International Journal of Operations Management
Volume 3, Issue 1, February 2023, Pages 15-27
Split-Ticket Voting in Voter Behaviour of the Regional Election (Case Study of Governor Election and Deputy Governor of Central Kalimantan in 2016)
URL: https://doi.org/10.18775/ijom.2757-0509.2020.31.4002Doni Budi Setiyon1, Yuwanto Nur Hidayat Sardini2
1,2 Doctoral Program of Social Science, Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia
Abstract: In the 2016 General Election of Governors and Deputy Governors, voters in Central Kalimantan were given the choice to split their votes in regional elections, decentralizing the voting process. However, the existing literature fails to explain the behavior of voters when faced with this choice. This article aims to explain the dynamics of split-ticket voting in the behavior of community voters during the 2016 implementation of the Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor Elections, specifically in two districts in Central Kalimantan. Using a quantitative-descriptive method, this study focuses on the Permanent Voter List (DPT) in South Barito Regency and Kapuas Regency, who exercised their voting rights in the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor Elections. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis was used for multivariate analysis in this study. The study findings identified the following: First, there is an influence of the variable levels of knowledge on split voting. Second, there is a significant influence between non-intentional variables and split voting. Overall, this study provides an explanation of the behavior of community voters when faced with the choice to split their votes in regional elections, which can be used to improve future voting systems.
Keywords: Voter Behavior, Split Ticket Voting, Regional Election, Central Kalimantan and Regional Head
In the past two decades, many established democratic countries have recorded high aggregate rates of change in political party choice from one election to another, known as electoral volatility (Geers and Strömbäck, 2019). Findings from Hansford and Gomez (2010) suggest that high electoral instability is largely due to the increasing number of party constituency voters. Another opinion from Riera (2013), which uses the concepts of “split-ticket voting” and “vote switching” (Geers and Bos, 2017; Hong, 2015), defines it as the behavior of individuals who vote for two different parties in simultaneous elections at the same stage. This behavior of voters can cause decision-making in elections to be unstable (Riera, 2013).
The phenomenon of split-ticket voting in Indonesia has been observed since the 2004 election. In that year, the legislative elections were won by the Party of Functional Groups, abbreviated as GOLKAR, which received 21.6% of the vote, followed by the second-place finisher, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, abbreviated as PDI-P, which received 18.5% of the vote (Ananta et al., 2005). However, the presidential election was won by the Democratic Party, abbreviated as PD, in coalition with the Crescent Star Party, abbreviated as PBB, the Prosperous Justice Party, abbreviated as PKS, and the Justice and Unity Party, abbreviated as PKPI, which was not the prevailing party in the legislative elections. This fact can happen because in 2004, voters split their votes, choosing party X for the election of legislators and party Y for the presidential election.
The comparison results of legislative elections and presidential elections show the occurrence of split-ticket voting in the 2014 Indonesian election. If party supporters’ votes were not split, Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa, who was backed by a party with a larger number of votes, should have won the presidential election. The total turnout of the Red and White Coalition party supporting this pair, such as the Great Indonesia Movement Party, abbreviated as GERINDRA, the Party of Functional Groups, abbreviated as GOLKAR, the United Development Party, abbreviated as PPP, the Prosperous Justice Party, abbreviated as PKS, the National Mandate Party, abbreviated as PAN, the Democratic Party, abbreviated as PD, and the Crescent Star Party, abbreviated as PBB, amounted to 63.54%. However, the number of votes obtained by Prabowo-Hatta in the presidential election was only 46.85%. This pattern is the opposite of the 2014 Presidential Election’s defeat, namely Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla’s pair. This pair was supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, abbreviated as PDI-P, the People’s Conscience Party, abbreviated as HANURA, the National Democratic Party, abbreviated as NASDEM, the National Awakening Party, abbreviated as PKB, and the Justice and Unity Party, abbreviated as PKPI, which achieved 53.15% of the vote. In fact, the total number of party voters who are members of the Great Indonesia Coalition is only 40.38%.
The 2014 election mechanism did not use a simultaneous election scheme, where legislative elections are held a few months before the Presidential Election, and the number of split-ticket voting remained relatively unchanged. A pre-election survey conducted by Indo barometer in May 2014 found that the number of split-ticket votes was 20.3 percent, while in June 2014, the survey showed it was 19.2 percent. Straight-ticket voting in the two surveys was 56.0 percent and 61 percent, respectively. As many as 23.7 percent (May 2014) and 19.8 percent (June 2014) respondents answered neither know nor willing to answer (Qodari, 2010). This condition is suspected to continue in the election’s implementation. According to Pratikno (2022), political parties are not in a decisive enough position to mobilize support for the pair of candidates for regional head. There is no guarantee that voter support for a political party in legislative elections will be maintained in direct elections. Even swing voters and split voters tend to be high. Voter affiliation often shows inconsistencies in the choice between legislative elections and regional elections. This can be seen from the low support received by the candidate pair carried by the major parties. The pair of candidates for regional heads carried by major parties often suffer defeats in elections. Or vice versa, coalitions between small political parties can excel (Hanafi, 2014).
Various studies on split-ticket voting have been widely conducted. However, not all studies discuss the causes of split-ticket voting. A number of studies emphasize research on the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of voters (Bybee et al., 1981; A. Campbell and Miller, 1957; Roscoe, 2003), while others emphasize strategic policy counterweight (Beck et al., 1992; Leiter, 2019), divided government (Ames et al., 2009; Burden and Kimball, 1998; Erikson, 2016), economic elections (Eulau and Fiorina, 1981; Lewis-Beck and Paldam, 2000; Powell and Whitten, 1993), candidate quality (Box-Steffensmeier, 1996; Ethan, 2005), and coordination in ticket-splitting (Shvetsova, 1998).
Several studies have a relationship between the topic of split-ticket voting and the condition of Indonesia, as found in the study by Davis and Mason (2016), Kelbel et al. (2016), and Mulligan (2011). They contributed literature related to the study of split-ticket voting in Mexico by presenting evidence of the factors behind the vertical and horizontal by using split-ticket. Crow (2005) found evidence suggesting that the hypothesis of party identification and candidate appeal was a contributing factor to split-ticket voting in Mexico. According to Kelbel et al. (2016), the cause of split-ticket voting (skirt and blouse) in young democracies (new democracy) such as Europe. The analysis is carried out in three stages. Voter decisions within the voting booth are influenced by factors within the larger political environment that are often outside the individual voter. Kelbel et al. (2016) applied three approaches that consider the factors of individual level, selection rate, and elite level that influence the phenomenon. Kelbel et al. (2016) stated that the combination of low political party identity and positive voter evaluation of candidates from other parties is the cause of the emergence of the split-ticket voting phenomenon in Indonesia, as well as society that is classified as a low level in information about politics by using quantitative survey methods.
In the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor elections, the phenomenon of split-ticket voting in the Regional Elections was examined. Central Kalimantan Province has displayed a split-ticket voting pattern where the winning party of the Legislative Election is Golongan Karya (The Party of Functional Groups). However, Agustin Teras Narang, a candidate promoted by the PDIP, known as The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (either alone or in coalition with other parties), managed to win the regional elections from 2005 to 2010. In the 2010 Regional Elections, the candidates of Agustin Teras Narang and Ahmad Diran from PDIP won the regional elections and defeated the other candidates carried by Golkar Party, known as The Party of Functional Groups, named Aswani Agani and Kahayani. The Golkar Party held 13 positions with a percentage of 28.89 percent. This trend continued in the 2016 Governor’s Election, with the opposite pattern. The pairing carried by PDIP named Willy Midel Yoseph and Muhammad Wahyudi Kaspul Anwar, as the winning party of the 2014 Legislative Election, is not a guarantee of winning the Governorship and Deputy Governorship Elections. Although according to the percentage of votes, the defeat is relatively narrow from the votes of candidates named Sugianto Sabran and Habib Said Ismail.
2. Literature Review
The phenomenon of split-ticket voting clearly presents challenges to the classical model of voter behavior, which emphasizes the image of a stable voter who is loyal to their party’s choice and largely determined by “long-term” factors such as sociodemographic characteristics (DeFleur and DeFleur, 2022) or party identification (Jacoby, 2010). These models fail to explain why a voter decides to support a different party in simultaneous elections, even when their socio-structural characteristics and the strength of their partisan attachment remain constant across various elections. In response to this challenge, voter behavior scientists have developed specific theories to explain split-voting and the characteristics and motivations of ticket-splitters (Kelbel et al., 2016).
Split-ticket Voting Theory
The phenomenon of split-ticket behavior challenges the classical model of voter behavior, which emphasizes the image of a stable voter, loyal to their party’s choice and largely determined by “long-term” factors such as sociodemographic characteristics (DeFleur and DeFleur, 2022) or party identification (Jacoby, 2010). These models fail to explain why a voter decides to support a different party at simultaneous elections, while their socio-structural characteristics and the strength of their partisan attachment remain constant in various elections. Faced with this challenge, voter behavior scientists have developed specific theories to explain split-voting and the characteristics and motivations of ticket-splitters (Kelbel et al., 2016).
Split-ticket voting refers to the behavior of voters who vote for a pair of candidates that are different from those nominated by the political party they support. Specifically, according to Davis (2015), split-ticket voting could be described as constituent support that is not linear between the decisions of the party elite and its voter base. Split-ticket voting could occur in all electoral systems where voters need to vote for candidates in different levels of both presidential and legislative elections, such as in the US and Latin America (J. E. Campbell, 2004; Remmer, 2021), and in single-member district or mixed electoral systems (Moser and Scheiner, 2012a).
