The ideal new republic?

A few days ago I heard a man who lives in Austria complain bitterly that although he asked the left-of-center parties for their programs, none of them could produce one. How can anyone pick among the four or five democratic parties, he asked, if the electorate has no idea what they stand for.

This situation is going to change, at least in the case of the Demokratikus Koalíció (DK), which will officially release its program on February 13 when the party has its next congress. Two days ago Origo got hold of the 107-page document, which describes the party’s program in an “ideal situation.” The emphasis is on “ideal.”

The program assumes a political constellation in 2018 that would allow a future democratic government to undo all the harm Viktor Orbán’s illiberal policies have inflicted on the country. For that, an individual party or a coalition of several parties would need a two-thirds majority in parliament, something that at the moment no sane person could possibly fathom. So it is not surprising that the far-right site Pesti Srácok, commenting on the DK program, titled its article “DK is dreaming of two-thirds.” Indeed, but one could argue that for a party to present its political vision, it has to assume an absolutely free hand. And it should be noted that the present document is not the party’s electoral program. That program will undoubtedly be much more limited in scope.

First of all, let me say a few words about the latest opinion polls. In the last few days four different polls were released: those of Nézőpont, Tárki, Századvég, and Publicus. According to Nézőpont and Publicus, Fidesz’s rapid gain in support came to a halt between November and January. But Tárki and Századvég found that Fidesz had recovered its earlier voters and is now back to where it was more than a year ago. Both Publicus and Nézőpont registered considerable losses for Jobbik and gains for MSZP. When the results of these four opinion polls are combined, in the electorate as a whole Fidesz has 32%, Jobbik 11%, MSZP 9%, DK 5.5%, LMP 3.2%, and Együtt 1%. The undecided make up 39%.

Thus, at the moment the opposition is in very bad shape. Yet opposition politicians can’t conclude that since the situation seems hopeless, the only realistic option is to do nothing. They have to act. Since a coalition of the smaller democratic parties is outside the realm of possibility at the moment, I believe the only sensible course of action is for each party to work assiduously to build itself up and see whether in the next couple of years one of them can get the lion’s share of opposition support, preferably with more than 20%.

The sad reality

The sad reality

Origo didn’t write the DK program off as pie in the sky. Instead, it praised “its good assessment of the situation and its accurate pinpointing of problems.” I can’t cover all of the political, legal, economic, financial, and social aspects of the document. I will offer as material for discussion only DK’s view of the most important legal underpinnings of the “New Hungarian Republic.”

DK would insist on the removal of Fidesz party cadres from all responsible and allegedly independent positions. They should be called to account for any alleged criminal activities. In addition, all concessions of tobacco shops, casinos, and land sales must be examined for their legality.

A new constitution should be written, which should then be accepted or rejected by popular referendum. The Orbán government’s restrictions on holding referendums are so strict that at the moment practically none can take place. DK suggests a formula that would change this situation.

DK would return to the former right of “actio popularis,” the option for any citizen to turn to the constitutional court claiming that a law, legal provision, or regulation is contrary to the constitution. One of the first acts of the Orbán government was the abolition of this right. The party would also like to remove those judges of the constitutional court who were appointed by the government parties alone. DK plans the complete elimination of the National Judiciary Office, currently headed by the wife of József Szájer, Fidesz MEP. (Earlier, Professor Kim Scheppele wrote several articles touching on the importance of “actio popularis” as well as on the National Judiciary Office’s negative impact on the judiciary.)

DK would get rid of the new law on churches and would restore the status of churches as it was prior to 2012. DK never hid the fact that it has serious reservations about an agreement with the Vatican signed by Gyula Horn that gave the Hungarian Catholic Church special privileges. The party would demand a re-examination and possible revision of that 1997 treaty. DK would also abolish compulsory religious and/or ethical education in schools, which in the party leaders’ opinion should be ideologically neutral. DK would declare equal rights for LGBT people, including their right to marry.

