The beginning of the end? Huge electoral victory in Veszprém

I must say that I was not very optimistic this morning about the chances of Zoltán Kész, the independent candidate in the first electoral district of Veszprém County. Early morning here in the eastern United States, when it was around noon in Hungary, it looked as if the turnout was very low by comparison to 2014. A low turnout usually benefits Fidesz because, at least until now, Fidesz could mobilize its voting base much more successfully than the left-of-center parties. I was disappointed and depressed, thinking: What has to happen to move Hungarians politically? Don’t they realize the significance of this by-election? I was especially disappointed because I knew from an earlier poll that the independent candidate, who was supported by MSZP, DK, Együtt, and PM, was running strong. At that time, about a week and a half ago, Kész was still behind, but only by 6%. He was leading in the city of Veszprém itself but lagged in the countryside. It seemed that Kész might just stand a chance of winning. But only if his supporters got off their duffs and went to the polls.

By the afternoon the statistics had improved somewhat, although the turnout was still much lower than at the April 2014 election. At the final count only 42% of the eligible voters cast their votes. Admittedly, the turnout in by-elections is normally lower than at regularly scheduled national elections. Moreover, today’s weather was not at all kind to politics in and around Veszprém: it was raining and cold.

Why is this by-election an important political event? Most people would say that the importance of Zoltán Kész’s win lies in Fidesz’s loss of its two-thirds super majority. Yes, that is important, very important. But even more significant to my mind is the loss of a seat that had been firmly in Fidesz hands for almost two decades. The man who held the seat until last November was a key Fidesz politician who served in all three Orbán governments. Tibor Navracsics was chief-of-staff to Viktor Orbán between 1998 and 2002. When Fidesz was in opposition, he headed the Fidesz parliamentary delegation, and in 2010 he became minister of justice and deputy prime minister. He was a Veszprém native and popular in his district. In 2014 he won hands down, with 47.25% of the votes against 27.64% for the candidate of the united opposition. Veszprém was one of the strongest bastions of Fideszdom.

After 2014 Navracsics was no longer a major force in national politics. For one reason or other Viktor Orbán had stopped relying on his advice. But the prime minister is usually generous with people whom he decides to drop, and therefore Navracsics was appointed to the European Commission. Hence the need for a by-election in this particular district.

Whatever his relations with the prime minister, Navracsics is a loyal party member. He campaigned on behalf of Lajos Némedi, the Fidesz candidate, whom he more or less hand picked for the job. The Fidesz leadership, however, expended little energy on the campaign, at least initially. Most likely they were convinced that the district was safe. Zoltán Kész’s campaign focused on the issue of Fidesz’s super-majority, arguing that the two-thirds majority can be broken by the “brave” people of Veszprém and environs. Fidesz politicians belittled the importance of the issue. They claimed that  the two-thirds majority is no longer of vital importance for the Orbán government. The government has done everything it wanted to. The “great work” has been accomplished. Now comes only fine tuning, which the government can do without a super-majority.

About half way through the campaign Fidesz must have realized that something was amiss in Veszprém. Most likely they hired pollsters who reported to party headquarters that Fidesz was no longer popular in the city. That’s when Fidesz activists moved into high gear and when the party spent a considerable amount of money in an attempt to change the prevailing anti-Fidesz sentiment. The government promised a new Olympic size swimming pool. Mihály Varga, minister of economy, told the voters in a robo-call that if they don’t vote for the Fidesz candidate they will not receive any favors from Budapest. Neither the promise nor the threat worked.

So, let’s see the figures. Four “independent candidates” were registered and ran, some of whom were men Fidesz enlisted to confuse the voters. The ruse failed. One such “independent” got 70 votes; another received 111; and a third man, 221. By comparison, Zoltán Kész, the winner, got 13,871 votes and his Fidesz opponent, Lajos Némedi, 10,939. The communist party also ran: 124 people voted for them.

Zoltán Kész's victory speech

Zoltán Kész’s victory speech

According to the final count, Zoltán Kész (MSZP-DK-Együtt-PM) received 42.66% of the votes, Lajos Némedi (Fidesz-KDNP) 33.64%, Jobbik 14.14%, and LMP 4.57%. Both Jobbik and LMP dropped in popularity from the 2014 election. In 2014 Jobbik received 16.48% and LMP, running the same Ferenc Gertsmár, 6.27%.