Many factors can affect split-ticket voting. The Policy-balancing model, for example, explains that voters divide their votes between executive and legislative candidates in the election, aiming to create a policy balance between the executive and legislative branches, so that political parties in the parliament can control each institution (Bräuninger et al., 2017). Furthermore, the candidate-centered campaign also becomes a factor that encourages split-ticket voting (Forcina et al., 2012; Moser and Scheiner, 2012a). Candidates no longer carry cleavage or ideology issues, but they tend to show their personality, family, professional work, or political programs. Candidate-centered campaigns or personalization directly impact the voters because the electorate will evaluate the candidates rather than political parties or social cleavage issues (Eder et al., 2015). Strategic defection also becomes an alternative in understanding split-ticket voting. In an election, voters will vote for preferred candidates. However, if preferred candidates are not viable, voters will vote for nonviable candidates (Karp et al., 2002). Another study from Moser and Scheiner (2012b) stated that split-ticket voting could be influenced by voters who tend to vote for candidates who can win in the election. However, in the Indonesian case, Ratri Istania (2009) stated that split-ticket voting models in Western countries cannot explain split-ticket voting in Indonesia. She also explained that split-ticket voting in Indonesia is caused by three leading indicators: low information, low political involvement, and candidate figures.
In fact, society or potential voters have many limitations. According to Davis (2015), one of those limitations is a lack of complete information or imperfect knowledge. Citizens actually think pragmatically in making their political choices or rational ignorance. The rational sense, according to Davis (2015), is matched with the word efficient to emphasize the fact that rational citizens will always act on the basis of consideration that what they can get should be less than what they spend. Achieving complete information as a basis for decision making, both in choosing or not choosing a particular political party, requires a greater business value than the benefits obtained from the choice’s impact. Therefore, citizens will vote without careful consideration or even become apathetic altogether.
Indeed, some citizens vote for a particular party because its policies are most favorable to them, but others experience uncertainty when voting. Meanwhile, interested parties, both political parties and governments, only convey biased information and facts that tend to benefit themselves and their groups. Therefore, many citizens act rationally or rely on the irrationality of their choice because the effort expended in choosing is less than the benefits they receive by voting. In short, they choose simply based on origin alone or without a good reason (Davis, 2015). Therefore, rational ignorance arises when potential voters are tired of seeking information to make the right choice.
Whether, when, and how humans are rational are issues that have long been debated in the social sciences. Human rationality generally refers to the ability to realize one’s presumed goals (i.e., optimal choices; Caplan, 2004). However, the criteria to evaluate rationality remain debatable (Tsebelis, 2011). On the one hand, objective measures can be implemented to evaluate voters’ knowledge, understanding, and preferences regarding the target issues (J. E. Campbell, 2004; Tsebelis, 2011), which falls in line with the concept of objective rationality (Caplan, 2004). For example, to evaluate candidates’ capabilities to realize one’s vision of an ideal society, one needs to understand the issues presented by different candidates and factor such an understanding into one’s voting decision. The findings obtained using these measures suggest that voters are largely irrational because the reasons behind voters’ decisions are often not specific to the target issues. On the other hand, researchers may use subjective rationality (Caplan, 2004), examining whether voters’ choices are determined by their intention to vote for the political candidates (Rittberger, 2000; Tsebelis, 2011). If rationality is based on the consistency between individual attitudes and actual voting behavior, voters can be generally considered rational. Early scholars have highlighted the importance of evaluating human decisions as well as behavior through the lenses of subjective rationality, rather than imposing an overly narrow “definition of rationality—reasons are good when they are objectively good” (Boudon, 1989).
The structural explanation of split-ticket voting is that it is an intrinsic element of an electoral or political system. Ballot design is the first element that determines whether voters are given the choice to split their voting. In one of the first studies of split-ticket voting in the United States, (A. Campbell and Miller, 1957) found that differences in ballot design across the state affected split-ticket voting rates. These scholars explain how states with one ballot for all elections tend to have higher straight-ticket rates than states with multiple ballot options. According to the study by (McAllister and Darcy, 1992) about the 1988 election in the United States, differences in ballot design across the state led to split-ticket voting.
The design of the ballot is also relevant to the information presented by the voter on the topic. For example, in an experiment conducted in Argentina, Calvo et al. (2009) found that “choices that highlight candidate-oriented information result in a higher split than party-oriented information-reinforced choices.” Another structural factor that unintentionally supports split-ticket voting is the absence of competent candidates. Burden and Helmke (2009), citing a Japanese case study, argued that it is common for some parties to have no representation for all public office. The absence of an incapable candidate increases split-ticket voting as voters are forced to vote for representatives from other parties. In a different argument, Moser and Scheiner (2012b) found that the existence of injunctive voting increases the probability of split-ticket voting. In both cases, institutional constraints play a relevant role in split-ticket voting.