The present electoral system is so unfair that it must be replaced by a so-called mixed system of individual electoral districts and party lists. Moreover, the borders of the present gerrymandered districts must be refashioned in a more equitable way. In addition, the totally unfair electoral system introduced in Budapest should be replaced by a city council whose composition would be determined by the relative strength of the parties, as it was prior to 2014.

Not everything that Fidesz introduced will be thrown out. For example, DK supports Fidesz’s decision on the incompatibility of being a member of parliament and a mayor at the same time. But close relatives of politicians would be forbidden to compete for government tenders, something the government found perfectly acceptable only a few months ago.

Another Fidesz idea of long standing that DK accepts is the subordination of the prosecutor’s office to the ministry of justice. It was something Ibolya Dávid (MDF), minister of justice between 1998 and 2002, supported, but at that time the opposition strongly opposed it. In 2010 Fidesz tried bringing up the topic again, but it was once more met with an outcry. As it stands now, the whole prosecutorial system is “independent,” even though we know only too well that this is not the case. Subordinating the prosecutor’s office to the government would have the benefit of supervision from above, which at the moment is impossible. Finally, DK would recognize the validity of dual citizenship, though the document says nothing about the right to vote. I suspect that in DK’s ideal world that right wouldn’t have a place.

As you can see, I’ve said nothing about taxation, the economy, energy, or social policy. Perhaps in a few days we can return to these topics.

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PALIKA
Guest

There are unfortunately two problems with all this. The first is that constitutional change proposals cannot be implemented without a substantial parliamentary majority. To achieve that will need an electoral victory on a mega scale which would need a win on bread and butter issues.
This maybe an interesting initiative but it comes from Gyurcsany’s party. I believe that he is seriously damaged goods. As I wrote before, I like him. I would even back him, but he is in a virtually hopeless position.

Eva, your optimism for the future based on him is misplaced and such influence that our little group has should focus on some other politician of the left who has not so much baggage.

Member

Gyurcsany is not \”damaged goods.\” He is maliciously maligned goods. In fact, he is the one most likely to be good enough to undo the obscene quantity of damage done by Orban and his cronies. Bravo to Eva for recognizing this and for resisting the pessimists of the democratic opposition who have shown themselves to be themselves susceptible to Orban\’s infamous smear campaign against Gyurcsany. With friends like these nay-sayers Hungary hardly needs enemies.

The real hurdle, though, is the Hungarian electorate (even aside from the gerrymandering and the double-citizen double-dealing): Can anyone or anything awaken the undecided voters out of their self-destructive torpor? Can Gyurcsany\’s truth and justice prevail over Orban\’s lies and corruption?

webber
Guest

Whatever your view of him, you surely cannot deny that in the eyes of a great deal of the electorate Gyurcsány is “damaged goods.” Public opinion data demonstrates that, and your own comment about undecided voters’ “self-destructive torpor” suggests you know it.
So, I see nothing wrong with using the phrase “damaged goods” when discussing the market of politics.
From your point of view, clearly, the goal should be to get the voters to understand that he is not “damaged goods.”
Some others wish there were a new politician (I, personally, would go for Ujhelyi). But whether or not everyone agrees with you, I suppose we might all agree that other than Gyurcsány, nobody significant has offered him/herself to date.

Guest

Palika,
By calling Gyurcsány \”damaged goods\”, you are supporting and encouraging Orbán\’s calculated hate campaign against his rival.

If you genuinely like Gyurcsány, as you assert, then why buy into the Fidesz mantra of \”lets destroy Gyurcsány\”, which they have been trying to do for many years.