This is a terrible blow to Fidesz and Viktor Orbán. If an opposition candidate can beat the Fidesz deputy mayor of the city of Veszprém, Fidesz is in trouble. The psychological blow must be especially hard since nobody predicted such a large win. In fact, I think some opposition politicians would have been happy with even a close loss. This win should lift the flagging spirits of the opposition. It also gives them a huge boost in the next round of by-elections in the #3 electoral district, also in Veszprém County, where the incumbent Fidesz member of parliament died recently.

Just yesterday Ferenc Gyurcsány made a speech at the Second Congress of the Demokratikus Koalíció where he again repeated that his party is preparing for an early, 2016 election. However much I would have liked to believe that this was a real possibility, I thought that under the circumstances it was no more than a pipe dream. Well, today I’m not so sure.

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tappanch
Guest

“Tibor Karancsi, nowadays the favorite oligarch of Viktor Orbán, received 111”

The favorite oligarch’s name is Istvan Garancsi, not Tibor Karancsi.

buddy
Guest

Wow, I am just stunned. Kész won in 10 out of the 11 electoral districts – never would have guessed this even yesterday.

It’s also interesting that he appears to have strong ties with the United States, based on his Wikipedia profile: http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A9sz_Zolt%C3%A1n
And until now he was the director of the American Corner, which occupies a tiny corner of the city’s library. I guess his connections with the US didn’t deter voters a bit.

My wife is from Veszprém but didn’t go down to vote, as she couldn’t bring herself to vote for a left candidate, but didn’t want to vote for Fidesz either. I wonder how much Kész benefited from former Fidesz-friendly voters like her who stayed at home.

buddy
Guest

One other thing: it seems obvious to me that Kész would not have won had he not had the support of four parties united behind him. I hope that sends a message to these parties’ leaders for 2018.

Zsepac
Guest

I am afraid that Jobbik popularity did not drop. More likely many Jobbik fans voted for Kesz to defeat Fidesz.

syndicate
Guest
I am really surprised that Zoltan won. However he was by no means a typical left wing candidate as he was a member of Fidesz in 2004. I doubt this will change anything in parliament as behind the self assured front Fidesz put up during the election allot of Fidesz strategist were very surprised they pulled off a 2/3 majority and were very prepared to govern with a simple majority. All the constitutional changes they wanted were past long ago. Besides I doubt all opposition members are totally uncorrectable. It would make sense for Zoltan not to caucus with the opposition and build up his credentials as an independent voice in parliament. Running as an independent and winning also allows the left to maximize their list vote. The left still has a long way to go before they are able to win an election. In order for the left to be competitive in 2018 I think the left need to adopt these following steps. 1. You need to tailor your message to your constituency. This may require a more low tax classical liberal platform in western Hungary and a more social democratic one in the eastern part of the country.… Read more »
István
Guest

Syndicate please spare me the Christian values, we have a relatively progressive Pope the next one will maybe not be so progressive.

Syndicate
Guest

But that is exactly what I am saying. I am not saying they need to go crazy religious. All I am saying is that they should represent Christian values as much as the CDU does in Germany instead. There is overlap between the two and that should be highlighted not looked down on.

Syndicate
Guest

The socialists in particular need to look at adopting social market economics instead of what they have now. Which honestly seems like no economics at all except for blatant self interest, or they can just keep on doing what they are doing now because that has worked out so well.

floor
Guest
” I was especially disappointed because I knew from an earlier poll that the independent candidate, who was supported by MSZP, DK, Együtt, and PM, was running strong. At that time, about a week and a half ago, Kész was still behind, but only by 6%. He was leading in the city of Veszprém itself but lagged in the countryside. ” So two weeks ago Kesz was down 6% in this same district and now he is up 10% in the same district this must be some miracle indeed. But others will look at these sudden changes very suspiciously, just imagine the reverse. What if it was the other way around, a Left alliance was leading in the polls and suddenly they lose by over 10% what would we all think? Yes, exactly. So just imagine what are they thinking now about this sudden 16% change over two weeks. “It’s also interesting that he appears to have strong ties with the United States, based on his Wikipedia profile: http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A9sz_Zolt%C3%A1n” And this is why I am very happy that Goodfriend was speedily withdrawn from Hungary a few days before this election. Just imagine if Goodfriend was still here and the candidate… Read more »
Miki
Guest

The only thing this 16% change shows is that that the people are really afraid to give their opinion in the polls.

