Hungarian domestic attitudes toward voting rights of outsiders

The forthcoming election will be a hot topic in the next few months, and the voting rights of the Hungarian minorities in the neighboring countries will be a continuing subtext. So today let’s look at how the citizens of Hungary feel about non-residents by the tens of thousands voting and perhaps deciding the outcome of the election.

We can safely say that the overwhelming majority of the electorate disapproves of the idea, and that even includes a large portion of Fidesz voters. And, as we will see later, people’s negative sentiments have not changed in the last two years.

The politically naive might ask why on earth Fidesz-KDNP insisted on granting voting rights to dual citizens. The answer is simple. Party strategists consider the pro-Fidesz votes coming from abroad, especially from Romania, important, perhaps even vital, to the party’s success in the 2014 elections. At the same time they most likely ascertained through their own polls that Fidesz supporters won’t defect over the voting rights issue.

In light of these findings it is more difficult to understand Együtt-MP’s opposition to abolishing the voting rights of dual citizens without domicile and steady employment in Hungary in the event they are victorious in 2014. One would think that Gordon Bajnai’s party would take advantage of their potential supporters’ strong dislike of the Fidesz-introduced piece of legislation that serves only Fidesz’s political interests.

In any event, let’s see the results of three polls measuring the electorate’s attitude toward voting rights. All three were conducted by Medián. The first was conducted between May 7 and 11, 2010, that is before the enactment of the electoral law.  The next Medián poll was done in July 2012 and the third in November 2012. I’m very much hoping that Medián will follow up with another poll after Hungarians hear more about the possibility of electoral fraud as a result of a (perhaps intentionally) sloppily written law. But given the results of the past three polls it is unlikely that Hungarians’ enthusiasm for the voting rights of non-residents would suddenly soar.

In May 2010 19% of Fidesz voters disapproved of granting both citizenship and voting rights to Hungarians in the neighboring countries and only 30% approved of both. The rest, 46%, supported dual citizenship but without voting rights. So, 65% of Fidesz voters surveyed were against granting voting rights to Hungarians outside the borders. 62% of MSZP voters opposed both citizenship and voting rights and only 5% approved of the Fidesz plan. Jobbik voters were split on the issue: 35% of them wouldn’t grant outsiders anything but 35% of them were happy with Fidesz’s plan. Those without party preference also overwhelmingly opposed voting rights. Only 13% supported the government’s plan. All in all, 71% of the adult population were against granting voting rights and 33% even opposed granting citizenship. Only 23% supported the proposed law that included both.

The July 2012 poll inquired about other aspects of Hungary’s relations with the neighboring countries, especially the Hungarian government’s involvement with party politics in countries in the Carpathian Basin. As soon as Fidesz won the elections the government unabashedly supported certain Hungarian minority parties and ignored or actively worked against others. This particular poll concentrated on Romanian-Hungarian affairs and specifically the Hungarian government’s support of small parties that are politically closer to Fidesz than the largest Hungarian Party, Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség (RMDSZ) or in Romanian Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România (UDMR). Medián wanted to know what Hungarians think of direct Hungarian involvement in political campaigns outside of Hungary’s borders. In addition, Medián inquired about people’s opinion of the government’s support of insignificant political groups in Romania as opposed to the largest Hungarian party, RMDSZ. And while Medián was at it, they included a question testing whether their May 2010 findings about Hungarians’ opinion on the voting rights of people of foreign domicile had changed at all.

The overwhelming majority (78%) disapproved of the government’s involvement in the politics of its neighbors. As for Fidesz’s support of smaller Romanian-Hungarian parties that are closer to the Fidesz leadership’s heart, even Fidesz voters were split on the issue, with 50% supporting the Fidesz strategy but 37% disapproving. In the population as a whole only 24% thought that supporting small political groupings was a capital idea while 52% thought such a strategy was self-defeating. A rather large number of those surveyed (24%) had no opinion.

As to the issue of citizenship and voting rights, more than two years went by and nothing really changed. In May 2010 71% disapproved and only 23% approved, in July 2012 70% still disliked the idea but the supporters went up a bit, from 23% to 26%. Not really significant.

In November 2012 Medián conducted another poll. The overwhelming majority of MSZP, LMP, DK, MSZP, Együtt 2014, and undecided voters rejected that section of the electoral law that grants voting rights to dual citizens. Although a relative majority of Fidesz (55%) and Jobbik (53%) voters supported it, in the population as a whole those who opposed it were still slightly over 70%.

The November 2012 Medián poll on the issue of voting of outsiders on national elections

The November 2012 Medián poll on the issue of voting by outsiders in national elections
blue = approval, red = disapproval, gray = doesn’t know

DK is the only party that openly declares its opposition to voting rights. MSZP’s program indicates that they sympathize with DK’s position. But Együtt 2014-PM insists that they will not touch the status quo created by Fidesz for its own political gain. I fear that this issue might be one of the thorniest between MSZP and Együtt 2014-MP during the negotiations.

