A quick look at the results of the Hungarian election

The interest in the Hungarian election is incredibly high on Hungarian Spectrum. The number of visitors more than doubled today. I’m sure that some of them were disappointed to see no new post analyzing the results. But the numbers began to trickle in very late, and the fate of some districts is still undecided. It looks, however, as if Fidesz will have 132 seats in parliament, enough for a two-thirds majority. This feat was achieved with only 44-45% of the popular vote. The new electoral system favors the winner that much. Four years ago Fidesz needed at least 52.5% to achieve that magic number.

Yes, the democratic opposition did very badly, but still better than four years ago. If you recall, in 2010 there was only one district in Budapest that was won by an MSZP candidate. This time that number will be considerably higher. Yes, it is true, as many of you remarked in the comments, it looks as if the Left lost everything except the capital. But four years ago they also lost practically the whole city. There are some high points. I find it amazing, for instance, that Szilárd Németh, the grand prophet of utility decreases and mayor of Csepel, lost to the candidate of the democratic opposition. And that Ágnes Kunhalmi was able to win in the district in which Gábor Simon was supposed to run. And that Ferenc Papcsák of Zugló lost the election. These are the bright spots.

Valasztasok 2014 Budapest

It is also true that the election campaign that was orchestrated by Fidesz cannot be considered a campaign in the traditional sense of the word. In democratic countries the parties of the opposition have a more or less equal opportunity to reach the electorate. This was not the case in Orbán’s Hungary.

Yet one must admit that the democratic opposition’s performance in the last four years, ever since Gordon Bajnai offered himself as the man around whom the parties of the opposition could gather, has been abysmal. This is not the time to list all the mistakes he and Attila Mesterházy made. It is enough to say that they wasted at least a year and a half of precious time. It doesn’t matter how often one repeats that a month or even two weeks are enough time to campaign, this is self-delusion, especially when one’s opponents are campaigning all through their four years in office.

When I began this post, there was no word yet from Attila Mesterházy. Gordon Bajnai made a nice speech but, if I understand him right, he is planning to go it alone and sever relations with the others in the Unity Alliance. If that is the case, I can’t think of a worse reaction to the defeat. As it stands, Együtt 2014-PM will have two parliamentary members: Gordon Bajnai and Tímea Szabó. One needs at least five people to form a parliamentary caucus. DK, if all goes well, will have four members. Again, not enough to form a caucus. Ferenc Gyurcsány hoped to be able to form a separate DK caucus, but now that it is unlikely. I assume he has the good sense to promote a joint effort of the parties within the Unity Alliance in the next parliament unless perhaps he can convince Gábor Fodor of the liberals to join him. That is the only reasonable thing to do under the circumstances. If Bajnai, who perhaps spoke too hastily, decides against cooperation, I believe he will seal the fate of Együtt 2014-PM.

In order to cheer up those who kept fingers crossed for the anti-Orbán forces I suggest taking a look at the electoral maps of 2010 and 2014 on the site of the National Electoral office. Yes, this year’s map looks terribly orange but four years ago it was even worse. That’s some consolation, albeit admittedly small.

111 comments

  1. Here’s one way to think about what just happened yesterday:

    Total votes for Fidesz:

    1998: 1,34 million.
    2002: 2,31 million.
    2006: 2,27 million.
    2010: 2,7 million.
    2014: 2,1 million.

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  2. 3:09 AM
    Outline :

    categories of votes:

    D= domestic voter, who voted at a precinct at his/her address in person
    A= domestic voter, who voted at an embassy in person for home district
    N= domestic voter, who voted at another district in Hungary in person for home district
    TM= foreign (mainly Transylvanian voter) who mailed in his/her vote
    TC= foreign (mainly Transylvanian voter) whose vote was dropped off at a consulate

    98.89% processed from D

    Fidesz 43.69%
    Opposition: 26.21%
    Jobbik 20.70%
    LMP 5.30%
    other parties 3.70%
    Ethnic lists 0.40%

    0% of N processed (< 120,000)
    0% of A processed (24,000)
    71% processed (25,000 not processed out of 88,000 that arrived n Hungary by April 6
    from TM+TC,. THere are perhaps 65,000 left at the consulates.
    I have to examine this futher

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  3. In true Hungarian tradition, Mesterházy will blame everybody else in the World for the failure, except himself, who is solely responsible that the Fidesz got ⅔ majority again. Mesterházy’s ego is a big handicap, but more than anything else, he is not representing a true opposition to the Fidesz. An intelligent and true opposition party boss starts working on reelection, the second after he and his party lost an election and not six month before elections and haggle with his partners about who will be the Prime Minister, if they win. Mesterházy cannot be called so stupid, that he would not know this, so he had no working plans to win the election, but allowed the Fidesz to win again. He can think to himself, that eventually the people will get fed up with the Fidesz and choose anybody else, but the Fidesz.
    The reason is, that Mesterházy and his whole faceless and obsolete party has no clue, how to solve the millions of problems the Fidesz regime created by completely destroying the political and economic system of Hungary, making it a private Fidesz “principality” and a fascist dictatorship without a Constitution and enforceable basic human rights.
    Every dictatorship fails miserably, it is only a matter of time, but every day of waiting for it is suffering for the citizens who are in disfavor, the ill, the poor, the unemployed, the old and anyone who is not brow nosing the Fidesz bosses. All in all, the Fidesz robbed the Hungarian people blind. They robbed their private retirement savings, their rights to defend against expropriation of personal property, their freedom and their children’s future.

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  4. Éva: Együtt-PM has four MP’s too, so it will be up to Fodor if DK or Együtt will have a caucus. (It might also happen that MSZP has one more winners in which case DK will have five MP’s together with László Varjú. I think then Fodor will join Bajnai so everybody will have caucus.

    The parliamentary election is over, now is the time to differentiate themselves from other members of the opposition, I see this completely differently than Eva. The opposition has no potential to grow together. Going their separate ways they can build more identity and attract more followers so that possibly uniting again in 2018 might actually end up as a successful alliance as opposed to this disaster.

    Bajnai made a very good speech looking into the future, but having the guts to admit mistakes. Mesterházy and Gyurcsány on the other hand made fools of themselves blaming solely the election system. Not that they are completely wrong but the true fact is that they got almost a million less votes than Fidesz. That would lead to a defeat in any electoral system (except the supermajority of course), and now they looked like weeping children making a laughing stock out of themselves. My dad’s gut comment at Gyurcsány’s speech: ‘This man is insane…’. Looking at my friends’ facebook walls, he was not alone.

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  5. Mutt: Right? I was almost yelling at my screen out loud ‘How could you be more pathetic than this?’ On what level is this a good political move?

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  6. Malna here, and answering Prof. Balogh’s question as to why people love Fidesz and Jobbik, but despite the disastrous government, they do not like the Hungarian left.

    Of course I do not know the answer, but I have my theories, most of which will not be new.

    First, we have to abandon the idea that people rationally deliberate before voting. Voting is not about analyzing party manifestos, carefully weighing issues and then rationally choosing from the offering. This is a liberal myth (coming from academia and projecting a liberal ideal) and readers here are deluding themselves if they continue to believe so.

    By the way, Turkey and Russia are always great examples to look for proxies. People in Hungary behave much more like these Eastern people (then like Czechs or Poles) and the system in Hungary is also similarly (perhaps somewhat less) ‘rigged’ or ‘managed’. Orban is very much like Erdogan and Putin and Orban’s campaign machinery is very similar too, as well as the structure of his support. In Turkey, as in Hungary, the critical, secular, leftist power base (i.e. if there ever was one, and the actual lack of it was not disguised by the older parties) disappeared entirely outside of the urban Istanbul/Ankara regions (although one could argue that there was a marked demographic change and the economic growth was also helping Erdogan).

    Anyway, we should not forget the gerrymandering (and other tricks like Transsylvanian voters etc. who absolutely do not make a rational choice, they hate communists and will rather cut their hands than vote for a self-described lefty) and the media. The second of which is partly self inflicted in the sense that the Hungarian left completely ignored the media, when in fact every experience, like those coming form Italy or Russia, show its power. Media does ‘work’, despite the nominally free internet. It is a myth that the internet will create freedom and allow people to access free media to be responsible citizens — but which myth nicely fitted the lefty and liberal idealism about technologic progress so they themselves believed it. Fidesz is still not finished gobbling up the Hungarian media, so I am sure it will get worse, till it can get better for the leftists.

    1. Demographic change. For whatever reasons, demonization, keeping old dinosaurs like Imre Szekeres etc. the Left completely lost the generations entering voting age in the last 15 years. I just note that apart from, say, 20% of these young adults, mostly living in Budapest, it is just absolutely uncool to have anything to do with the Left. It’s a bunch of losers and old communists, wussy liberals and nobody wants to associate with losers and communists and weaklings. The coolness culture is a huge issue within the younger generations and conformity to the perceived majority is extremely strong. Despite its working-class kitchiness, Jobbik is just cool. Meanwhile the older generations, which were above the average committed to traditional leftist ideals like women’s rights, equality etc. are dying out. This is a double-whammy for the Left.

    2. Identity. I think that voting is much more of an identity issue than it is acknowledged by the Left. People crave community and identity and can get this from Fidesz’ extremely well-organized activist/power network. Jobbik is also well-organized, with a very comprehensive national network in rural places. It’s great to be with like-minded people and great to be part of the community by voting to the same party and, crucially, hating the same enemies. The Left has not been able to create communities, neither actual activist networks nor imagined communities. Nobody wants to be seen as voting for the losers in smaller places, one would be an outcast soon. (The bigger issue is why the Left could not regain places like Győr, Székesfehérvár or Kecskemét, with a sizable working/middle class.)