It can be concluded that split-ticket voting is non-intentional and comes as a result of the political structure in a country. Some countries, like the United States, for example, political parties highlight candidates more than their own parties. When people vote for a candidate from a different party, it is a logical consequence that a voter chooses a candidate. In addition, there is no specific motivation or purpose on the part of the electorate when splitting their vote for different types of elections. A similar opinion was expressed by Jones, Brad, and Walters (2008) when defining the accidental/individual theory: Voters do not intentionally vote a split ticket, nor do they necessarily vote a split ticket based on structural influences.
There are two important aspects that result in split ticket voting, such as follows:
- Weakening of party identification (Party Identification):
- Mass media influence
- Campaign pattern
- Electoral system: elections that give more advantages to the incumbent official.
Split-ticket voting that is intentional is described in the literature as occurring when people vote for different parties with strategic considerations, such as the theory of policy balance, or because of pure preference elections, for instance, when local parties have no representation at the national level. The most explored current of this theory refers to the idea that individuals aim to generate a balanced policy by dividing their votes (Alesina and Rosenthal, 1996; Born, 1994; Burden and Kimball, 1998). The theory of policy balancing originated from Downs (1957), who argued that people prefer policies that are closest to their ideal point. This theory has been extensively studied in the context of the United States, where two parties dominate the political arena, and is based on the assumption that actors are rational and fully informed by the party’s policy position (Downs, 1957). In this view, split-ticket voting can be understood as an attempt by voters to moderate policy by voting for opposition parties.
Determinants of Split-ticket Voting
The political capacity of split-ticket voters has long been debated. While some suggest split-ticket voting to be the result of voter confusion (Burden and Helmke, 2009; A. Campbell and Miller, 1957), others propose split voting to reflect a deliberative and rational process (Burden and Kimball, 1998; Kelbel et al., 2016). In reference to the claim of voter confusion, votes are split as a compensatory measure to manage low political capacity and to balance multiple viable options (Burden and Helmke, 2009). An alternative claim of voter confusion refers to uncertainties towards the electoral system, whereby votes are split to compensate for confusion towards electoral procedures (Faiz, 2018). Among the claims in favor of the rational split-ticket voter, high levels of political sophistication are emphasized, and split votes are argued to reflect high political capacity rather than confusion or detachment. Some research points towards a positive association between education and split-ticket voting, and for split-ticket voters to display high levels of education and political interest (Erlingsson and Tuman, 2017; Rich, 2012).
Less debated, research shows weak political attachment among split-ticket voters. Self-evidently, voters not closely connected to specific parties and/or candidates are more inclined to split their votes (McAllister and Darcy, 1992). Further, research suggests differences in split-ticket voting tendencies based on gender and age, and women and younger people are somewhat more prone to split votes (Erlingsson and Tuman, 2017). Moreover, several factors explaining the propensity for split-ticket voting have been established by previous research. Split-ticket voters tend to have weak bonds to parties, are well educated, and politically interested. Younger people are more inclined to split votes than older people, and women are slightly more willing to divide votes than men. Though not conclusive, the majority of research argues that split-ticket voting reflects a deliberative process and for split voters to display high political capacity. Though not directly linked to split-ticket voting, additional aspects found in research on political behavior are relevant to explore in the context of split-ticket voting. In a Swedish context, ideology and residence are strong political dividers, and left-right placement and the rural-urban dimension strongly affect political opinions (Erlingsson and Tuman, 2017).
In the context of split-ticket voting, the author assumes that limited information and non-intentional factors also play a role as determinants of people’s political choices in Indonesia. Researchers argue that the limited information obtained by the community (level of knowledge) and non-intentional factors such as religious similarity, ethnicity, and peer group pressure also influence. It is not only influential but also the most dominant in influencing voters’ political choices. Therefore, by applying this approach, researchers wish that the phenomenon of split-ticket voting in the voting behavior of Central Kalimantan residents in the 2016 Central Kalimantan governorship and deputy governorship elections can be more clearly depicted.
According to this case, the hypothesis can be obtained as follows:
- Hypothesis (H1): The variable level of knowledge will affect the non-intentional
- Hypothesis(H2): The variable level of knowledge will affect the evaluation of the candidate
- Hypothesis (H3): Knowledge level variables will affect split-ticket voting
- Hypothesis (H4): Non-intentional variables will affect the split-ticket voting rate
- Hypothesis (H5): Candidate evaluation variables will affect the split-ticket voting rate.
3. Research Method
This paper presents research conducted from January 20 to March 26, 2021 in two districts of Central Kalimantan Province, namely South Barito Regency and Kapuas Regency. These districts were chosen because in the legislative elections of both 2014 and 2019, PDIP (The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) received the most votes. However, in the 2016 Central Kalimantan governor and deputy governor elections, South Barito Regency was the political base of the Sugianto-Said (Sohib) candidate, while Kapuas Regency was selected because although it is not the political base of Willy-Wahyudi (Wibawa), PDIP votes were able to keep pace with Golkar’s (The Party of Functional Groups) votes. In the 2016 Elections of Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor, the Sohib candidate received the most votes in these two districts.