Given public opinion in Hungary, I think it would be an unnecessary gesture to leave this part of the law on citizenship intact. Moreover, flying in the face of overwhelming public opinion against this legislation might irritate some of Együtt 2014’s supporters who by the largest margin (87%) among any of the parties rejected the idea of voting rights.

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Jano
Guest

“I fear that this issue might be one of the thorniest between MSZP and Együtt 2014-MP during the negotiations.”

I’m sure that as soon as the oppositions public support approaches two-thirds, this will become a very hot topic. On the other hand, I think other issues will be more urgent up until then.

tappanch
Guest

Some animals are more equal:

The private hospital in Telki has been purchased by a state-owned company to treat the top members of the Orban administration.

http://www.nepszava.hu/articles/article.php?id=666065

Ron
Guest

tappanch :
Some animals are more equal:
The private hospital in Telki has been purchased by a state-owned company to treat the top members of the Orban administration.
http://www.nepszava.hu/articles/article.php?id=666065

I believe that due to losses it went into liquidation, but somehow it is no longer into liquidation. Normally it would take one year to get out of liquidation, due to the specifics of the laws in Hungary.

Ron
Guest

The HUF against the EUR just went through the 300 barrier. With no IMF what is the limitation to halt it.

Po'K
Guest

Dear Dr Balogh,
Your expression of non-residents voting in their “tens of thousands” is perhaps a hope not a guess. Combining a determined drive among 500 000 “non residents” in Transylvania with estimates from Vojvodina and Croatia we may be talking of “hundreds of thousands” ?

Po'K
Guest

Dear Ron,
Economist 2013 july 13 p 76

Current account balance
$ billion

US — 425
UK — 97
Canada — 63
France — 53.9
Belgium — 8.7
Greece — 5.7
Czech R. –4.8
Spain +0.1
Hungary +3
Italy +4
Austria +9.7

Po'K
Guest

Dear Ron,
Try also
http://www.xe.com EUR/HUF Chart
best wishes

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Po’K :
Dear Dr Balogh,
Your expression of non-residents voting in their “tens of thousands” is perhaps a hope not a guess. Combining a determined drive among 500 000 “non residents” in Transylvania with estimates from Vojvodina and Croatia we may be talking of “hundreds of thousands” ?

They’re not all of voting age, not all of them will register, and not all of them will vote.

I’m ready to bet that the turnout will be half that of the average in Hungary, which – assuming the turnout in Hungary will be the same as in 2010 – would mean as low as 125,000 votes for these 500,000.

I’d say “tens of thousands” is a safe bet. 🙂

tappanch
Guest

Foreign banks speed up East European funding withdrawal

“The study found significant cumulative funding cuts in recent quarters, amounting to 5.5 percent of GDP on average since mid-2011. The biggest shift was in Hungary where the fall came to 23 percent of GDP, followed by Slovenia with 17 percent.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/31/ebrd-banks-idUSL6N0G04NQ20130731

—————

The Election Commission blocked a referendum today that would have required the fideszized Tobacco Shops to relocate to more than 600 meters from schools.

The Commission argued that it was not clear what 600 meters meant.
(distance? meters ? 600? )

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20130731_Trafikokat_korlatozo_nepszavazasi_kezdeme

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Eva S. Balogh :
Given public opinion in Hungary, I think it would be an unnecessary gesture to leave this part of the law on citizenship intact. Moreover, flying in the face of overwhelming public opinion against this legislation might irritate some of Együtt 2014′s supporters who by the largest margin (87%) among any of the parties rejected the idea of voting rights.

1) It’s always hard to withdraw a right once it has been granted.

2) “Trianon Hungarians” have been the subject of so many fantasies – this might be the occasion for a reality check.

Po'K
Guest

Dear Marcel De,
Hope high or low according to your mindset.
To round out the data in Baile Tusnad was Istvan Pasztor from Vojvodina (250 000 magyar) and Sandor Jakab from Croatia (16 500)
http://www.bbj.hu/politics/baile-tusnad

Member

Po’K :
Dear Ron,
Try also
http://www.xe.com EUR/HUF Chart
best wishes

Why are you providing an exchange link to Ron? I am very sure he is aware of such links. I am just not sure what is the point you providing us with all the Economist figures either. Can you explain it further?

Member

tappanch :
Some animals are more equal:
The private hospital in Telki has been purchased by a state-owned company to treat the top members of the Orban administration.
http://www.nepszava.hu/articles/article.php?id=666065

I guess Orban did not want all the good doctors to leave Hungary. I would be curious to know how much money the doctors will be paid compared to their peers or compared to how much they recently made in their previous workplace like the hospital in miskolc ?

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Po’K :
Dear Marcel De,
Hope high or low according to your mindset.
To round out the data in Baile Tusnad was Istvan Pasztor from Vojvodina (250 000 magyar) and Sandor Jakab from Croatia (16 500)
http://www.bbj.hu/politics/baile-tusnad

Since you followed the link to Hirado’s website, you read that Mr. Toró referred to a non-public study, ‘nem nyilvános felmérés’. And it seems Mr. Pasztor didn’t substantiate his claim at all. As far as I’m concerned, such declarations by politicians mean exactly that: “according to their mindset”.