Webber
Guest

Excellent observation! A few people I know keep quiet and hide their opinions when strangers are around. Some people who are against Fidesz are afraid to speak (Kubatov lists), but not afraid to vote it seems. The majority of Hungarians, as I’ve said before, is clearly against Fidesz now.

Webber
Guest

This I doubt “Half of Hungarians would have been completely convinced that the CIA fixed the election.”
People who think that way will think that way no matter what.
I think you mean “a small number of mentally unstable people…”

Act
Guest

syndicate: Sign up with one of the opposition parties and tell them of your strategy or start a new party.

Act
Guest

Mihaly Varga, who used to be a darling moderate, cool even in certain circles, was threatening voters, just disgusting how this bully mentality works at Fidesz.

I hope Orban now shows his tough side and punishes Veszprém for misbehaving as he no doubt he would have even a few months ago. This way he would be hated even more all over Hungary. Does Orban still dare to be tough and really ge*i or did he lose his signature mercilessness?

Tapolca is an another story though, it’s much more right wing than Veszprém is and it’s also more rural. But the blow has been dealt.

Member

Orban Already showed in Esztergom what he can or cannot do. I do not wish on Veszprem the same faith. Why would I?

D7 Democrat
Guest

“Adopt Christian vales”.

Christian values are what exactly?

spectator
Guest
It must be misspelling: its a whale! Just think of Jonah, and you’ll see the possibilities right away. Albeit it had happened a whale(!) before Christianity, but hey, you can’t have everything… But seriously, what’s wrong with “Universal Human Values”, without religious ties whatsoever? If you look carefully you may discover that in most part we’re talking about the same thing, but without the candles and funny clad preachers attached to it. Except the first one, the rest of the Ten Commandments could be applied to any normal society regardless of their ideology, anyway, for example. For God’s sake, don’t mix again any religion with any politics, not even by pretending for temporary gain! Let people be as religious as they want – including politicians as well – it really is- and must remain the very personal and individual business of everybody, but don’t impose any religion and/or any God generally over a population for any reason! Just to make it clear once again: NO for ANY religion in politics! Otherwise we have no moral right to distinguish ourselves from those fundamentalist morons all over the globe, since there is no such thing that “my religion is better than yours”… Read more »
Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Any thoughts on the unfolding Kubatov affair?

Webber
Guest
Nothing will happen. State prosecutor Peter Polt will decide not to investigate, or if he does investigate he’ll “find nothing” and will decide not to prosecute. He has just buried the Rogan affair. Now, if were an opposition figure, Polt would prosecute multiple times – as he has done to Dopeman, the musician who kicked the head of an effigy of Orban erected by opposition people so that they could tear it down, as a sort of performance. Dopeman has won twice in cases brought against him by Polt. In one case, the police stopped investigation because no crime had been committed as far as they could see. Polt is now prosecuting Dopeman for the third time, for damaging or being offensive to state symbols (since when was the effigy of a Prime Minister a state symbol? – If Polt could win this, cartoonists could be prosecuted for drawing an ugly picture of Orban). Dopeman will win that case, too – it may go to the constitutional court for all I know, but he will win. Does Polt care that the charges are ridiculous? He does not. He gets to keep Dopeman in court and paying lawyers fees again and… Read more »
Demonstrator
Guest

Polt enjoys a type of immunity similar to that enjoyed by any member of Parliament. Such immunity may be waived by the Parliament. However, the trick is that it is within the prosecutor in chief’s exclusive jurisdiction to initiate any such waiver of immunity at the Parliament. Of course with a new 2/3s majority such immunity can be taken away by amendment of the relevant statutes. At the minimum Polt and his underlings could be fired from the prosecutorial service for good. The problem with abuse of office (hivatali visszaélés) is that it has to proven that it was committed to achieve/cause an unlawful gain or unlawful disadvantage (mens rea). It would be an extraordinarily committed new regime (not made up of softie people like those in MSZP or Együtt) which would attempt to hold Polt accountable. The entire prosecutorial office is now full of loyalists of Polt, many probably serve parallely in other services as well. Prosecution of Polt would probably lead nowhere due to sabotage. Fidesz has been preparing for this contingency, Polt is well covered, he and his underlings are virtually untouchable.

petofi
Guest

Oj vay, Tzurelay!
Grasping at straws. “No 2/3! End of Fidesz/Orban!!”
Yeah, I’ll bet.
It’s really the strength of Hungarianism at play here: all Blaha Ljuza…all illusions and delusions.
The 2/3 is intact, if need be, by co-opting either a Jobbik or even some independent. (Apparently,
Kesz was a Fideszer at one time.) So, whoever is needed, will have his fortune made.
So, folks, don’t be taken in by this little ‘drama’ suggestive that ‘Democracy is alive and well
in Hungary’. It ain’t. And it probably never will be.
“Illiberal Democracy”! What shear nonsense. It doesn’t exist but if you say it a la Orban then
it becomes a new Hungarian democracy. Mind-confusing nonsense. Let’s remember Putin’s
famous, “You have your Democracy, and we have ours.”
No doubt.
Abuse of Language: abuse of meaning.
One of the first things to go in a totalitarian system is ‘concrete meaning’. Terms are fudged.
Meaning is left to be defined by the powers that be.

Webber
Guest

I hope you’re wrong, but am afraid you might be right.
Still…
God Bless Veszprém, and God Bless the Hungarians!

Hansy
Guest

Marcel, Do you mean that the local head of police with two additional policemen, all in plainclothes personally appeared to check upon the journalists because Kubatov asked him to pressure those “troublemakers” a little? It’s been clear that the police (just as the prosecution and the secret services) are under direct political control and especially in rural regions these people serve their political masters without hesitation. The only issue is was LMP’s campaign helped by Fidesz? I believe so.

Webber
Guest

Somebody – can’t recall his name, an MP – came forward a couple of days ago saying he has evidence that the Kubatov lists of people for or against Fidesz exist (of course they do). In Hungary it is illegal to compile and keep such lists. This fellow sent his information to the state prosecutor who should, according to law, investigate.
What will happen? Nada. The fellow who made the allegations said if Polt investigates, great, and if he does not then that will just be more proof that the state works for Fidesz, and not the other way around.
THAT is the Kubatov affair, as I understand it.

Member

But listing supporters is not illegal even in Canada. THere are regular phone calls form candidates around election time, and you can tell them if you support them or not. A representative of any candidate (scruteneer) can be in the poll stations also. The scruteneer has the right to check the voters list and who voted or not. Has the right to make notes. THe problem is not with the list, the problem is how they got the list, and what they use the list for. The information likely was collected by deception. Example are the great Orban consultation questionnaire that supposed to be anonymous but QR code was printed on the return sheets that were tied o names and addresses. While people thought they are giving opinions on various issues close to Fidesz’ hart, it was simply a way for Fidesz to know who is with them and who is against them. Fidesz in fact punished those who did not support them.
I bet you anything that large part of the Kubatov list derived from the National Consultations.

Webber
Guest

Without going into details – the (alleged) list is illegal in Hungary. Just look up “Kubatov lista” online, and see what you get. You’ll find interesting things like this:

petofi
Guest

One of the odd things about Hungary and Hungarians is that, while the citizens may be as proud
as a Birch, they prostrate themselves readily before the first sign of power and authority.
The proof is in the pudding: Hungarians have the backbone of a caterpillar.

Webber
Guest

Oh, I don’t know…
The caterpillar in Veszprém seems kind of cute. Maybe a butterfly?

Webber
Guest

Two lessons for the opposition – I fear they may not want to accept the first one:
A new, relatively unknown candidate can win against an old Fidesz candidate (well-known leftist politicians have lost and lost and lost).
Unifying behind a candidate works (this they surely know).