Saying that Gyurcsány is a failure, is helping to make it so and is sanctioning Orbán\’s smear campaign. Let Orbán do his dirty work, but by ignoring it and standing by what you believe, Orbán\’s nasty and cunning plan will fail.

webber
Guest

What about those of us who never liked Gyurcsány? Some, for how he came to power initially. Others for other reasons (let me not list them here).
Are we anti-democratic simply because we wish there were a different alternative to Orbán?
(please don’t pretend that disliking Gyurcsány means supporting or liking Orbán – based on the clarity of your writing, you clearly aren’t that foolish)

Guest

All politicians have ‘baggage’. Mr. Gyurcsany , if he is astute and intelligent (as I think he is) , has a responsibility to himself and to the nation to know how to orient himself in how he and his party are perceived by the electorate. That is he has weaknesses and strengths. He needs to be more skillful in reducing the former and increasing the latter. It is from there that he can ‘build’ better.

The pie chart is interesting. Almost 4 out of 10 can be ‘turned’. It’s like a gift for DK and the opposition. They should be hard at work understanding the electorate. Perhaps its time for them to tap into their capacity for overtly analyzing what’s going about in the country. Making them think for themselves could lead them to lights-on conclusions on the extent of ‘damage’ done in Hungarian could prove ‘revolutionary’. Or at the least put Fideszian life under a microscope.

Guest

Webber,

I have heard many people say they despise Gyurcsány, but have never heard a sensible or reasonable cause for their hatred.

Would be most grtefu if you did list exactly what your objections are.
then we can see if they have foundation, or are just based on Orbán’s successful smear campaign, aimed at the gullible.

Blazej
Guest

time4change:

Try to understand that political preference is not rational. It never was and never will be.

People don’t have to and in fact can’t rationally explain their preferences.

If a lot of people despise Gyurcsany just because they think others hate him too or because they don’t like Gyurcsány’s face (but would claim that they just don’t like “communists”) then that’s that. You have to accept that.

The fact is many people wouldn’t touch anything that has to do with Gyurcsany in any remote way. Deal with it.

Guest

Blazey
I’m afraid I don’t agree with you.
For many, choosing which political party to support is a rational decision, based on shared principles. Good example is Charlircharlie, below, who mentions Gyurcsány’s stance on the separation of church and state.

This is a rational explanation of why charlie and others might vote for Gyurcsány, so your assertion that there is no rhyme or reason why we vote as we do is unfounded.

One of the reasons I am so against Orbán is precisely because he appeals not to reason and sensibility, but to highly emotional reactions, such as Hitler did, without any rationale.

He is incapable of debating with the opposition, who would wipe the floor with him (as has happened in the past) simply through logical and reasoned arguments, while Orbán flaps about like a fish out of its depth, and uses the only thng he knows how, dangerous, tear-jerking emotive nonsense.

webber
Guest

In a normal democracy, when a political leader loses an election (Gyurcsány did by proxy via Bajnai) and continues to have low poll numbers afterwards, that politician, that former political leader, steps aside to let someone else from his or her party try. That goes double for former PMs or Presidents.

Such people do not say “the voters are wrong.” They do not say “they’ll want me back.” They do not say “We’ll show them they are wrong about me.” They retire.
That’s week 2 of politics 101 in a Western democracy.
If you want to keep saying the voters are stupid, you might be right, but being right in that way will not win you an election. And we NEED someone who can win. Now.

Firpo
Guest

time4change:

Most people are not rational, OK? There are some who seem rational but it is a cognitive science 101 statement that people are not rational.

This is a liberal myth, unfortunately, sure, the basis of the Enlightement, Descartes etc. and the rational choice theory, the livelihood of countless scholars are based on it but it doesn’t exist in reality.

As someone aptly put it there is an irrational attachment among liberals to the notion of voter rationality, for whatever reason they want to believe in it despite all the scientific (and practical) evidence to the contrary.