    3. Capitalism. This is tricky, because LMP almost got out and it is critical of capitalism. But LMP is generally very sophisticated to an average voter. Also, Schiffer is an urban Jew (at least this is how he is perceived in rural places even if he doesn’t encounter overt antisemitism). Criticism of capitalism gets through to people only via state dictated price cuts, nationalizations, appropriations etc. not through sophisticated arguments why capitalism is unsustainable with its resource demands. The – diminishing – Hungarian leftist voter base, the leftist politicians and the readers of the blog accept capitalism as the doxa, the paradigm with live in, the system we have to accept the rules of and the existence of which cannot really be contested, perhaps a bit criticized. Most of Hungarians, however, explicitly or implicitly just hate capitalism. It’s too demanding and scary. Working people in the suburbs like those in Pest-county, small entrepreneurs, people who moved to suburbs with forex loans are angry with the system and can vent this anger only with Jobbik which offers radical ideas against capitalism.

    I maintain that the history of the Hungarian right wing has been essentially the history of anti-capitalism and the Hungarian right wing has always been economically leftist/etatist only its antisemitism blinded most historians to categorize those parties as right-wing. I see much more similarities with the traditional left. Or as Walter Banjamin put it, the success of the extreme right wing is always the failure of the Left. Of course in Hungary there is no traditional conservative (capitalism-accepting) party like CDU or the UK Conservatives, so in that sense Fidesz’ anti-capitalism is also a failure of the left. The left just cannot counter the arguments put forward by Fidesz and Jobbik. The current Left feels fundamentally weak (ie. too gentlemenly and behaves like people in the West) and conformist so why would people believe it could stand up against the extremely powerful forces of capitalism? There is just no ideology behind the Hungarian left which could appeal to an average voter.

    4. Cultural issues. This was observed by many. People in Hungary, mostly for cultural, historic reasons, are just not open to certain brands, parties or even to cooperation and trust. It is more important to see the perceived enemy fail than to even contemplate voting for a party which has a brand one detests but which would represent values one actually supports in reality. This explains partly why the traditionally polgárosodott (gentrified, becoming a citzen, bürger in behavior from a lower class agricultural or working-class person, like in district XII and II) areas will never vote for the left. This is true also in Western-Europe, but there the default majority conservative party is perhaps more like the the Hungarian Left in many ways. But it is about a brand, and the Hungarian right-wingers will just never even contemplate a lefty or liberal. It’s out of the question. So much for rational choice theory.

    5. The issue of corruption. Like with Erdogan, corruption affects already disliked parties, but will not affect the winners. Fidesz’ corruption is both too sophisticated and at the same time rationalized away by its supporters. People know that and accept it, it is forgiven. People however care about the corruption of the Left very much. Why? I do not know, it is perhaps not fair, but the left has to deal with this. It could not. (Perhaps people already dislike the Left and are just needing good excuses). Antal Rogan just won handily, nobody cares about his Louis Vutton bags and his amassed hundreds of millions.

    Conclusions: There is no one reason why the left continues to be a bad loser and is in the process of disappearing outside Budapest. There are many reasons, which are complex. But this is happening and the trend is clear. Jobbik, with a strong rural, national network is now prevailing over the Left outside of Budapest. I am afraid that the current leaders of the Left just do not know how to talk to people outside of Budapest. They all want to be liked by their EU or the US friends, want to confirm to their sophisticated ideals, but the constituencies, as Fidesz sees it clearly, are at home in Balmazújváros and Mosonmagyaróvár. People want protection from any party and cannot expect that from the conformist and clumsy left. I am not sure how this could change, but I am of the view that the Left will not be able to get rid of Orban. A new right wing party could, but only after Orban is out of the picture and Fidesz is weakened a bit by his leaving. When it can happen, I do not know. Meanwhile Jobbik will continue to improve. The left is being relegated to irrelevance.

    I think the success of any party depends on three conditions: the brand in general, the leadership, and the reaction to the existing players. The Left has a terrible brand, a non-existing leadership and the reaction to the existing parties was not as they expected it. If and when Fidesz disintegrates, there may be an opening, but until then, not much hope.

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    1. Your analysis and summary is very thorough, and very good. I would like to add my spin on Mesterházy Attila and the MSZP.

      Mesterházy reorganized the MSZP after Gyurcsány left the party. In my opinion, from what I saw since and hearing from people who are somewhat familiar with the workings of the MSZP, Mesterházy and his party were not prepared to be in power and he and the party has no clue, how to solve the myriads of issues with a government, which does NOT have a ⅔ majority. IF, the Együtt 2014 would have won a simple majority, the Fidesz and the Jobbik together would have been able to paralyze the entire country. Also, within the various members of the Együtt 2014, there would also remain the friction, because Mesterházy is a similar dictator as Orbán, and he has a big ego also. He is intolerant and does not negotiate with anyone, who has different and opposite opinions and plans from his. This is not surprising to many, since Mesterházy once wanted to be a Fidesz politician. (I wish they would have taken him in at that time.)

      My conclusion is, that anyone who REALLY WANTS TO WIN, starts the race immediately and does not wait until his opposition is almost at the finish line. That is how the MSZP approached the elections, in the last half of the last quarter. Mesterházy is a disingenuous, and plotting politician and he can afford to wait, until the situation gets to be so bad in Hungary, that the majority of the people will vote for anyone except the Fidesz or rebel and chase away Orbán and his regime. I would bet on the latter, since dictators are never voted out of power with popular elections. Another revolution seems unlikely now, but 4-5 years can make a difference. Not a pretty picture.

      Mesterházy and the MSZP still gets paid handsomely for years, for doing next to nothing. What is more important, the show trials of a few MSZP members will be minimal, just to satisfy the bloodthirsty Fidesz and Jobbik supporters.

      The MSZP is also full with criminal politicians, who were taking corruption money for years, lied and cheated and hid the money in various offshore havens, enriching themselves and cared nothing about the country.

      In Hungary, every politician is corrupt, a lier and cheat, the few honest one gets balled out soon, and the rest does not talk. Unfortunately the average Hungarian is used to the populist, nationalist, chauvinistic slogans and they like to hear, that the lack of success is always somebody else’s fault, not their own. Many Hungarians also think of themselves, that they are better than their neighbors, they loath and/or jealous of them, and hatred, anti-semitism and racism are always good excuses, to boast about non-existent successes and abilities.

      Kertész Ákos described the common national traits of Hungarians and these last four years and today’s elections are proving him right more and more.

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  7. @Jean P – isn’t that a bit like when “true” football fans tear up their season ticket after their team is thrashed 5-0? Hungary is still a wonderful country, despite Orbán’s misrule and the Left leadership’s failure to put the principles of public service above their own egos and pockets. Keep the faith!

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  8. tappanch, what is the situation with the Romanian votes? Is it still possible for LMP to fall below the threshold? Or are they now counted?

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  9. Imi :
    Jean: remember the Rothchilds, one of whom said that the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.

    When there is blood in the streets it is too late to sell.

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  10. tappanch:

    Yes, the issue of LMP and the United Opposition is all the more interesting, because although the United Opposition gained 200,000 votes compared to 2010, LMP lost 373,000 votes.

    Some of LMP’s voters must have moved to the United Opposition as the Párbeszéd Magyarorszégért demerged from LMP and joined Bajnai’s Együtt.

    So either without Párbeszéd’s joining, the United Opposition would have actually lost voters compared to 2010 or many of LMP’s voters just defected to Jobbik or Fidesz or, for whatever reason, did not vote.

    But the point is clear: less people voted for the democratic opposition than voted for it in 2010.

    The only party/block which could gain net voters and despite the much lower turnout was Jobbik.

    Jobbik is extremely powerful now and it clearly has the momentum. As the system favors rural, outside of Budapest voters they will gain a lot.

    Especially in the polls, as the member parties of the United Opposition will soon individually languish in the below-5% mark and Jobbik will prevail over the individual MSZP. This will give another jolt to Jobbik’s reputation.

    Jobbik is the second party in Hungary.

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  11. Jean P :

    Imi :
    Jean: remember the Rothchilds, one of whom said that the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.

    When there is blood in the streets it is too late to sell.

    What this saying means is that when all people sell because of a disaster, it is time to buy as things will sort out eventually and then the thing purchased will gain in value. You want to sell when there’s symbolic blood in the streets, when instead smart investors would want to use this opportunity to buy from people like you (it’s also called ‘buy on weakness’ in contemporary investment business lingo).

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  12. I think Jean P is saying that he doesn’t want to own property in a country where the governing party is autocratic and unaccontable and the second party is neo-Nazi. Can’t really dispute the logic of that

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  13. I’m not sure it is RIP Democracy. After all, Fidesz could have lost if the electorate had turned against them.

    It is RIP Hungary as a West European nation (which perhaps it never was, despite its urbane capital)

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  14. 1.
    Votes from Transylvania:

    63,000 were counted out of 88,000 last night (95% Fidesz – highly suspicious)
    There were 35,500 votes received by the consulates by April 5 that did not reach Budapest on April 6.
    Unknown votes received on April 6 (but no more than 37,000) by the consulates.

    2.
    Votes from abroad from people with Hungarian address.
    None of the 24,000 were counted.

    3.
    Migrant or nomadic domestic votes (less than 120,000)

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  15. “Orban’s policies have included: under his government personal income tax and household power bills have fallen. a nationalization of private pension funds, swingeing “crisis taxes” on big business, and a relief scheme for mortgage holders for which the banks, mostly foreign-owned, had to pay.