István
Guest

I noticed that Kásler Arpad got about 4/10s of a percent of the vote in the Veszprém elections and was listed under the label – A Home For Sale No Movement Party – A Haza Nem Eladó Mozgalom Párt – that was pretty funny.

Also from what I read only 42.02 per cent of the electorate voted in the election which is low even by US standards. Based on Orban’s short comment on his Facebook page I got the impression that the Fidesz brain trust views the defeat as based on organizational failure, effectively not getting the soft Fidesz supporters to the polls. Eva wrote in her post: “A low turnout usually benefits Fidesz because, at least until now, Fidesz could mobilize its voting base much more successfully than the left-of-center parties.” Possibly Fidesz made the same presumption that Eva expressed?

Webber
Guest

Just a note: “brain trust” is not used much in English. The commonly used term in English is “think tank.”

Guest

Translation:

A Haza Nem Eladó Mozgalom Párt:

The Party of the Fatherland Is not for Sale Movement.

Wow, what a name for a political party! Real catchy. The guys who invented this name for their party must be completely nuts.

dóra
Guest

Istvan: don’t forget that Orban wants to avoid (any implication of) responsibility by all cost as he did after the election failures of 2002 and 2006. To blame this on the GOTV efforts is total stupidity but they can’t say Orban is a corrupt idiot who is hated by a lot of people.

Webber
Guest

Some people are claiming there was a low turnout, and some say it was even low compared to U.S. elections. That’s not true. For a mid-term election in Hungary, participation was quite high.
Turnout in the last national elections in the States in 2014 was just 36.4%. In 2010 just 40.9% of eligible U.S. citizens voted. So this little mid-term election in Veszprém had a relatively high turnout even when compared to general national elections in the U.S.

GW
Guest

Webber, “brain trust” is, in fact, widely used in the US, but it describes an informal or unofficial group of advisors to whom a leader — a president or governor, for example, or a corporate manager — turns to regularly for advice, while a “think tank” describes an actual institution designed to do research and development work, for example the Rand Corporation, which does contracted consulting to the US government or The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, which is a pure research institution.

Webber
Guest

@GW – I’m not saying and did not say the term brain trust doesn’t exist in English. I’m saying I’ve never heard it used. It’s uncommon. Allow me to say something about myself that may be relevant: I was born into and raised by an old American family of (mostly) British (English & Protestant Irish) background.
I acknowledge that the term exists. I’m just saying I have never heard it used – never, ever, ever, ever – not in the media and not in common speech.
For all I know, it may be commonly used on the East Coast. I couldn’t say, because I have spent very little time there – I’ve spent more time in Britain. I can say that the distinction you make for “informal or unofficial group of advisors” isn’t recognized in the English spoken by people I know on the W. Coast. We’d use the term think tank for a group like that, as well.

Webber
Guest

I’ll add – the only people I’ve ever heard use the term “brain trust” were Hungarians speaking at conferences in Britain, the US, and Budapest, and the institutions they were describing (agytröszt) were all institutional think tanks.

Guest

I have to agree with GW, at least in the Australian context.

For us here down-under, brain trust has a connotation of makeshift temporariness about it, like skunk works, while think tank is in effect a brain trust that is a operating as a stand-alone institution. Thus it is possible to form a brain trust within the State Department, but a think tank doing the same job would be a stand-alone institution operating outside of State, even if on behalf of State.

Webber
Guest
Mike – Really? I’ll take your word for it, because I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s hard to believe. Just look up “brain trust” and “think tank” on Wikipedia which, I think it fair to say, is representative of “popular” understanding. Brain trust you’ll find is a fairly unusual American term – it’s not British, and it’s not Australian – “The first use of the term brain trust was in 1899 when it appeared in the Marion (Ohio) Daily Star” but thereafter “The term appears to have not been used again until 1928.” It was used by FD Roosevelt. After that, it went into hiding again. Synonyms for “brain trust” are “kitchen cabinet” (pretty rare, for obvious reasons!) and “think tank” Look up think tank, and you find gezillions of uses and long long lists and links to the term. It is, I maintain, the most commonly used and most commonly understood term among native speakers. Come to think of it, I never heard “brain trust” in all the years I spent Britain, which is not surprising given the term’s origins. Now, if (as you say) “brain trust” is the term in Australia, that’s very interesting. How and why… Read more »
Webber
Guest

I wonder how “agytröszt” became the Hungarian word? Could it have been created in FDR’s time?