Orban and the conservatives (Republicans) understand this intuitively (although as I said there exists a huge scientific literature in social psychology, political science indicating the non-rational behavior of voters). People are not robots, they never vote by weighing policy options and so on. Fear, imagination, narratives, hopes, dreams, tribal associations, pride, indignation, righteousness, admiration, envy, hate move people, gut feelings as opposed to rational debating. Sorry to break the news. Needless to say orban is much better at moving people’s imagination that the leftists.

webber
Guest

time4change
You’ve heard all the reasons, then, too. Some of those reasons I share, some I don’t. I won’t repeat them. Why bother?
Listen to the Őszödibeszéd again. Just one more time.
I disliked Gy. before that. Afterwards,… should I like him more? He said it. This, in my view, is not a small “mistake.” Any Western politician caught making a speech like that would resign immediately, I think.

Gyurcsány is incomparably better than Orbán. No question about that.
I’d prefer Ujhelyi, but he’s not running for PM, so I don’t get my preferences. That’s life.
I don’t believe Gyurcsány can win – and if he did I would open a bottle of champagne. I just don’t think he can, and think he ought to get out of the way to let someone better try. But who? Again, I’d go for Ujhelyi… but he’s not running.

Guest
I did listen, just as you suggested \”one more time\” to the infamous Őszödibeszéd, and have exactly the same opinion as before. What Gyurcsány said, more or less, was that he had inherited incompetence and corruption, from not just the previous government, but from way back since communism, and he was still surrounded by it. He also inherited the conflicted values, as reiterated so clearly by Kertész Imre, of the Hungarian lack of understanding of democracy. He was simply and honestly declaring that his cabinet (MSZP) was incompetent, and that they preferred their comfort zone, rather than embracing transaprency, and a democratic modus operandi, and he was fed up with it. Those who already hated him (for reasons which are still unclear to me and which still have not been explained by anyone) used this speech as an excuse to hate him even further, without actually analysing his speech. To say that Orbán, clever little chappy that he is, got a lot of mileage out of Gyurcsány\’s honesty (in short supply amongst politicians) is an understatement Full throttle ahead, betwen Orbán and MSZP, Gyurcyány was eliminated from the status quo. That he is still politicizing is unusual, but like Éva… Read more »
webber
Guest

Why call them “shameful gray mass”?

Some of them are people who are afraid of saying they will not be voting for Fidesz. That is not shameful – in some parts of the country that is very prudent indeed.

webber
Guest

P.S. I may be wrong – do let me know – but I seem to detect a hint of disdain for the voting public in your attitude. The left had better start hiding that if it wants to win elections – and I want them to.
You can’t change the voters. You can change the politicians.

webber
Guest

PPS I guess you are someone who loved Gy., love Gy., and will love Gy. Fair enough. There aren’t many people like you, but to each his own.
If you really listened to the below, again, did you notice something? Did you listen carefully to his voice? He slurs, he stumbles, he hesitates. I am convinced he was drunk when he made this speech.

Guest

webber,
The “shameful gray mass” I am referring to is the gray in the pie chart illustration in this article, and I agree with you that they are afraid to vote for anything other than Fidesz.

But, though some types of fear are useful and necessary, for instance I think I would be quite hesitant about my head inside a circus lion’s mouth, etc., the fear of the non-voters in Hungary is more than just that and indicates cowardice and inability to stand by the courage of one’s convicitons.

I know several such people and whatever deligthful qualities they may have, in politics they are like selfish little babies, who think the world is simply not good enough for them, and until the “perfect” politician comes along, they will not vote, even if it means the ruination of the country.

In England and elsehwere we have tactical voting. Which, as I am sure you know, means we might not like the person we vote for but, in an imperfect world, have chosen the lesser of two evils.

Hungarians are incapable of doing that, and thence, the ruination of Hungary.

tappanch
Guest

Manipulation of statistics by changing of the definitions.

Subsistence level. new [old] definition of the Hungarian Statistical Office.
(The old definition lived for more than 50 (?) years.)

Single household. 244 [281] euros a month, down by 13%.

Two adults with two children . 513 [814] euros a month, down by 37%.

The number of households living under the subsistence level will suddenly dive ON PAPER.