    Orban has pledged more of the same if re-elected, and the business community expects him in particular to press ahead with a plan to transfer big chunks of the banking sector into Hungarian hands, and impose more burdens on foreign power firms.” (Reuters) – Bad, bad man! How dare he do all the above?! Disgusting!

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  16. gybognarjr :
    In true Hungarian tradition, Mesterházy will blame everybody else in the World for the failure, except himself, who is solely responsible that the Fidesz got ⅔ majority again. Mesterházy’s ego is a big handicap, but more than anything else, he is not representing a true opposition to the Fidesz. An intelligent and true opposition party boss starts working on reelection, the second after he and his party lost an election and not six month before elections and haggle with his partners about who will be the Prime Minister, if they win. Mesterházy cannot be called so stupid, that he would not know this, so he had no working plans to win the election, but allowed the Fidesz to win again. He can think to himself, that eventually the people will get fed up with the Fidesz and choose anybody else, but the Fidesz.
    The reason is, that Mesterházy and his whole faceless and obsolete party has no clue, how to solve the millions of problems the Fidesz regime created by completely destroying the political and economic system of Hungary, making it a private Fidesz “principality” and a fascist dictatorship without a Constitution and enforceable basic human rights.
    Every dictatorship fails miserably, it is only a matter of time, but every day of waiting for it is suffering for the citizens who are in disfavor, the ill, the poor, the unemployed, the old and anyone who is not brow nosing the Fidesz bosses. All in all, the Fidesz robbed the Hungarian people blind. They robbed their private retirement savings, their rights to defend against expropriation of personal property, their freedom and their children’s future.

    SINKING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE CARPATHIAN BASEMENT — or — REQUIEM FOR DEMOCRACY AND DECENCY IN HUNGARY

    Agreed that Mesterhazy and many of his pals were duds.

    Yet Gyurcsany, so malignantly and undeservedly maligned, so long, fought the good fight.

    And Bajnai (or Bokros) would have made a good prime minister, and would have won back the support and confidence of Europe and the western world in helping to restore Hungary to the normal world.

    But there are really two villains in the piece:

    One of the villain is Orban and his odious henchmen, who have reduced Hungary to a moral and material shambles.

    The other villain is that undeniable plurality of the Pannonian populace ready to embrace the likes of Fidesz, with 20% even grading into the yobs of Jobbik.

    But it cannot be said that Hungary got what it deserved.

    Because Hungarians, like every other collection of hominins, are a plurality.

    And many decent, honest, innocent people will now suffer for years, perhaps generations, because of this shameful travesty — a permanent blot on the lives and history Carpathian Basin.

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  17. gybognarjr :
    Your analysis and summary is very thorough, and very good. I would like to add my spin on Mesterházy Attila and the MSZP.
    Mesterházy reorganized the MSZP after Gyurcsány left the party. In my opinion, from what I saw since and hearing from people who are somewhat familiar with the workings of the MSZP, Mesterházy and his party were not prepared to be in power and he and the party has no clue, how to solve the myriads of issues with a government, which does NOT have a ⅔ majority. IF, the Együtt 2014 would have won a simple majority, the Fidesz and the Jobbik together would have been able to paralyze the entire country. Also, within the various members of the Együtt 2014, there would also remain the friction, because Mesterházy is a similar dictator as Orbán, and he has a big ego also. He is intolerant and does not negotiate with anyone, who has different and opposite opinions and plans from his. This is not surprising to many, since Mesterházy once wanted to be a Fidesz politician. (I wish they would have taken him in at that time.)
    My conclusion is, that anyone who REALLY WANTS TO WIN, starts the race immediately and does not wait until his opposition is almost at the finish line. That is how the MSZP approached the elections, in the last half of the last quarter. Mesterházy is a disingenuous, and plotting politician and he can afford to wait, until the situation gets to be so bad in Hungary, that the majority of the people will vote for anyone except the Fidesz or rebel and chase away Orbán and his regime. I would bet on the latter, since dictators are never voted out of power with popular elections. Another revolution seems unlikely now, but 4-5 years can make a difference. Not a pretty picture.
    Mesterházy and the MSZP still gets paid handsomely for years, for doing next to nothing. What is more important, the show trials of a few MSZP members will be minimal, just to satisfy the bloodthirsty Fidesz and Jobbik supporters.
    The MSZP is also full with criminal politicians, who were taking corruption money for years, lied and cheated and hid the money in various offshore havens, enriching themselves and cared nothing about the country.
    In Hungary, every politician is corrupt, a lier and cheat, the few honest one gets balled out soon, and the rest does not talk. Unfortunately the average Hungarian is used to the populist, nationalist, chauvinistic slogans and they like to hear, that the lack of success is always somebody else’s fault, not their own. Many Hungarians also think of themselves, that they are better than their neighbors, they loath and/or jealous of them, and hatred, anti-semitism and racism are always good excuses, to boast about non-existent successes and abilities.
    Kertész Ákos described the common national traits of Hungarians and these last four years and today’s elections are proving him right more and more.

    Thanks. I don’t want to argue with your points. But let’s differentiate between ‘technical issues’ and, let’s say, fundamental issues. There are indeed various problems with the left, but the more fundamental issue is why people are not willing to listen to them or give them a chance?

    The Left is apparently dead outside of Budapest, and even in Budapest with the gerrymandered districts, it had a very hard time winning at least some districts.

    Overall, I am not sure right now that Budapest voters would vote for a lefty mayor, even though by far Budapest is the most liberal, open minded, lefty place in Hungary. But even people of Budapest do not care about the left. Why?

    People are also just fine with the “mafia state”, in fact they just demanded more of it.

    But as it was said, the deeper question is why is that mafia state accepted?

    I tried to list some answers, and think that those could lead to a better understanding of the situation. But eventually I think a better understanding would also mean the abandonment by the left and liberals of long-held beliefs, ortodoxies even. And thus they are unwilling to do it. I don’t usually read the velemenyvezer blog, but as a short answer this is pretty good start in my view:

    http://velemenyvezer.444.hu/2014/04/07/szegeny-orszag-igy-szavaz/

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    1. Malna:
      Thanks for the comment. Here is my opinion about the corruption and the maffia state and why it is tolerated, moreover participated in, by many people in Hungary.

      In Central-Europe, and Hungary, where I grew up, there was 50-60 years of Russian domination and the communist, but soon “just” socialist leaders set up dictatorships, with centralized industry, education, art, etc. We all learned from the same books, only pro-government media existed and a uniform, socialist culture was advocated. The key word in socialism was, that “everything is ours, we the people own the country and everything in it.” So when little things were needed, most people took it home from the office, factory, workplace, not very valuable things, just what everybody needed and did not want to spend money on it. The stealing became little by little general and acceptable, after all, one cannot steal from himself, and we did own everything, as the leaders said. NOBODY thought, that stealing a few pens, pencils, staples, a piece of wood, piece of steel, materials for clothing, etc. or making some things for ourselves from materials and tools of the factory is a crime. Since everything was ours, it wasn’t stealing at all.

      In school we borrowed our friends homework to copy. These were mutual favors, I borrow your math, you borrow my chemistry homework. Lifelong friendships and mutual dependencies formed, since the same people went together in the same class, sometimes up to 7-8 years, (in some cases like me, 9 years, from junior high school to gymnasium) We cheated on our tests if we could. None of these deeds were considered flaws of character or crimes, we were proud if our cheating was not discovered. In the meantime our parents had to develop similar attitudes to keep their jobs and careers, they had to brown-nose their superiors, do some favors, etc. The people in socialist societies developed a different set of values and they still have a different set of values today, a different cultural background.

      So in 1989, when the politicians decided to change the political and economic system and it was not the people who did it, nothing really changed except from thereon the same politicians could steal and rob the people and the country blind and some people with good contacts and friends in government bought up properties, businesses for pennies on a dollar and many became super rich, some rightfully so, because they are were and are good businessman (Csányi).

      Therefore today, the same mindset tolerates corruption, because getting good jobs and building careers, running a successful business depends on lifelong dependencies. The favors are reciprocated, also they are given, based on party orientations, loyalty and partnering in crimes and not on performance, excellence or competitiveness.

      This is the Hungarian culture, inherited from the socialist past, the majority of successful people in politics and many in business are mostly mediocre, morally and financially corrupt, unprincipled, unscrupulous men and women, because this is the general background they been raised and this is how they succeeded.

      Even today, a worker can steel little things and never think of himself/herself as a criminal, because those above steal a lot more and those in government in big business steel millions and billions.

      In Hungary people don’t think so and don’t understand, that it is not the value of what one steals, that makes it a crime, but it is the act of taking anything which is not ours. In Hungary, some people even proud of themselves, if they find the little door on the big gate and rewarded with success, while being unfair to others. This is in contrast to general Western European and North American morals, since here we are thought and understand that stealing, lying, cheating EVEN A LITTLE is a crime and deserves a punishment, which is usually meted out based on the degree of crime. We know that regardless of the degree, stealing, lying, cheating, etc. IS A CRIME because as we say, ONE CANNOT BE JUST A LITTLE PREGNANT!

      Having an independent media, the watchdogs, if you wish, an independent judicial system, most of those who are discovered to be corrupt, and/or committed crimes get punished and public figures can loose careers, they have to resign and so on, if their deed are exposed. This is because the majority of the people demand honesty and integrity from the children, themselves, their neighbors and their fellow citizens, so they demand it even more from the leaders and public figures. We know that if we commit a crime, the likelihood of being punished is high, so we developed a higher sense of responsibility. In contrast, Hungary is called “The country of irresponsibility.” , because so few people in politics and in connected businesses and criminals, even the Mafioso are not punished for their crimes.