The population of this study includes all residents of South Barito Regency and Kapuas Regency who were eligible to vote in the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor’s Election, that is, at least 17 years old or married, spread across 6 sub-districts (South Barito) and 7 sub-districts (Kapuas). The research focuses on the implementation of the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor Elections in these two districts. The sample size was determined using the Slovin formula, which is as follows: n = N/(N × d2 + 1), where n = number of samples, N = population, and d = degree of significance. The number of voters in South Barito and Kapuas was recorded at 208,722 people (according to the General Commission Election data), and using a confidence level of 95%, or an error rate of 5% (0.05), the formula was applied as follows: n = 208,722/(208,722 × 0.0025 + 1) = 399.23 (rounded to 400). A total of 400 respondents who exercised their voting rights in the 2016 Central Kalimantan Gubernatorial Election and were listed in the Permanent Voter List (DPT) will be selected as research samples and will be spread across two districts using proportional sample selection, as determined by the following formula:
Sample Per Regency=(DPT pengguna hak pilih per kabupaten)/(Total populasi) x Total sampel
South Barito Selatan Regency=63.057/208.722 x 400 = 120,84 rounded up 120 sample
Kapuas Regency=145.665/208.722 x 400 = 279,16 rounded up 280 sample
This paper is based on research conducted from January 20 to March 26, 2021, in two districts in Central Kalimantan Province, namely South Barito Regency and Kapuas Regency. These two districts were chosen because in the 2014 and 2019 legislative elections, PDIP, also known as The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, obtained the most votes. Furthermore, in the 2016 Central Kalimantan governor and deputy governor elections, South Barito Regency was the geopolitical base of the Sugianto-Said (Sohib) candidate, while Kapuas Regency was selected because PDIP’s votes were able to keep peace with Golkar’s (The Party of Functional Groups) votes. In the 2016 Elections of Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor, the Sohib candidate managed to receive the most votes in these two districts.
The population of this study consists of all residents of South Barito Regency and Kapuas Regency who were eligible to vote in the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor’s Election, which includes those who were at least 17 years old or married and were spread across 6 sub-districts (South Barito) and 7 sub-districts (Kapuas). The research focused on the implementation of the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor Elections in two districts of the province. The sample size was determined using the Slovin formula as follows: n= N/N. d2+1, where n is the number of samples, N is the population, and d is the degree of significance. According to the General Commission Election data, the number of voters in South Barito and Kapuas was recorded at 208,722 people. Using a 95% confidence level or an error rate of 5% (0.05), the formula can be applied as follows: n = 208,722/ (208,722x 0.0025+1) = 399.23 (rounded to 400). A total of 400 respondents from the Permanent Voter List (DPT) who exercised their voting rights in the 2016 Central Kalimantan Gubernatorial Election were selected as the research sample, which was spread across the two districts and grouped using proportional sample selection.
To obtain a representative sample of the Central Kalimantan population, the survey was designed using the multi-stage cluster sampling method. Conventional quantitative tests were conducted, which showed that the goal of achieving a representative sample was attained, as our sample was very similar to the composition of the Central Kalimantan population in terms of gender, region, location of residence (urban versus rural), religion, and ethnicity. Data was collected through face-to-face interviews with 400 adult citizens who were at least 17 years old and/or married at the time of the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor Elections. Quantitative data analysis techniques were carried out by calculating frequency, average, cross-tabulation, and percentages using multivariate analysis. In this study, multivariate analysis used Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis, and the software used was IBM SPSS AMOS 26. The theoretical model depicted on the path diagram will be analyzed based on the obtained data.
4. Result And Discussion
4.1. Research Object Illustration
Central Kalimantan is one of 5 (five) provinces in Kalimantan Island. Central Kalimantan Province is the second largest province after Papua Province which has an area amount + 153. 564 Km2 or 1.5 times compared to Java Island. Central Kalimantan Province has a strategic position because it is located in the middle of Kalimantan Island and can be used as a connecting axis point or interconnection between other provinces in Kalimantan Island, besides it is also located close and directly facing the sea as well as Java Island of. Administratively, Central Kalimantan Province consists of 13 regencies, 1 city, 153 sub-districts, 136 subdistricts, and 1,574 villages.
According to the 2010 Population Census, the most tribes in Central Kalimantan named as Dayak Tribe which amount 50.43% spread predominantly in several Gunung Mas districts 90.44%, Murung Raya amount 88.39%, Katingan amount 76.82%, North Barito amount 75.02%, South Barito amount 70.36%, East Barito amount 53.93% and Lamandau 53.37%, followed by Banjar Tribe 23.03%, Javanese Tribe 21.43%, Madura Tribe 2.09% and others 3.03% as shown in the following table.
Table 1: Percentage of Population Based on Tribe Recorded from Population Census in 2010
Source: Central Statistics Agency of Central Kalimantan 2010.