Everywhere in Europe, the turnout of non-resident citizens for their ‘homeland’ national elections is extremely low. That you can check out.

Po'K
Guest

Marcel De guesses at 125 000 votes from Romania. This 10.18% of the base.
Apply this Marcel value and we get

Romania 125 000
Vojvodina 25 450
Croatia 1 679
TOTAL 152 129

or not ?

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

@Po’K:

The Government issued a figure of 420,000 applications total, not for Romania only. All applications will not end up as citizenship. That was in what, April? There has been no communication on numbers since, which is odd since they just started sending the registration papers to… those who were granted citizenship and are of voting age.

You’re mistaken as to my calculation. The ‘base’ I’m using is the number of actual citizens of all ages. Hence the ratio is 25%, not 10.18%.

Po'K
Guest

Dear Marcel,
The base I used was population. As you quite correctly point out the electoral size is an unknown variable.
Online registration starts tomorrow.

Member

Some1 :

Po’K :
Dear Ron,
Try also
http://www.xe.com EUR/HUF Chart
best wishes

Why are you providing an exchange link to Ron? I am very sure he is aware of such links. I am just not sure what is the point you providing us with all the Economist figures either. Can you explain it further?

@ Po’K: Let’s try this again. Read the above question.

Po'K
Guest

Dear Some1,
A 300+ EURHUF has passed a mark in someone’s program, still a way from its last low. Gold has just gone through a $1325 “floor”.
Hungary’s trade balance and deficit stands with other countries. National debt is a grave weakness.
Still Fitch gives Hungary BB + and a “steady” outlook.

Po'K
Guest

Dear Marcel De,
Sorry I made an error ?
You gave a guess of 125 000 votes.
125 000 /1 122 623
Hungarians in Romania.
I obviously missed something. sorry

Po'K
Guest

EURHUF now 299.660.
Reset the parameters.

petofi
Guest

Po’K :
Dear Some1,
A 300+ EURHUF has passed a mark in someone’s program, still a way from its last low. Gold has just gone through a $1325 “floor”.
Hungary’s trade balance and deficit stands with other countries. National debt is a grave weakness.
Still Fitch gives Hungary BB + and a “steady” outlook.

Hungary would have no economic problems if the country had 50 more Azeri axe-handlers…and the consequent benefits would accrue to the country….

Po'K
Guest

Dear Marcel De,
Your mindset assumed I followed on to Hirado. I see no evidence for this.
Nor did I accept a politicians viewpoint. My calculations follow you. There are others….not on this blog…. with different Marcel values.

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

@Po’K

‘Hungarians in Romania’? Only Hungarian citizens can vote (if they are of voting age and if they register).

Are you saying there will be by the end of this year 1,122,623 Hungarian citizens in Romania ?

Guest

@Po’K:

Most of the info you’ve linked to (like xe, bbj etc) is known to the people here .- you just select some tidbits and then ?

What is the purpose of these “crumbs of info” ? Where is the general picture ?

I might as well throw at you all the remarks my wife makes on Fidesz people – though I might face some libel charges then …

And please try to reduce the number of postings – most here are able to read more than one sentence in a row – even SMSs aka tweets are longer than most of your postings …

Po'K
Guest

Dear Petofi,
How would your bloggers have reacted if you had written
50 Gypsy violinists
or 50 Jewish ….!!
How do you know that there are no Azeris on this international.
(As the Jobbiks say:
no ‘arm in it, mate…just havin’ me little joke

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

For those who may want to follow… 🙂

As of the end of July there were 420,000 new citizens (out of 484,000 applications).
http://www.hirado.hu/Hirek/2013/07/26/19/Kontrat_tobb_mint_484_ezer_honositasi_kerelem_erkezett.aspx

The Government’s goal – as expressed at the end of last year – was 500,000 new citizens:
http://nol.hu/belfold/majd_felmillio_honositasi_eljaras_indult?ref=sso

A goal it seems they will achieve. But we’re far from the million(s) and these are citizens, not voters.

PS: the final number for people who identify as ethnic Hungarians in Romania – according of course to the Romanian Census of 2011 – is 1,127,600.

Po'K
Guest

Dear Marcel De,
We are tied in such a knot ! again sorry. If you agree I’ll go off blog and mail to you via Dr Balogh.

Po'K
Guest

Dear Wolfi,
Instead of giving me a cross-section of your mindset why don’t you provide evidence that I support Mr Orban ?

Member

Eva: OK. I for one think that Po’K is a true troll. I know there were many posters were accused of trolling but they were at least limiting their disruptive no-sense comments to a bearable amount or they did not post one thought at the time every ten minutes.
The problem with the posting a’la Po’K is that example I try to check under the Recent Comments menu if there are any responses on previous threads. I am afraid that some valuable thought will be last and overlooked because from the 15 new Recent Comments 9 is form Po’K (almost 2/3rd…the magic number). Please consider. THanks.

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