      As for the results of the elections yesterday, I fully agree with a famous and often misinterpreted quote, written by Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) “Toute nations a le gouvernement qu’elle merite.” and what he really meant was; “Every nation has the Government which it is fit for.” (and not as many misinterpreted that; “Every nation has the Government which it deserves.”)

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  18. A good point: Orban will be tougher than ever, in order to keep the remaining Fidesz voters in his orbit and prevent their defection to Jobbik (nobody defects to the left). He will use more unortodox methods than ever. Those who entertain thoughts of him getting more conciliatory will be sorely disappointed.

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  19. The only honest, logical step would be to merge all of the ‘democratic opposition’ into a single liberal/centrist party with certain social liberal leftist tendencies. They won’t win back the eastern rustbelt, and many of us will be unenthused initially, but they’d at least be cohesive and allow a leadership to emerge from outside the mediocrities of the MSZP.

    It’s also pretty impossible to currently imagine this happening. The one notable thing about these results – with the big drop in the Fidesz vote – is the extent to which the opposition buggered it up. Yes, the media situation was extremely difficult, but Mesterhazy is and was a limited communicator. I don’t get the impression of someone capable of reflection to any great extent. This is his second electoral loss – is he really going to stick it out? If so, he’s an absolute liability – or is he, in fact, playing his role exactly as planned?

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  20. Malna :Malna here, and answering Prof. Balogh’s question as to why people love Fidesz and Jobbik, but despite the disastrous government, they do not like the Hungarian left.Of course I do not know the answer, but I have my theories, most of which will not be new.

    While I agree overall with your post, I have one big reservation: your use of the word ‘capitalism’ instead of ‘market economy’. The former is indeed an ingredient of the latter, however neither Fidesz, Jobbik nor their voters are against capitalism per se.

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  21. Questions the international observers and the journalists should raise.

    1. When and where will the cross/nomadic/migrant votes be counted?
    Who will count them?

    2. How many votes were cast yesterday at the consulates by new citizens with no Hungarian address?

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  22. Well, I was wrong, and I’m very happy to admit it.

    The opposition improved their vote quite dramatically – considering their performance and the difficulty of getting their message out (what message?) they actually did very well indeed. They increased their number of constituencies, instead of losing them all, as I predicted, and it looks like LMP could still be in parliament. I was wrong three times over!

    In normal times, this would have been a very good opposition result. Unfortunately, we don’t live in normal times – there was no way Fidesz were going to lose this election. But we should take heart that, despite every trick Orbán pulled, the opposition vote increased, the Fidesz vote declined and Orbán only just hung on to his 2/3 majority.

    Orbán will claim this as a great victory and confirmation that the country thinks his government is doing the right things, but in his heart he knows he has failed – instead of consolidating his position, his support has actually declined. He wanted a definite, strong 2/3 majority, but he has only just clung on. And, even worse, far from locking Gyurcsány up, as he promised, his arch rival is back in parliament, and has helped form a strong opposition that has halted Fidesz’s ‘inevitable’ progress.

    Unfortunately, the opposition have learnt nothing from the last year. They are playing this as a terrible loss, not as an unexpected victory against incredible odds, and the beginning of a new fight-back. And they are (apparently) determined to commit political suicide by splitting up in parliament and allowing Jobbik to become the second biggest party – and the official opposition.

    Have they completely lost the plot?!

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  23. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

    Malna :Malna here, and answering Prof. Balogh’s question as to why people love Fidesz and Jobbik, but despite the disastrous government, they do not like the Hungarian left.Of course I do not know the answer, but I have my theories, most of which will not be new.

    While I agree overall with your post, I have one big reservation: your use of the word ‘capitalism’ instead of ‘market economy’. The former is indeed an ingredient of the latter, however neither Fidesz, Jobbik nor their voters are against capitalism per se.

    I deliberately use the word because it is avoided by most politicians, and indeed by the media, though it is a bit of provocation, for sure.

    What I mean is a system in which – among others – there is a constant, unrelenting pressure to compete, to get more efficient, but even with competing, making efforts, the result are quite unpredictable.

    For Hungary it also means a system in which it is very difficult to compete for new entrants, because there are already established companies producing competitive stuff. It is hard for any Hungarian company to enter the global capitalism with competitive products. How could anybody produce any widget cheaper or in better quality than the German, Italian, Dutch producers (or the Chinese ones using German production lines) which has been making it for 125 years?

    People hate the competition, hate the pressure and dislike the corollaries, such as the fact that established foreign producers are winning in Hungary, while local Hungarian companies are losing out (ie. jobs disappearing) etc. It is not rational: they love the deals at Aldi and Lidl (the discount chains), but hate the Germans for killing small Hungarian retailers and producers. They hate the Chinese, but still go to the Chinese shops to get a good deal (perhaps that is why people hate them, that they are forced to go there, and any purchase at the Chinese shop is a reminder that they are the losers who cannot afford the shopping mall).

    So this is not a scientific term, but still it implies a system which people are strongly resisting. They would not resist it, if they liked it or were able to thrive in it. But they don’t and can’t and don’t want to. And politicians who do not see that there is such resistance will lose out.

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  24. Paul, I think you are mistaken. Orbán’s only interest is having his hands on the levers of power and he has managed to retain pretty much full control. Even should he fall short of the 2/3rds, he will be able to buy a couple of Jobbik MPs. Whether he enjoys public support or not is of no interest to him, in my view. And of course, they now have four years to plan how to rig the system once again.

    I also think you are being far too kind to the opposition. They won votes because people took the view that you had to vote for someone but they went into an election with no message and no belief they could win. There is nothing to build on. And it is quite depressing to see the people who won the constituencies – Heller, Kiss Péter, Burány, discredited individuals who are synonymous with all that is wrong about the MSZP. The only positives about the opposition, the ex LMP such as Rebeka Szabó who I think was an excellent opposition MP who did a great deal to protest about the land scandals, are now out of parliament and out of politics. The absymal Schiffer has survived, annoyingly, but to his credit, he does work hard in parliament.

    But no, nothing to be positive about in my view.

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  25. Paul :
    Well, I was wrong, and I’m very happy to admit it.
    The opposition improved their vote quite dramatically – considering their performance and the difficulty of getting their message out (what message?) they actually did very well indeed. They increased their number of constituencies, instead of losing them all, as I predicted, and it looks like LMP could still be in parliament. I was wrong three times over!
    In normal times, this would have been a very good opposition result. Unfortunately, we don’t live in normal times – there was no way Fidesz were going to lose this election. But we should take heart that, despite every trick Orbán pulled, the opposition vote increased, the Fidesz vote declined and Orbán only just hung on to his 2/3 majority.
    Orbán will claim this as a great victory and confirmation that the country thinks his government is doing the right things, but in his heart he knows he has failed – instead of consolidating his position, his support has actually declined. He wanted a definite, strong 2/3 majority, but he has only just clung on. And, even worse, far from locking Gyurcsány up, as he promised, his arch rival is back in parliament, and has helped form a strong opposition that has halted Fidesz’s ‘inevitable’ progress.
    Unfortunately, the opposition have learnt nothing from the last year. They are playing this as a terrible loss, not as an unexpected victory against incredible odds, and the beginning of a new fight-back. And they are (apparently) determined to commit political suicide by splitting up in parliament and allowing Jobbik to become the second biggest party – and the official opposition.
    Have they completely lost the plot?!

    Paul, I don’t want to be a scare monger, but tappanch’s comments under #12 and #14 show it clearly that the democratic opposition (the united left+lmp) lost a lot of net votes.

    Now, surely, the turnout was much lower yesterday than it was in 2010, so some loss was natural and expected — but Jobbik could still improve significantly in terms of number of votes.

    There is a clear trend in my mind. Fideszniks are moving towards Jobbik, which is on a roll. In addition, formerly leftist, working class areas are also moving towards Jobbik. Jobbik is now the party of the white working class. It became totally mainstream outside of Budapest (where 80% of the voters live).

    Meanwhile the Left is limited to sections of Budapest and has zero traction outside Budapest. The Left became the party of the educated, urban elite, not a big constituency.

    Rural people (people outside of Budapest) are done with the left. They will keep finding excuses why they will not vote for them, but that is the case.

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  26. Malna, countries are not fundamentally and unchangeably “unmodern” and stuck in 19c thought. In particular, if they had already gone through some rounds of modernisation. According to your arguments, Hungary should quit the EU as soon as possible and join Putin’s Euro-Asian Union. I have not yet heard demands to that effect. Ideas about state property being the solution of Hungary’s economic problems have been vague, and they are more related to self-sufficiency and strategic power issues than to growth or distribution except that it should not belong to “foreigners”. The ideas behind the “traditional” Hungarian approaches are not too elaborate that they could remain unchallenged in the contemporary world, the (low) living standards have been a recurrent theme since I started to follow Hungary, and the usefulness of the unorthodox methods will have to be proved in the next few years.

    Modernisation of the society including its mindset is possible (it has more or less been possible in Germany and Spain also, and these two countries certainly could compete with Hungary in terms of stubborn conservatism), and in fact Hungary is not so unmodern as it is described currently only because OV is massaging the country with his pseudo-St. Stephen feudal dream. People who did not vote in these elections count also, because they at least did not prove their attachment to any of the groups, including Fidesz and Jobbik, which they should were their conservatism and traditionalism so highly developed. So for me the outcome is far better than expected and I feel assured that OV’s dream will last shorter than what he hopes for.