The Direct elections for regional heads of Central Kalimantan have a strategic position nationally, both in terms of economy, politics and socio-culture. Central Kalimantan Province is the center of government, has a form of autonomy with a fairly large population. The life cultural condition of Central Kalimantan whose are multiculturalism with a diversity of tribes, races, religions and intergroups abbreviated as (SARA) as well as an education level that is almost at the high school level accompanied by a low economic growth sector, those issue as still an option in politics. Likewise with political experience, Central Kalimantan Province has experience in conducting regional elections four times such as: (in 2005, 2010, 2016 and 2020) during the passage of the Regional Autonomy Law. In the direct elections for regional heads of Central Kalimantan in 2005 and 2010, the diversity of tribes, races, religions and intergroups problem that led to sociological problems became the main issue in 2005 and 2010 Central Kalimantan Regional Elections.
2016 Central Kalimantan Regional Election was initially attended by three pairs of candidates for governor and deputy governor, namely: (1) Sugianto Sabran-Said Ismail (Sugianto-Said), (2) Willy Midel Yoseph-Wahyudi Kaspul Anwar (Willy-Wahyudi), and (3) Ujang Iskandar-Jawawi (Ujang-Jawawi). The potential of the three pairs of gubernatorial and deputy governorship candidates was also predict through a survey conducted by a national-scale survey agency named INES. According to the results of the Indonesia Network Election Survey (INES) survey conducted on November 1-14, 2015 by using the multistage random sampling method with a confidence level of 95 percent and using a margin error of +/_ 2.8 percent. The total sample or respondents were 1225 permanent voters from 1,820,852 voter lists numbers according to the recapitulation of the DP4 analysis in 2015 simultaneous regional elections from General Election Commission and was carried out in 14 districts/cities in 129 sub-districts around 1200 villages/sub-district throughout Central Kalimantan.
The survey conducted by Indonesia Network Election Survey (INES) show that the electability of the three candidates placed by the number three candidate, named: Ujang-Jawawi as the highest place. This candidate is considered likely to become governor and deputy governor for the next term with a public electability rate amount 33.3 percent of the 1231 respondents surveyed. Meanwhile, Willy-Wahyudi candidate was chosen by 29.3 percent, Sugianto-Said by 25.7 percent, and those who did not vote by 11.7 percent. The results of this survey also show that the popularity level of Ujang – Jawawi exceeds that of the other two couples due to the public’s memory of Ujang when he served as the Regent of East Waringin City for almost a whole month as a Media Daring. Especially in the crash of the Air Asia plane in December 2014 where Ujang as the Presidential Election Winning Team of Prabowo-Hatta candidates and did a lot of socialization in 14 districts to conquer Prabowo-Hatta candidates even though ironically it was not supported by Great Indonesia Movement abbreviated as Gerindra Party in advancing as a candidate for governor of Central Kalimantan. In addition, Ujang-Jawawi received public sympathy due to the lawsuit of Sugianto – Said candidates who tried to thwart Ujang-Jawawi couple in Bawaslu regarding the support of the United Development Party (PPP) in Ujang-Jawawi (Sandi and ., 2020).
As is known, Ujang Iskandar is one of the candidates for governor of Central Kalimantan who has officially registered with the Central Kalimantan General Election Commission (KPU). Ujang is paired with Jawawi, the head of the Field at the North Barito Regency Forestry Service. They came forward with the various support such as: National Democrat (Nasdem) Party, The United Development Party (PPP) Party, The People’s Conscience Party (Hanura).
Other candidates who became competitors was from Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), Wily Midel Yoseph, a member of the Regional of House Representatives (DPR-RI), a former two-term Regent of Murung Raya, paired with Wahyudi Kaspul Anwar, a former two-term regent of East Kotawarining Regency. Meanwhile, other candidates carried by a coalition of many parties, namely Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), Party of Functional Groups (Golkar), Democratic Party (Demokrat), National Awakening Party (PKB), United Development Party (PPP), National Mandate Party (PAN), Crescent Star Party (PBB) named Sugianto Sabran, a former member of the Regional of House Representatives of Indonesia Republic (DPR-RI), paired with Habib Said Ismail, a former member of Regional of House Representative of the Central Kalimantan and at the end of registration to serve as a member of the Regional Representative Council (DPD-RI,) (Sandi and ., 2020).
4.2. Political Profile of South Barito District and Kapuas
South Barito Regency and Kapuas Regency have almost the similar characteristics. It is undeniable that although the two have almost the cultural character similarity, contrary the character of society and their political circumstances are different. This makes the implementation of regional elections in both regions are interesting to be examined as a research study. Here are the voter turnout rates in 2016 Central Kalimantan Governorship and Deputy Governor Election in the last year.
Table 2: The Participants of District/City in the Governor and Deputy Governor Elections in Central Kalimantan 2016
Source: General Election Commission of Central Kalimantan (2016).
