Tuesday 20 Oct 2020 | 17:50 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 20 Oct 2020 | 17:50 | SYDNEY

How do we feel about Indonesia?


Sam Roggeveen


12 May 2011 14:18

One line from John Quiggin's latest piece about Michael Wesley's new book jumped out at me:

Australians are gradually adjusting to the idea of Indonesia as a friendly neighbor rather than a foreign threat.

I would love this to be true, but the Lowy Institute's polling data doesn't quite support that conclusion. This is from the 2010 Lowy Institute Poll, in which we asked people to rank their feelings towards other countries, with 100° meaning 'very warm, favourable':

So, attitudes to Indonesia have been pretty stable (47-50°) since 2006, with a fractional increase in 2010, perhaps explained by the fact that President Yudhoyono visited Australia while the poll was being conducted. We'll soon find out if that increase has been sustained in this year's poll, but until then, you'd have to say the rise in 2010 looks more like an anomaly than the start of a trend.

Here's another data point from the 2010 poll: