homestead Act
The Homestead Act is one of the most consequential pieces of legislation in U.S. history. Passed in 1862, the statute gave scores of families the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become proud owners of as many as 160 acres of federal land in Western territories.