The lack of outreach to women voters, novice voters, disabled groups, religious groups, and other vulnerable groups from the General Election Commission is believed to be a key factor in the low voter participation in South Barito Regency. A similar situation was encountered in Kapuas Regency. The low participation in the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor Elections was due to various factors, including the lack of socialization of elections organized by the General Election Commission, mass media reports, and lack of access to voter information. This decrease in voter participation was also exacerbated by the unfavorable atmosphere before and after the election, such as the alleged partiality of the Provincial General Election Commission towards one of the candidates, problems such as the provincial General Election Commission office fire, and other acts of violence. Similarly, post-voting and the determination of legislative election results, as well as the long and convoluted settlement of nomination disputes, created negative perceptions among the voting public.
4.3. The Voter Characteristic of South Barito District and Kapuas
The survey was designed to obtain a representative sample of the Central Kalimantan population. Conventional quantitative tests prove that this goal was achieved, as our sample was very similar to the composition of the Central Kalimantan population in terms of gender, region, location of residence (urban vs. rural), religion, and ethnicity. The data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 400 adult citizens (17 years and older and/or married at the time of the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor Elections).
Table 3: The Number of Respondents According to Districts Classification
|District Names||Frequency||Percentage||Valid Percentage||Cumulative Percentage|
|Gunung Bintang Awai||20||5.0||5.0||15.0|
Source: SPSS Data Manage, 2021
In accordance with the respondent selection technique, an overview of the data distribution on the number of respondents by sub-district was obtained as follows: the most respondents, namely from Mantangai District, totaled 60 people (15%). Followed by Selat District with 41 respondents (10.3%). Then successively the people of West Kapuas, Kapuas Murung and Kapuas Hilir Districts were represented by 40 people each (10%), South Dusun District, Karau Kuala, Gunung Bintang Awai, North Dusun and Dusun Hilir each with 20 respondents (5%). Finally, Jenamas District was represented by 19 respondents (4.8%).
According to the survey conducted in 13 sample districts located in South Barito and Kapuas Regencies, respondents in this study can be grouped into 4 religious groups. The majority of respondents adhered to Islam, with 335 respondents (83.8%). This was followed by respondents who adhered to Protestant Christianity, with 44 respondents (11%). It can be concluded that the respondents in this study were predominantly Muslim. Additionally, 19 respondents (4.8%) adhered to Kaharingan Hinduism and 2 (0.5%) adhered to Catholic Christianity.
Citing Downs (1957), it was mentioned that the lack of complete information or imperfect knowledge about political choices may cause citizens to vote without careful consideration or become apathetic. Some citizens vote for a particular party because their policies are most favorable to them, while others experience uncertainty in voting. Moreover, interested parties, both political parties and governments, only convey biased information and facts that tend to benefit themselves and their groups. Downs (1957) also stated that in voting, many citizens act rationally or rely on the irrationality of their choices because the effort expended in choosing is less than the benefits they get by voting. In short, they choose without a good reason.
Through the researchers’ observations, it was found that there were similarities in patterns. Most voters prefer to choose candidates who share the same religion, as people of the same faith are believed to have the same measure of truth and the same laws. This is in line with Pickering’s (2009) thought, who stated that religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices related to something that is considered sacred. The existing findings suggest that religion is an important sociological factor in political choice. The majority of voters in Central Kalimantan still consider the religious background of regional head candidates as the most important classification and refuse to be led by people from different religions. However, those who disagree with this opinion argue that religion is not a guarantee of a person’s performance, and the most important considerations for voters are a figure’s personal character, their ability to care for the people, their vision and mission, and their ability to deal with problems.
In the context of Sugianto-Said’s victory, this research study found a linkage between the politicization of religious issues by Sugianto Sabran-Said Ismail and their efforts to mobilize voters. For instance, in Kapuas and South Barito Regencies, Sugianto-Said’s campaign team used mottos, speeches, and even billboards with pictures that used Dayak terminology called “Uluh Silae” (The Next Person) or “It is Illegitimate to Choose People Who Are Not of the Same Faith” to appeal to voters. Additionally, Said Ismail is a well-respected religious figure and has a voter base in Kapuas Regency (Sandi and ., 2020).
The politicization of religion has become stronger in the last two decades as a quick way to gain greater support from the public, both for political competition and for reasons related to the legitimacy of a group’s religious beliefs. The Justice and Freedom Party (Hizb al-‘Adâlah wa al-Hurriyah) and the al-Nour Party (Hizb al-Nûr) in Egypt, for example, were able to triumph in the 2013 general election in Egypt after the Arab Spring in 2012 mainly due to the politicization of religion. This phenomenon also occurs in secular Western countries that are often integrated with identity politics and populism, and even Islamophobia. In the United States, religion is also used as a tool of legitimacy and politicization in elections, especially to attract support from conservative and fundamentalist groups. Donald Trump’s victory in the United States presidential election in 2016 was closely linked to the politicization of religion in his campaign, particularly his anti-Islamic (Islamophobic) and anti-immigrant politics (J. E. Campbell, 2004).