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  27. smallest margins:

    BUDAPEST főváros 15.számú OEVK Budapest XVIII.ker. székhellyel
    feldolgozás állása: 98.68 %
    1. Kucsák László FIDESZ-KDNP szavazat: 20 104 különbség: 22
    2. Kunhalmi Ágnes MSZP-EGYÜTT-DK-PM-MLP szavazat: 20 082

    invalidated votes: 388, 0.72%
    2000 votes can still come from the domestic and foreign migrant votes

    BUDAPEST főváros 12.számú OEVK Budapest XV.ker. székhellyel
    feldolgozás állása: 98.79 %
    1. László Tamás FIDESZ-KDNP szavazat: 18 446 különbség: 253
    2. Móricz Eszter MSZP-EGYÜTT-DK-PM-MLP szavazat: 18 193

    invalidated votes: 576, 1.17%
    1793 votes can still come from the domestic and foreign migrant votes

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  28. Malna, you are not saying that people are criticising “capitalism” and the “market”, what you say is that there is apparently some resistance in the society to be confronted with the fact that you cannot have all at the same time. Which is all the more surprising as the impression from outside is that in Hungary the quality of nearly all public services is not really high, and people who really would need some support get it on a very low level (health care, child care, even education). Or are people opposed to better health care also?

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  29. Some days ago to the question of the Hungarian Spectrum, as to who will win the election, I wrote the following (and I am convinced that I am right), and NOTHING can change until my argument in the first paragraph will change…:

    1. As long as the FIDESZ rules 90% of the media, they will stay in power. AND as long as they stay in power, they will rule the media. The circle of dictatorship is full, closed and locked! Orwell’s 1984 is haunting the 21st century Hungary…

    2. And I am glad for a FIDESZ will win; let them eat what they have cooked… Let them rule a country that is completely ruined socially, economically, ethically, politically, etc… Sooner or later the fate of dictators will always catch up with them, and it won’t be a pretty sight!!!

    3. Hungarians at large are not very well educated (and I am being very mild about this…), and they are afraid of their own Government, afraid for their jobs, etc… But foremost, Ákos Kertész was right…

    4. However, it is only a question of time when the people of Hungary in spite of their limited understanding and appreciation of democracy will have enough, and will rise up against this dictatorship, because it is not far away when they have nothing to lose, but their chains… (again…).

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  30. Sewventeen hours after the close of the election, Fidesz officials found another 8000+ votes at Hungarian consulates

    So the total number of “Transylvanian” votes has reached 155,000

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  31. Just one thing folks, which might clear something up: remember how the Great O called the Russians all those nasty names for many years? Yes? And what is HE really?
    Well Well now, think of Mesterhazy and his name-calling of Viktor…See a similarity?

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  32. Let’s put the results in a historical perspective.

    Share of the vote of MSZP and liberal allies (running as 1 party in 2014) in previous elections (data from wikipedia):

    1990: 32% of the vote (21,8% SZDSZ 10,2% MSZP)
    1994: 49,9% of the vote (31,3% SZDSZ 18,6% MSZP)
    1998: 40% of the vote (29,8% MSZP 10,2% SZDSZ )
    2002: 47,3% of the vote (40,5% MSZP 6,8% SZDSZ)
    2006: 46,6% of the vote (40,3% MSZP 6,3% SZDSZ)
    2010: 29,44% of the vote (19,3%MSZP, LMP 7,47% , 2,67% MDF which merged with SZDSZ)
    2014 25,99% of the vote (MSZP-E14-DK-PM-MLP mega coalition together)

    So in all we can say that the left and liberal allies managed to get the historical absolute worst result in any election since the end of the cold war. Even if we were to add LMP with 5% to the last result it would be their second worst result in history. But I decided not to add the 2014 LMP because they now speak and act as a moderate right wing party whereas in 2010 they were clearly liberal.

    What do you think of my analysis please indicate if the historical data was wrong somewhere.

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  33. Kirsten, thanks for your comments. I am afraid, you misunderstand me. I do not advocate joining Putin’s Union. I am just stating the fact that people hate the current system. And the left could not address this issue, as it uncritically accepted the system.

    People are also ambivalent and full of contradictions, as all people are. You cannot blame them because of this.

    All I am saying is that people are resisting the system, and indeed among others there are some structural, objective reasons why Hungary could not really be successful when it joined globalization in 1990. Hungary has few, if any competitive advantages, and other important conditions, like the disciplined hard work as it exists in China, Korea or Japan, were not given either.

    Yes, modernization is a huge issue. But, apparently, people do not want to modernize. They feel that their lives are modern enough, at max. they want to have more money and consume more.

    Also, you are right: people do not want to face that they “cannot have all”. In fact they do not want to hear this issue from anybody. They want to dream that they can have it all and reward politicians who make them believe that it is possible. They hate politicians who, instead of at least seemingly helping them, making them face such hard facts. Like SZDSZ did with health care, that people should accept that there are hard financial truths behind the health care system. No. People do not want to hear that and will vote out those who are trying to force them to accept these things. The Left just did not get this, instead it was evangelic about forcing people to face reality. It may be a noble mission, but it sure killed the left’s reputation for good.

    Who would vote for more competition, more open markets, foreign ownership, privatized health care (for which the Left stands, at least a good media case can be made for those), when they can have the strong and protective Fidesz and Jobbik?

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  34. @ Malna

    “…people hate the current (western) system…”

    Sure, because it entails, competition and requires resourcefulness, industriousness, self-sacrifice, and the postponement or gains to a future time–all well nigh impossible for most Hungarians who like immediate profit, the minimum of work and application, and the gratification of unearned rewards. So, like children. And like children, they need to be told what and when to do.

    Orban is perfect for them.

    Hajra Magyarok!

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  35. HUNGARY!
    What other European country would tolerate the calculated insult and unfairness of having their country designated as CHRISTIAN….?

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  36. The situation before adding the the votes of domestic people who voted in a different Hungarian district or at an embassy:

    FIDESZ-KDNP 2 075 832 43.69 %
    MSZP-EGYÜTT-DK-PM-MLP 1 245 674 26.21 %
    JOBBIK 983 522 20.7 %
    LMP 252 078 5.3 %
    MUNKÁSPÁRT 27 663 0.58 %

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  37. I think it would be high time to abandon the obsolete ‘left’ and ‘right’ as political adjectives regarding Hungarian politics. Strictly speaking none of the parties fit into those categories, whatsoever.

    Otherwise I tend to agree with the Ákos Kertész reference with some extent, albeit in my opinion the mentality is learned, as is in ‘dressure’. Living under oppression for many centuries and particularly during the previous century may have left the deeply embedded effect of acceptance of power over ourselves, someone else decides and take responsibility, the average people just will get along somehow, whatever the circumstances are, rather adopting than rebelling against, taking it quite a long time before something breaks. Kind of survivor instinct, even accept servility, that they can handle well.
    Deciding with ones own head and facing with the consequences rather uncommon characteristics, even these days.

    If one thinks of the shocking numbers of dirt-poor people voting for the very same person who made them suffer more, hard to come up with any other reasonable explanation, to me at least

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  38. Jano :

    I see this completely differently than Eva. The opposition has no potential to grow together. Going their separate ways they can build more identity and attract more followers so that possibly uniting again in 2018 might actually end up as a successful alliance as opposed to this disaster.

    But Jano, But this electoral law favors a two-party system.

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  39. Who would vote for more competition, more open markets, foreign ownership, privatized health care (for which the Left stands, at least a good media case can be made for those), when they can have the strong and protective Fidesz and Jobbik?

    Bloody weird idea of a Left you have, and wayyyyy outside the international norms. If you’re going to call it something, try Reformism or neo-liberalism, but exposing healthcare to the same pressures as the highly inefficient US system is not Leftist!

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  40. Eva S. Balogh :

    Jano :
    I see this completely differently than Eva. The opposition has no potential to grow together. Going their separate ways they can build more identity and attract more followers so that possibly uniting again in 2018 might actually end up as a successful alliance as opposed to this disaster.

    But Jano, But this electoral law favors a two-party system.

    Eva is right on this and there is no reason to think that ‘possibly uniting again in 2018’ will result in anything better than the farce we’ve already seen. What’s needed here is one party with different platforms and an energetic new leadership which can try to galvanise whatever else is left of the scattered voter base. And of course new organisations, movements, parties, to pitch at those areas which are currently out of reach.

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  41. SAD, sad day for HS. All those vitriolic attacks by you on VO had no effect. Some of you will be in long term therapy now. BUT look at the bright side! You will have fodder for the next four years. It is more fun to have Viktor to kick around. Éva will be churning out those Epistles as before, or just reprint some old ones for your consumption.

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  42. The concept of shame is unknown to the insiders and the dumbeddown and corrupted supporters of FIDESZ.

    When Orban cleverly plunders Hungary, the loyal choir is keeping on singing glorifying Psalms.

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  43. Official will mix the votes of the nomadic domestic voters and the embassy voters with the votes of one precinct (?) or urn (?).

    Is there any way to watch the chain of custody of these votes to be mixed?

    Is there any way to count them separately?

    remaining local urn/precinct: #
    embassy votes: #
    nomadic votes: #

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  44. David Sade :
    Some days ago to the question of the Hungarian Spectrum, as to who will win the election, I wrote the following (and I am convinced that I am right), and NOTHING can change until my argument in the first paragraph will change…:
    1. As long as the FIDESZ rules 90% of the media, they will stay in power. AND as long as they stay in power, they will rule the media. The circle of dictatorship is full, closed and locked! Orwell’s 1984 is haunting the 21st century Hungary…
    2. And I am glad for a FIDESZ will win; let them eat what they have cooked… Let them rule a country that is completely ruined socially, economically, ethically, politically, etc… Sooner or later the fate of dictators will always catch up with them, and it won’t be a pretty sight!!!
    3. Hungarians at large are not very well educated (and I am being very mild about this…), and they are afraid of their own Government, afraid for their jobs, etc… But foremost, Ákos Kertész was right…
    4. However, it is only a question of time when the people of Hungary in spite of their limited understanding and appreciation of democracy will have enough, and will rise up against this dictatorship, because it is not far away when they have nothing to lose, but their chains… (again…).

    This is probably the worst informed, most confused and totally incorrect “analysis” I have ever read on this blog. Do make up your mind please! Will FIDESZ rule forever or will the people will rise and blood will run in the streets? You can’t have both! Or not without suggesting that this rabble will be able to defeat a risen people.

    As far as I am concerned, your first paragraph is total nonsense, the last one is not totally unlikely, but should it ever happen, the 64 thousand dollar question of the hour is: WHOSE BLOOD? I am normally a very peaceable person, but I am fairly sure I would be there in the streets with the risen to cleanse Hungary of the current mafia government and put something honest, truly democratic and workable in its place.

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  45. Joe Simon, in a way, you are right. I’ve been visiting this blog for almost four years, off and on, and watching horrified how things have developed in Hungary. HS with its daily topic, does offer at least the illusion that there are people concerned about what is happening, and that eventually, the way we see things will be eventually reflected in the ballot box. But it hasn’t been. In the end, however unfair the electoral system, it still proved that the majority of people in Hungary don’t share our concerns. A friend of mine who had her pension money stolen decided not to vote because “they are all the same.” She really doesn’t seem to understand or care that her money was stolen by the government. So what can you do? In the end, that is the way it is and I don’t have to live there,.

    I think a lot of us who come here should perhaps ask ourselves if perhaps we haven’t lost the battle and give up Hungary as lost. I lived in the country for many years, know the language, married one of its citizens, but the country I fell in love with is gone, and perhaps I should accept the fact. The Joe Simon’s and Louis Kovacs’s and others who are unfairly labelled trolls do indeed reflect modern Hungary far better than any of the rest of us.

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  46. whoever :

    Who would vote for more competition, more open markets, foreign ownership, privatized health care (for which the Left stands, at least a good media case can be made for those), when they can have the strong and protective Fidesz and Jobbik?

    Bloody weird idea of a Left you have, and wayyyyy outside the international norms. If you’re going to call it something, try Reformism or neo-liberalism, but exposing healthcare to the same pressures as the highly inefficient US system is not Leftist!

    I was exaggerating of course to make a point, but it is a fact that a leftist government (under Gyurcsány with the SZDSZ) introduced co-payment, and a host of transparency, rationality rules and wanted to (did) privatize some of the smaller, quite hopeless country-side hospitals, all of which were fiercely resisted by all involved constituencies.

    Fidesz successfully killed these efforts: eventually the government diluted the reforms so that the pain was felt, but there were no results. In any case, the right wing media empire can trump this up these experiences. The Hungarian Left now has a reputation in the country as a capitalist party (the party of “communist oligarchs and billionaires” like Gyurcsány and Bajnai — never mind the truth content of these stories, the point is people believe them and act accordingly).

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  47. David Sade :
    Some days ago to the question of the Hungarian Spectrum, as to who will win the election, I wrote the following (and I am convinced that I am right), and NOTHING can change until my argument in the first paragraph will change…:
    1. As long as the FIDESZ rules 90% of the media, they will stay in power. AND as long as they stay in power, they will rule the media. The circle of dictatorship is full, closed and locked! Orwell’s 1984 is haunting the 21st century Hungary…
    2. And I am glad for a FIDESZ will win; let them eat what they have cooked… Let them rule a country that is completely ruined socially, economically, ethically, politically, etc… Sooner or later the fate of dictators will always catch up with them, and it won’t be a pretty sight!!!
    3. Hungarians at large are not very well educated (and I am being very mild about this…), and they are afraid of their own Government, afraid for their jobs, etc… But foremost, Ákos Kertész was right…
    4. However, it is only a question of time when the people of Hungary in spite of their limited understanding and appreciation of democracy will have enough, and will rise up against this dictatorship, because it is not far away when they have nothing to lose, but their chains… (again…).

    Just one point. It has been mentioned, but I repeat this. Hungarian lefty and liberal people will never rise up. It is one thing that their numbers are in terminal decline, but most importantly they are not capable such actions.

    Only the well-organized, aggressive and militant right-wingers can rise up.

    Democratic-minded people never will. Orban can do whatever he wants to do with them.

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  48. Joe Simon :
    SAD, sad day for HS. All those vitriolic attacks by you on VO had no effect. Some of you will be in long term therapy now. BUT look at the bright side! You will have fodder for the next four years. It is more fun to have Viktor to kick around. Éva will be churning out those Epistles as before, or just reprint some old ones for your consumption.

    So, are you moving back to Hungary now to support the Dear Leader? Why preach from here when you can support him from there?

    tappanch :
    The fate of about ten mandates depend on these votes.

    Question: Myunderstanding that you were able to vote outside from your district for your district. Did that already counted those “outside votes”? Are those votes included?

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  49. As others have stated (and not to discount all the failures of the democratic opposition outside Bp) the real issue with Hungarian democracy is the fact that Orban and his friends own basically all of the media. There were probably 20 scandals over the past 4 years that would have crippled a government in a western country, but the Orban regime basically sailed through, because of the deliberate lack of media scrutiny. Until that changes, somehow, then no opposition will be able to grow more than the 5% or so you can get with word-of-mouth and the internet.

    What will be interesting is if they start to put Jobbik in the cross-hairs.

    (I would also not include LMP with MSZP and allies in 2010: LMP were very hostile to MSZP throughout the campaign, and definitely could not be counted as allies.)

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  50. Malna, with your “people just hate the current system” you are taking something as given that I believe is not. You are suggesting that what the Hungarian politicians sold in the 1980s and 1990s to people as “West” and “capitalism” is indeed what must be meant by it. It need not, it was often some technocratic version of it by people too influenced by cynical and determinist Communist thinking (If Communism can be planned, “free markets” and “modern political society” can be planned also). Plus the typical post-Communist wild privatisation and disrespect for rule based behaviour without a central plan, in addition coupled with the “wisdom” of outsmarting people as the basis of success. It is indeed telling that opposition to such practice has come with an allegedly rural or “traditional” background. But the bekemenet last week was not a rural march but somehow a quite modern march reminiscent more of Communism than of some peasant festivity.

    So all this talk about how uneducated, inexperienced, naive people are for me means only that this is how it is convenient for many people, first and foremost for the Budapest educated elites, to think about the problem. Too easy answers to the problem of how to give Hungary a modern programme and outlook. Behind this “people just hate the current system” or “capitalism” is very little analysis except opposition as such, so why exactly do you take it as so unchangeable? So far, government led, traditional societies have not been able to achieve living standards without embracing technology and industry as countries have that have some combination of public and private property. The pretended opposition to capitalism is in fact quite blind, as it has no positive programme. Or do you know of some?

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  51. I think one of the most significant aspects to the results is that out of the 106, there are now 41 constituencies in which Jobbik is in second place, only one of which is in Budapest. So outside Budapest, 40 of the 88 constituencies are now essentially comprised of a Fidesz-Jobbik competition, with the ageing MSZP voter base dwindling further. That would appear to be the democratic choice in large swathes of Hungary. In these circumstances it is almost certain that Jobbik will build great strength in local government.

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  52. Kirsten, I stated my suspicions and beliefs. Whether those are true, I do not know. I definitely see indications, but cannot be sure. I am not saying either that rural people are dumb and inherently incapable of understanding the world.

    What I am saying is that people outside of Budapest, by and large, are not comfortable with capitalism and cannot say so otherwise than voting for Fidesz or Jobbik.

    I don’t think you should argue with me on the merits. Perhaps with the people who voted for Fidesz and Jobbik en masse. Actually to say that people don’t like capitalism is not such a simple argument as it sounds. It is a complex issue, and I am raising this for further research, because the left until know pretended that everything was fine with the economic system (we just need a better governance) and has never uttered a word about it or about its consequences on local communities, jobs, education, migration, environment etc. Meanwhile Fidesz and Jobbik contested main tenets of capitalist dogma and, like it or not, between them, won big time.

    Note that Jobbik even increased the number of its voters substantially despite the decreasing turnout and a media system that was disadvantageous to Jobbik too (although Jobbik did not suffer from the negative campaigns so much).

    I do believe (but like I said, I am unable to prove this) that capitalism as it has been playing out in Hungary is one of the fundamental reasons of Fidesz/Jobbik’s increasing entrenchment and the refusal of the conformist left by most people. But it is not just about jobs or incomes, but about the anxieties, the constant change, the pressures, the failures, the humiliations, the disappointments for which the left has apparently no recipe at all. This showed in the left’s results.

    Issues like media, gerrymandering, internal division, weak campaign, lack of charisma etc. should only come after the fundamental problems are addressed.

