Degrading Message and Hate Speech are Now Obligatory in Elections? A Qualitative Research on Post-truth Populism in Sumatera Utara’s Local Election
Contemporary political communication is heavily coloured by post-truth and populism phenomena. The 2016 US Presidential Election and Brexit Referendum in the United Kingdom showed their implications. In Indonesia, those phenomena were believed to play significant roles in the 2017 DKI Jakarta Gubernatorial Election. This qualitative research tries to explore another local election in Indonesia, i.e. in North Sumatera, the biggest province outside Java. Specifically, this research tries to examine how the five lines of inquiry related to post-Truth and populism (categorized among others by Waisbord, 2018) take place in Sumatera Utara’s local elections. This research constitutes the first application of Waisbord’s lines of inquiry in Indonesia, as well as at the local election level. It finds that all five lines inquiry exist in the North Sumatera’s local elections. In addition, it also shows which line of inquiry becomes dominant or occurss earlier than others. Even most interviewees think that this dominant factor is now a kind of obligation and is ubiquitous in elections.
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