(J. E. Campbell, 2004) presented evidence that, in the context of politics in the United States, voters prioritize politics over religion. For example, Republicans initially did not support Trump due to concerns about his ownership of casinos and extramarital relations. However, religious Republicans eventually became Trump’s most powerful supporters, and the majority of them voted for him during the general election (Carreras et al., 2022). The Trump case and similar ones demonstrate the inconsistency between religious teachings and political choices. The support of religious leaders, who are expected to uphold religious principles, is often given to people who have moral problems from a religious perspective. In such cases, it appears that religious people prioritize politics over religious principles.
According to Bilbao (2021), the question of the politicization of religion arises from a long-standing intellectual tradition that views religion as only a secondary factor of political, economic or social forces of a direct, real, or rational nature. When religion emerges as an issue or religiously inspired group in the political arena, they are seen as intruders, deviating from customs, and temporary phenomena. In his study, Bilbao (2021) discussed the politicization of religion in the Latin American context. According to him, the Latin American experience showed that religion is inextricably linked to politics for a long time. In other words, he argued that religion has always been political in Latin America as well as other places because religion provides norms and values to guide and judge behavior, as well as offering symbols, leadership, and institutional resources to promote those ideas. Religion not only looks politicized in certain historical moments when aspects of values, symbols, ideas, leaders, and institutions of religion come into open conflict with similar aspects of formal political institutions.
The politicization of faith-based identity might be a kind of shared “value” that is either open or not, as if it were held by members of a religious group. The findings in the 2016 Central Kalimantan Governor and Deputy Governor Elections are in line with a study conducted by Bataona and Bajari (2017) in electoral political contestation in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) that proved a tendency for voters to be polarized based on their religion. Therefore, candidates associated with the term Flores-Catholic will be able to win in a majority in districts with a Catholic majority, on the contrary, those associated with the term Timor-Protestant will win in the regions with a Protestant base. Such a tendency is a consequence of the understanding that choosing a candidate who is as religious as possible is a defense of the “sacred” in a religion. Psychologically, there is also a desire to maintain the supremacy of one religious group over another. This long-standing understanding is exploited by some religious authorities and political elites for the benefit of the political-economy reciprocally among their advantage (Bataona and Bajari, 2017).
5. Conclusion and Suggestion
The results show that the majority of respondents were over 35 years old, namely 167 people (41.8%), while the age group over 60 years was a minority. The age group from 20 to 30 years old comprised 101 people (25.3%). The gender of the respondents shows that out of 400 respondents, 264 people (66%) are male, more than the female respondents, who amounted to 136 people (34%). The majority of respondents have a last formal education level equivalent to high school, with 219 people (54.8%), followed by higher education with 6 people (1.5%), 16 people with Diploma education (D1, D2, D3), and 8 respondents who did not complete basic education (2%). This shows that the majority of respondents have secondary education.
In the analysis of votes based on the 2014 election and the 2016 election, it was concluded that citizens who voted for the party supporting Wibawa candidates, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle abbreviated as (PDIP), actually voted for the Sohib candidate in the 2016 Governor Election. This indicates that voter votes were cast for candidates from different parties (split-ticket voting). Voters tend to ignore the winning party of the previous election. This is indicated by the percentage of Wibawa candidate based on party proximity being unable to triumph this candidate. On the other hand, the sociological power of the Sohib candidate significantly influenced the political choices of society. In the 2014 provincial parliamentary elections, if the total number of votes of all the coalition parties carrying the Sohib candidate were combined, 54.47 percent of the total valid votes were obtained. If the percentage of votes obtained by the coalition party is then connected with the percentage of votes obtained by the Sohib candidate in Central Kalimantan, which is 59.97 percent, then it can be concluded as split-ticket voting.
In conclusion, all citizens who voted in the coalition party also voted for the Sohib candidate. About 5.5 percent of voters in Central Kalimantan are categorized as split-ticket voters, most likely from different parties who then switched their votes to the Sohib candidate. Meanwhile, for the Wibawa candidate, there was a split-ticket vote amounting to 7.9 percent. Based on the hypothesis test, two arguments were obtained: First, there is an effect of knowledge level variables on split voting, which the research findings support by the study from (Downs, 1957), low information model (Qodari, 2010) while corroborating the study from (Calvo et al., 2009). Second, there is a significant effect between non-intentional variables on split voting where non-intentional factors such as religion and pressures outside the voter take a major role in influencing voters in split-voting. This corresponds to the findings from (Jones, Brad, and Walters, 2008; Leiter, 2019) that non-political factors – such as a candidate’s gender or religion – have a significant impact on an individual’s voting choice. This is in line with the research case from (Mulligan, 2011) and supports the non-intentional split-ticket voting theory model.
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