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  53. tappanch :
    2014 vs 2010.
    Fidesz: – 0.66 million
    United Opposition+ LMP: – 0.18 million
    Jobbik: +0.96
    UNited Opposition+ LMP lost
    http://index.hu/belfold/valasztas/2014/04/07/1998_ota_nem_szavaztak_ilyen_kevesen_a_fideszre/

    You have never been very good with numbers, have you tappanch?
    Based on the article you have posted, the actual numbers are:
    Fidesz: -0.66 million (this one you managed to read correctly)
    Old Left & LMP: +0.07m
    Jobbik: +0.1m

    So while LMP did lose some 0.13m votes – no wonder given the Bajnai-induced schism of the party – this was more than offset by the Old Left’s 0.2m increase. I would have preferred it the other way round, but there you go. Bottom line is that the non-nationalist parties have actually gained some votes (combined), which is no mean feat considering that voter turnout almost hit bottom this year.

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  54. Malna: “But it is not just about jobs or incomes, but about the anxieties, the constant change, the pressures, the failures, the humiliations, the disappointments for which the left has apparently no recipe at all.”

    But “answers” in the form of “revolution” (oh, meaning change?!) and “media massage” do not seem too promising either. Which is why I believe that “people just hate capitalism” is as deeply rooted as “Hungary has always wished to belong to the West (proved in 1956)” or “people just hate Communists” or “people just loved the Kadar years”. Momentary judgement, which should not distract people from a real longer term strategy for Hungary, taking into account the complicated past, the limited experience with democracy and the confused political ideas that abound.

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  55. Officials found an extra 17,000+ “Transylvanian” votes !!

    They need them to reach 90,000 new Fidesz votes (they have only 60,000) from this bunch to get an extra seat in Parliament to secure the 2/3 majority.

    At noon today, officials published that allegedly 8,708 votes were dropped off at consulates yesterday.

    At 3PM today, they published 4,330 new votes that were allegedly
    “dropped off at the headquarters of a [Hungarian] Individual Electoral District” yesterday.

    Did anyone check the IDs of the people that turned in these votes?

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  56. Well mr. democrat in the US (the leader of the free world) the president is chosen by roughly half of eligible voters casting votes and roughly half vote for one guy the other for the other guy. so about 25% of the eligible voters decide who will be the “leader” of the free world. It is even worse in Canada where a comfortable majority can be gained by taking 35% of the votes. With 60% turnout, we are looking at 21% of voters deciding the next prime minister. If this was your argument to delegitimize Orban, it is not much of an argument at all.

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  57. tappanch, could you document this for us? I mean explain precisely where this information is reported etc. It is such blatant fraud that I think the outside world should know and there should be some sort of clear unambiguous proof that we can point people to.

    By the way, I read that only 45% of the 180 000 Transylvanian votes were valid. Is that still the case?

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  58. Using the UK electorial system in Hungary, there would have 189 Fidesz-KDNP MPs (95%) now and 10 MPs from your postcommie/libnazi favourites. :)

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  59. THE REAL DEMOCRACY :
    Well mr. democrat in the US (the leader of the free world) the president is chosen by roughly half of eligible voters casting votes and roughly half vote for one guy the other for the other guy. so about 25% of the eligible voters decide who will be the “leader” of the free world. It is even worse in Canada where a comfortable majority can be gained by taking 35% of the votes. With 60% turnout, we are looking at 21% of voters deciding the next prime minister. If this was your argument to delegitimize Orban, it is not much of an argument at all.

    Very poor analogy. An American president can not rule unilaterally unless his party also wins a majority of the the House of Representatives and the Senate. This is a rare situation and even more unlikely to continue through the second half of a term of office. In addition, American Presidents can only serve two terms. No such check exists in the Hungarian system.

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  60. Here is the Fidesz post-election day math to get 2/3 majority.

    THey are not sure about Kunhalmi’s seat
    (a margin of 22 with 2000 vote still coming in from cross/nomadic/migrant votes and counted om April 12, Saturday (!)),

    so they secure the 2/3 through the Trianon/Transylvania votes.

    You need 7834526/93= 84242 votes for a list seat.

    109,805 outer envelopes yielded 60,059 Fidesz votes
    49,532 new outer envelopes may yield 27,092 new Fidesz votes
    Together 87,151 Fidesz votes, a new party list seat.

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  61. THE REAL DEMOCRACY :
    Using the UK electorial system in Hungary, there would have 189 Fidesz-KDNP MPs (95%) now and 10 MPs from your postcommie/libnazi favourites. :)

    FPTP is an extremely harsh system, but if it works at all, it’s as a result of political staticity and continuity, probably as a result of 240 years rather than 24. Your argument could also be made about the somewhat illogical/irrational/overwhelming MSZP victory in 1994. Let’s have a look at that map again: – note that in this case the old system of proportionality provided Fidesz – KDNP – FKGP – MDF with 106 seats (about 27% of the total), rather than the 25 seats that they would otherwise have garnered from constituencies.

    The arguments about gerrymandering don’t entirely ring true to me (name a democracy where gerrymandering doesn’t occur to a greater or lesser extent) but – believe me – if the recent past is anything to go by, Fidesz is not going to be a 1000-year reich, and the map can and will change very quickly.

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  62. @HiBoM

    “precisely where this information is reported ” – it is reported by me, Tappanch News Agency

    All data come from remote corners of the official valasztas.hu site.

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  63. tappanch, I’m not criticising you. I just hope you are making screen shots etc. so that you can present a step-by-step account of what is going on, in case any Western journalist is interested. Is there any chance that LMP could be edged out of parliament by Transylvanian votes? Yesterday, you seemed to think so.

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  64. Eva S. Balogh :

    Jano :
    I see this completely differently than Eva. The opposition has no potential to grow together. Going their separate ways they can build more identity and attract more followers so that possibly uniting again in 2018 might actually end up as a successful alliance as opposed to this disaster.

    But Jano, But this electoral law favors a two-party system.

    That’s still not going to work. Even though electorally, the union was a better technical solution, it doomed the parties into absolute impotence as far as saying anything about the future matters. It would make no difference if these parties actually united into one ‘big’ party (which is an absolute utopia, anybody thinking that this is a viable option are deluding themselves and completely ignoring the character and nature of the parties involved), they have no potential to grow.

    I also think it was a huge mistake to do a joint party list, cooperation on the level of the electoral list would have been more than enough. These parties can have a character separately if they go smart about it, which I’m sure would have been able to attract and cover a wider electoral base than the gray uniform mess they ended up. I for example would have voted for a separate Együtt. This way I rather chose LMP, and in view of the results, I can definitely say I made the right choice.

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  65. “It would make no difference if these parties actually united into one ‘big’ party (which is an absolute utopia, anybody thinking that this is a viable option are deluding themselves and completely ignoring the character and nature of the parties involved), they have no potential to grow. ”

    You may be right here, but if there is not enough common ground between these parties to even consider a ‘broad church’ party then there is very little chance on them agreeing on how to run a government! In other words, the opposition forces have little prospect of growth, either together or apart. In fact there are lots of policy overlaps between all of them – Egyutt is itself a coalition – but ultimately this is all about ego. Win with us in 2018! Glug, glug, glug…

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  66. @Jano, so, you hope that in the next few years one of these parties will grow very large and thus it will be able to enter an electoral race with a good chance of winning. I doubt that MSZP with Mesterházy will be the one. But then who?

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  67. Using the UK electorial system in Hungary, there would be no way so many cheats could of happen leading up to the day of election. No way that citizens would be allowed to vote under different rules, like some can mail their votes in and others can’t. It would also not be allowed that civil organizations could be financed by election money.
    Now the MPs from the Fidesz postcommie/nazi favourites are in charge. Look at KISZ and MSZP records of Orban and Kover. Nice government people voted for. I thought Hungarians wanted the communists and Russians out, but now they are welcoming them with open arms. This of course raises the question, those who want Fidesz in power have something to hide? Do not foregt Fidesz is the only party who does not want to open up the files that contain the list of secret agents under the Kadar regime. Did they supported Orban and Kover even when they were proud communists?

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  68. I know people want to look at the bright side but this map sums up the situation.

    This is a map of the parties who came in second place.

    There is no way back from this in the forseeable future. There is no way that the democratic opposition can win, when its former heartlands in the East/North East has been so effectively plundered. It really is Game Over. Unless somehow, as if by magic, Jobbik disappear, the maths just doesn’t add up. And if Fidesz screw up totally, then there is little doubt what will happen to the Fidesz voter base.

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  69. I have to agree with whoever. I don’t see much room for hope here. Only a truly failed society. Hungary has sunk so much lower since 19889 than I ever could have imagined. Personally, I am in despair.

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  70. Eva: I’m hoping that any of them (including LMP) will be able to bring in new voters to the left-liberal core base. I’m not very optimistic, but staying united, their ideological differences would prevent any sort of characteristic image building or re-building or the formulation of brave and consistent messages for either of them. This way all they could hope for is the reslicing of a probably shrinking cake. Separately they can cover much more than that. The mere anti-Orbanism they can agree on is not attractive as yesterday’s vote clearly pointed out.

    What should happen for the 2018 elections is something they can get back to in two years. The EU elections doesn’t require any cooperation, while cooperation for local elections can and should be done at the local level.

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  71. Whoever, that map says it all. There is simply no hope for the foreseeable future. The current opposition are basically in irrelevance and I see that Fodor is pondering whether to have his own fraction or not. It is just embarrassing and the only resignation speech (by Mesterházy) appeared on Hircsarda (the satirical site). So I hope we don’t see any comments here suggesting with a straight face that Mesterházy, Gyurcsány or Fodor represent anything other than themselves.

    The only hope is now that somehow there is some sort of Fidesz split, to encourage a new right of centre party that perhaps might slowly creep to the centre. Even that is quite impossible to imagine but I feel it is more realistic than Gyurcsány suddenly leading a revival.

    As things stand, I think the pace of emigration will quicken.