GW
Guest

Don’t underestimate the possible US influence here via someone like Edward Teller, a well-known member of Reagan’s brain trust.

GW
Guest

I was born and raised on the west coast. My (public) High School principal used it all the time when meeting with the Student Council where he would call us “his brain trust”. We found it a little corny, even obsequious, but he meant it to flatter us that he was taking our advice seriously. My UC Chancellor referred to his deans as his brain trust. Recent usages of the term, I’ve encountered in US media are by Howard Stern, Bill Maher, and lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who uses it all the time to describe both his preferred working method, surrounding himself with assistants.

Webber
Guest

Well, we moved in different circles – that much is clear. My high school history teacher (in a small W.Coast town) taught us manifest destiny, which showed little sign of brains in him, or in the principal who kept him teaching.
I never heard the term “brain trust” at all.
Anyhoo, the more I look the more I see that “brain trust” is hardly used at all compared with “think tank,” which is used like mad.
Eddie Teller – could well be the source of the Hungarian term. It would certainly be interesting to know for sure – I’m kind of hoping “agytröszt” was introduced into Hungarian in Roosevelt’s time.

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

In the Russian Federation also, they have think-tanks . Albeit without the ‘think’ part.

Gabor Toka
Guest

I agree about the great significance of this by-election as a factor affecting moral and strategic calculus in both Fidesz and among the opposition. But your analysis has some errors this time. First, my impression is that Fidesz took this by-election seriously from the very beginning and they did what they could to win. Part of that was to downplay the 2/3 majority as an issue – they probably sensed that that would mobilize the opposition far more than their own supporters. Indeed this is how Lajos Kosa tried to explain the result today (and I think he probably had a point with this, if Kesz was not focusing on his campaign so much on this issue, Fidesz may have come out better from this by-election). Second, “with 47.25% of the votes against 27.64% for the candidate of the united opposition” Veszprém was NOT “one of the strongest bastions of Fideszdom” but just a few points more Fidesz than the national average in 2014. All in all, the Veszprem result is a little less encouraging than it may seem from your analysis, but for for sure today one can have a happy hour and forget about that.

Webber
Guest

Don’t be a party pooper! For the opposition to win an election in a town that was “just a few points more Fidesz than the national average” is noteworthy, surely must be a surprise for Fidesz, and might have implications for trends nationwide.

Guest

This certainly is a very positive development. The question is whether it is a one-off or a bellwether. Much depends on Orbán’s next move.

Vanni
Guest

Fidesz will amend the election laws if this goes on for long.

At one point Fidesz’ goal will be not to win reelection but to make it impossible for any democratic 2/3s coalition to form without which the Fidesz regime (with its entrenched Orban loyalists, unprosecuted looters, un-amendable cardinal laws by now covering almost everything etc.) could not be dismantled or without which the dismantling would require a political determination which most leftists simply lack (e.g. to push through a new constitution even without a formal 2/3s majority).

Fideszniks are ready to carry out a scorched earth strategy. What is sure is that Orban and his loyalists will fight until the very last bullet. As we know from Putin, a cornered rat will never give up, but rather it will jump on its attacker.

Webber
Guest

Can they amend the election laws without a 2/3s majority vote?

csartői
Guest

How difficult (expensive) do you think it would be to purchase 1-2-3 other members of Parliament to vote for Fidesz’s bill or just fail to appear on the day of voting (since for the cardinal laws require 2/3s of those *present*)?

I think Fidesz could handle this very easily.

All the more so because for example a simple party list voting would be very advantageous for LMP or even to Jobbik, but also MSZP is on the record for having been advocating for party list/ proportionate voting all along the last two decades.

Fidesz can and will amend the election laws when it sees fit and how it sees fit.

petofi
Guest

@Eva

“…you are generalizing again..”

