The fourth and final part of Ferenc Gyurcsány's pamphlet is about the strategy and tactics MSZP should follow in this new situation. From the socialists' point of view their situation is pretty desperate. The opposition parties combined don't have one-third of the parliamentary seats, which in practical terms means that they have no chance of even proposing legislation on their own. Nothing can reach the floor without the support of at least one-third of the appropriate legislative committee. The same is the situation with proposals for investigative committees. The Hungarian opposition will be too weak for any independent action.
But let's assume that as a result of Fidesz's generosity at least one-third of the committee seats will be allocated to the opposition parties. The situation even then is grim because it is very unlikely that Jobbik and MSZP, for example, will see eye to eye on important issues. It is another matter that even if these legislative proposals were to get to the floor, the government party's overwhelming majority will make for very lopsided legislative activity in Parliament.
Therefore Gyurcsány suggests quiet and deliberate parliamentary work that would concentrate on legislative details concerning specific questions. This would be great but if one looks at the MSZP rostrum all the key slots on the list were allocated to bigwigs in the party apparatus and there is practically no one, for example, who could deal with health care, or the environment, or many hundreds of similar specific issues where MSZP might have a chance to affect legislative outcomes in some quiet way through work done in the background.
The parliamentary balance is way out of kilter. Everything will depend on Fidesz. The president will, according to Gyurcsány, "be a yes-man who will even ask the prime minister what kind of necktie he should put on." The chief prosecutor will also be someone close to them that will mean even further Fidesz influence on the judiciary. A few months ago Fidesz refused to extend the tenure of Árpád Kovács, head of the Accounting Office, most likely because the Accounting Office worked properly, pointing out waste and illegality in government spending. Surely, Fidesz wants its own man on the job who would not be bothered with such "trivial matters." For years Fidesz refused to agree on a person to head the public television and radio stations because it wants to be sure that the new chairman will be entirely at their beck and call.
So, in a situation like that, says Gyurcsány, one has no choice but to cooperate with the other opposition parties. But then comes the thorny question of the presence of Jobbik. Surely, "one mustn't cooperate with this party." These are very difficult questions and Gyurcsány doesn't claim that he has answers, but he is certain that "one mustn't wage a war of numbers." If Fidesz says that they want to raise pensions by 2%, MSZP mustn't insist that it be 5% "especially when we know that even the two is more than the country can afford."
On the other hand, if the government doesn't come up with "immediate and radical tax cuts we must attack immediately. There is no other choice because tax cuts were their only tangible promise. Of course, we know that this promise is unrealistic but the chairman of Fidesz must have repeated these words at least a hundred times. He kept saying that one mustn't behave like a bookkeeper but must introduce an economic policy that promises economic growth." Therefore, an opposition party must hammer on this promise that greatly helped Fidesz achieve such a spectacular victory.
Because Orbán promised radical tax cuts what should MSZP consider to be adequate? Gordon Bajnai's government as of January 1, 2010, cut taxes amounting to about 1% of the GDP. Therefore MSZP should demand tax cuts amounting to at least 2% of the GDP from Fidesz. MSZP should remind Hungarians that this was a promise that must be fulfilled. Moreover, Orbán claimed such drastic tax cuts would not be accompanied by any austerity measures. "So, come on, if you don't fulfill your promises, you lied, you misled the electorate!"
Another area where MSZP could take a more forceful oppositional role is in social welfare legislation. Fidesz passed on, it seems, the responsibility for welfare, education, and culture to the Christian Democrats. These people are "family friendly." They think that the reluctance of couples to have large families is only a financial matter. As it is now every child, well into their twenties, receives state subsidies on a sliding scale. The new government wants to change that and give tax credits by introducing "family taxation." This would help middle-class families who pay taxes, but people on minimal wage who don't pay taxes would be left out. According to Gyurcsány, MSZP should oppose any legislation that introduces family taxation because "it is punishes the poor and rewards the rich."
If Fidesz wants to change the constitution, the party should raise its voice and should be ready to organize national opposition to such measures. He brings up as an example a change in proportional representation. Fidesz might point to the British example where winner takes all, but in the United Kingdom it doesn't occur to the majority party to change the constitution. (Actually, there is no written constitution to change.) Hungary is no Great Britain.
And a final word. MSZP should not be guided by feelings of revanche "because we know where this leads. We must remain normal."