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  72. “Az MSZP elnöke és tegnapig miniszterelnök-jelöltje elmondta: vállalja a felelősséget a bukásért és levonta a konzekvenciákat.”

    Quite! :-/

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  73. On election day, my wife was very upset as she did not know where exactly to vote in our district. In previous years a letter has arrived some days or even weeks before. Eventually she found the correct place and voted. This Monday morning, the letter with the exact address arrived through the mail! Another dirty election trick or just “lost in the post”?

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  74. I think the implications of the rise of the radical right in central Europe are simply enormous. The Jobbik vote of 20.7% of which at least 5% are likely Magyar Nemzeti Garda sympathizers indicates very big problems ahead for Hungary’s relationship with the EU and problems for the human rights of Roma.

    The Fascist Garda in an article about one of its “commemorations” discusses how it has become effectively legitimatized stating the author was “still surprised when I do not see the army of flashing police car that was ” essential ” accessory for this event for years. Last year and this year , however, there is only one patrol car on the opposite side of the road . Perhaps the police found out that you do not have to be afraid of us.” Yes, fascism is now becoming legitimate in Hungary, shall the state build a memorial to Ferenc Szalasi?

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  75. If the ”democratic opposition” has no chance of winning democratic elections, then one wonders how ”democratic” this ”democratic opposition” actually is? 😉

    whoever :
    I know people want to look at the bright side but this map sums up the situation.
    ” rel=”nofollow”>
    This is a map of the parties who came in second place.
    There is no way back from this in the forseeable future. There is no way that the democratic opposition can win, when its former heartlands in the East/North East has been so effectively plundered. It really is Game Over. Unless somehow, as if by magic, Jobbik disappear, the maths just doesn’t add up. And if Fidesz screw up totally, then there is little doubt what will happen to the Fidesz voter base.

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  76. But the view that economically speaking MSzP has been to the right of conservatives (MDF and now Fidesz) is supported by Western authors, too. See e.g. Bodan Todosijević The Hungarian Voter: Left–Right Dimension as a Clue to Policy Preferences in International Political Science Review (2004), Vol 25, No. 4, p. 421

    Malna :

    whoever :

    Who would vote for more competition, more open markets, foreign ownership, privatized health care (for which the Left stands, at least a good media case can be made for those), when they can have the strong and protective Fidesz and Jobbik?

    Bloody weird idea of a Left you have, and wayyyyy outside the international norms. If you’re going to call it something, try Reformism or neo-liberalism, but exposing healthcare to the same pressures as the highly inefficient US system is not Leftist!

    I was exaggerating of course to make a point, but it is a fact that a leftist government (under Gyurcsány with the SZDSZ) introduced co-payment, and a host of transparency, rationality rules and wanted to (did) privatize some of the smaller, quite hopeless country-side hospitals, all of which were fiercely resisted by all involved constituencies.
    Fidesz successfully killed these efforts: eventually the government diluted the reforms so that the pain was felt, but there were no results. In any case, the right wing media empire can trump this up these experiences. The Hungarian Left now has a reputation in the country as a capitalist party (the party of “communist oligarchs and billionaires” like Gyurcsány and Bajnai — never mind the truth content of these stories, the point is people believe them and act accordingly).

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  77. I know there have been many problems with MSZP governments in the past, but looking back, I don’t actually think the MSZP/SZDSZ government from 2002-2006 were really ‘right wing’ in any tangible sense, and Medgyessy was a kind of social liberal/social democrat. As for 2006-2008 – it was a mess, from beginning to end, all sorts of half-baked attempts to privatise this and cut that, in amongst the chaos. I think the MSZP’s infrastructure projects were a form of interventionism. However, their view of the domestic economy was very neglectful, I feel, both from a Keynesian and a supply-side perspective. On the whole though, they didn’t introduce workfare, introduce a flat income tax and slap regressive taxes on almost everything. The MSZP economic policy was barely economics at all, but it was still more left-wing than Fidesz!

    At the core of this, interpretations of the 1994-1998 Horn government vary widely, but many credible commentators suggest that the adoption of the Bokros package was done somewhat reluctantly – the MSZP didn’t suddenly become wholesale economic liberals, but drifted/were pushed into the course at that particular time. Put simply, I don’t think the MSZP had/have a working philosophy for governance and they tend to follow the path of least resistance.

    And the idea that there was any real wiggle-room in many areas of Hungarian fiscal policy after the 2008 GFC is a fantasy, I suspect. Certainly Mark on this site and others did suggest ways to loosen up policy and go more for growth. At the same time, one certainly couldn’t accuse Fidesz of going for growth in the last few years… at all.

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  78. Eva S. Balogh :

    tappanch :
    Kunhalmi lost by 22 votes, but there are still 2000 votes outstanding!

    Where do these outstanding votes come from?

    Victor will now unveil a Felcsutian trick: in the recount, Kunhalmi will win!
    And now, Felcsutian humor at full throttle, Orban, being 1 seat short of 2/3, will throw his arms up, and declare, I’ve been ‘forced’ to do it….and invite Jobbik to join the government ruling party.

    The fun begins…

    HAJRA MAGYAROK!!!

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  79. petofi :

    Eva S. Balogh :

    tappanch :
    Kunhalmi lost by 22 votes, but there are still 2000 votes outstanding!

    Where do these outstanding votes come from?

    Victor will now unveil a Felcsutian trick: in the recount, Kunhalmi will win!
    And now, Felcsutian humor at full throttle, Orban, being 1 seat short of 2/3, will throw his arms up, and declare, I’ve been ‘forced’ to do it….and invite Jobbik to join the government ruling party.

    The fun begins…

    HAJRA MAGYAROK!!!

    I don’t think it will be necessary. They will find the vote in Transylvania.

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  80. Lokalkosmopolit :
    Good point.

    THE REAL DEMOCRACY :
    Using the UK electorial system in Hungary, there would have 189 Fidesz-KDNP MPs (95%) now and 10 MPs from your postcommie/libnazi favourites. :)

    Yes! Thank goodness Fidesz democratically (not like under the communists) reformatted the election law on a way that they needed less vote to win now then to loose in 2002 and 2006!
    Maybe in the next four year they will insert some points so even with two total vote they could win! That way only Kover and Orban has to go to the election boots and Hungary will spare all the money!

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  81. LMP did a favor to Fidesz in Budapest… if they had joined the united opposition, the democratic opposition could have won most individual districts in Budapest. And I doubt Orban would be this close to 2/3.

    Of course, it would have still been a clear Fidesz win in the rest of the country.

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  82. Judging by my facebook friends, if LMP had joined the united opposition, they would not have voted for them. I think you under estimate how profoundly unimpressive many people found Unity which is why someone as profoundly unimpressive as Schiffer has been proven correct. Annoying but there you have it.

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  83. Eva S. Balogh :

    petofi :

    Eva S. Balogh :

    tappanch :
    Kunhalmi lost by 22 votes, but there are still 2000 votes outstanding!

    Where do these outstanding votes come from?

    Victor will now unveil a Felcsutian trick: in the recount, Kunhalmi will win!
    And now, Felcsutian humor at full throttle, Orban, being 1 seat short of 2/3, will throw his arms up, and declare, I’ve been ‘forced’ to do it….and invite Jobbik to join the government ruling party.
    The fun begins…
    HAJRA MAGYAROK!!!

    I don’t think it will be necessary. They will find the vote in Transylvania.

    I’m gonna take a wild guess that Orban will suppress those Transylvanian votes.
    He wants Jobbik in government…just to aggravate the international, jewish, cabal!

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  84. @HiBoM

    “I think you under estimate how profoundly unimpressive many people found Unity…”

    Agreed. But surely the worst part was to have Mesterhazy as the leader! It should’ve been
    Bajnai. Or, if they had had the sense to invite Bokros, he would’ve been ideal. Anyone but
    Mesterhazy. I suppose Gyurcsany–forever hachet-jobbed–could not be picked. Maybe, a joint Bajnai-Bokros ticket would’ve been best.

    And please stop all this nonsense talk of the failure of the Left! Hungarians wouldn’t know ideology if it hit them in the face. Even if they did, they don’t care about it. Give them an attractive face, a heroic voice praising their talents and achievements (? sic!)….and the
    Hungarian Everyman is filled to satisfaction.

    But back to Bajnai…he’s ever more impressive as he gains his footing. He has to dump that advisor. They should’ve had him stomping the countryside 6 months ago, with speeches ever more fiery as he went. Bajnai is the future of the country: I hope he has the staying power to see it though.

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  85. petofi :
    But back to Bajnai…he’s ever more impressive as he gains his footing. He has to dump that advisor. They should’ve had him stomping the countryside 6 months ago, with speeches ever more fiery as he went. Bajnai is the future of the country: I hope he has the staying power to see it though.

    They should have, indeed. A slight blemish, though that six months ago he couldn’t even decide if he really want to do this whole “Unity” thing… Unfortunately he kept procrastinating trough the best part of previous year, effectively nullifying the initial momentum what they indeed have had at the beginning. People lost enthusiasm, then hope, finally interest, and then they started negotiating again, and so on.
    A pity, really, since I expressed already he grew into a role to last few weeks, too late by then.

    Remember, Bajnai never before acted as a full blown politician,- wasn’t necessary I guess – he was the quiet professional but hardly more, let alone a campaign orator, so, compared to his previous life he made quite a leap.
    Next time he will come with more experience, I hope.

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  86. There will be “blood on the street”. Hungarians will soon start mass demonstrations against Orban, demanding to increase the cost of living by raising taxes, increase the cost of gas, electricity etc., impose more burden on the ordinary people and most importantly, stop telling them how fantastic and talented they are.

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