Yes, I generalize abundantly. In the main, my generalizations hold true.

As for you being an example…Well, you did leave in 1956, and somehow, the generous liberality
of Canada/US does lead to a different attitude. And also, back then, Hungarians did have backbone having opposed the Russians. Of course, that’s when that action was termed an ‘uprising’ and not a ‘counter-revolution’–a lovely piece of dung that Pyutin served up raw to our illustrious leader, (diplomatic courtesy be damned). Now THAT was a slap to his hireling. What did Victor do in the recent past to anger Vladimir so much?

googly
Guest

If you narrow your generalisation a bit, you could argue that you are talking about Hungarian voters living in Hungary today, which would exclude all those Hungarians who were chased out of Hungary in 1956 (and throughout the intervening years), as well as those who live in Slovakia, Romania, etc.

Even then, however, I disagree with you, as there are plenty of Hungarians who defy the stereotypes, especially here in Budapest.

Miki
Guest

This may (not yet) be the beginning of the end for Fidesz, but for LMP!

For the people who can read Hungarian:

http://www.hir24.hu/belfold/2015/02/22/schiffer-beperlem-keszt-es-az-osszes-trollt-trogerseg-elmennek-a-budos-k/

This probably won’t be the last article about the relation between LMP and Fidesz.

Or course the danger is that LMP openly starts supporting Fidesz and the 2/3 majority is there again. This would naturally be suicide for LMP, but it seems Schiffer has other priorities than to stand up for the voters who supported him.

buddy
Guest

Haha, that’s great. Schiffer is reacting exactly like someone who got caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

Guest

Could someone please explain to me in what way Schiffer and LMP are practicing a different kind of politics from everyone else, in line with their much-vaunted, self-appointed moniker “Lehet Más a Politika” (Politics Can Be Different).

Because to me it seems that they are just hypocrites of the highest order and very ordinary political prostitutes.

Paul Keating, a former prime minister of Australia well-known for his colourful, but highly effective rhetoric, once called the parliamentary greens the fairies in the bottom of the garden…. I wonder what he would call Hungary’s LMP……

Nay
Guest

Peter Szijjarto debates Peter Balazs, organized at ELTE Law School by JÖSZ, Gaspar Orban’s student organization.

http://elteonline.hu/kozelet/2015/02/23/szijjarto-vs-balazs-percrol-percre-a-magyar-kulugy-kalandozasairol/

Guest

Question to Éva/Some1:

Why limit the editing of comments to the first five minutes? On a lot of other sites one can return any time to edit one’s comment without any time limitations at all.

However.

Apart from this minor matter the improvements introduced are really first class and hearty congrats on the smoothness with which they were implemented.

Credit where credit is due.

Guest

I’m not a woman, but still I’ll answer:
If you have no time limit, then people can do whatever they want – so answers to totally changed comments will often look stupid.
Five minutes is a rather short time on the other hand – often it’s one hour, so you can correct stupid mistakes after someone (pun intended …) reminds you of them …

Member

Your appealing scrutiny fails to answer one basic question, namely the nomination of Navracsics on the first place. Last April, fidesz could have won this constituency with ease virtually by any local politician. Navracsics could have been appointed FM and Commissioner by bypassing the position of an MP, i.e. without taking the risk of by-elections. I see no reason why they would do that.

The ice was broken with the internet tax demonstrations last year. I agree with many of you that Veszprem is a promising continuation of this momentum. Obviously, it’s a long way to Tipperary to loose the real 2/3. To use LMP is one of the realistic options.

A bit ot. I found a good piece on foreign policy (in Hungarian). All the quoted “sources” are exclusively former party appointees who during the last four years kept dead silent on the values they are so adamant today. Martonyi and Nemeth were not any different. I suggest reading this article through this lens. http://index.hu/belfold/2015/02/23/orban_megertette_az_oroszbarat_magyarorszag_elszigetelodott/

nandor
Guest

and I guess one has to be critical about the spin that ‘Orban finally gets it’. The whole article seems to me a targeted leak whose main message is: worry not, Orban is working on the change. I don’t buy this.

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