My recommendation:
The Orban family should be restricted to this 128 euros/(person*month) income for
food, clothing, utilities, rent, school, for everything
in a pilot program.

http://hvg.hu/gazdasag/201605_sikerpropaganda_modszertani_valtassal_ne_sz

bimbi
Guest

“Orbán Viktor: building Hungary one theft at a time”

Guest
London Calling! I recall at the last election that DK was the only party to publish a manifesto then – and you summarised it on your blog, Eva – then. There are some similarities and some additions – I particularly like the separation of church and state. I used the DK list at a dinner party before the last election when I challenged the host’s husband when he said what other choice was there to Fidesz? He was unable to a) let me know what he was voting for and hadn’t a clue about what Fidesz stood for and b) he hadn’t bothered to find out what the other parties stood for. I was ready when he said so tell me what the others stand for then? I told him the only available manifesto was DK’s and started from the top. He was quite passive until I got to the abolition of the flat tax and he went ballistic! I can still see the vein on the side of his head bulging fit to burst! We thought it best to leave at this point – needless to say there have been no further invitations! I actually think it’s worth all… Read more »
tappanch
Guest
Orban’s Machiavellian handbook of autocracy, Chinese Encyclopedia of Governance. Written Gábor G. Fodor, 2006 m, chaotic governance. … “the key to chaotic governance is spreading and invisibility” “A kaotikus kormányzat megszervezésének kulcsa a kiterjesztés és a láthatatlanság. A kiterjesztés azt jelenti, hogy bármi, ami a kormányzás folyamatával kapcsolatos és természetesen maga a kormányzás folyamata is, szemlélhető úgy, mint a hatalom potenciális forrása, ez az autokrácia legfőbb és legfontosabb elve. A kiterjesztés azt jelenti, hogy a politikának azt a területét, ahol az autokrata a hatalmát növelni akarja, a lehető legszélesebbre kell kiterjeszteni (“locating and exploiting new sources of power”), másrészt azt jelenti, hogy mindent a hatalom terminusaiban kell értelmezni: minden eseményt, minden tranzakciót, minden eszményt, minden személyt, minden csoportot. A láthatatlanság elve azt követeli a fejedelemtől, és ez az egyik olyan elv, amelyik leginkább ellentmond a public adminstration és a policy management elveinek, hogy éppen hogy tegye láthatatlanná a kormányzatát (“thou shalt make your government invisible”). Ennek a követelménynek a leghatékonyabban úgy tehet eleget, ha az állandó konfúzió állapotában tartja kormányát, szüntelenül kitéve azt az átalakítások és változtatások hullámainak. Vagyis egy kormányzatot megszervezni nem más, mint a kormányzatot konfúzióban és így bizonytalanságban tartani. Az állandó bizonytalanságból keletkező időleges konfigurációk együttese az,… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

Translation of the last sentence above:

“The reading of the desires, the will and the plans of the prince is more important [for an official] than technical competence or practical knowledge.”

Guest

Recently I picked up a book on the Magyar Parliament. I was there many years ago and my recollection of walking through it is very hazy now. The book brought me back. What a great architectural achievement the building is. When one looks at the minute details in the structural and artistic details within each and every foot it is a stunning sight. The building is spectacular as it sits by the Danube.

As I was looking through the book all I can say it is ironic that those brilliantly lit halls encompass a Parliament that arguably could do better in representing the nation in its most important deliberations for the country and its people. Perhaps if the legislators spent 5 minutes silent in those gilded chambers they could get hit with the impact of their duties and important work. It would be 5 minutes less in the sonetimes pettiness of Machiavellian politics. If they were wise the thoughts would flow over them like the soaring gothic arches above them.

Guest

”Perhaps if the legislators spent 5 minutes silent in those gilded chambers they could get hit with the impact of their duties and important work.”

I believe that people are influenced by their surroundings. The influence may be positive or negative. In the case of the Parliament building I am convinced that its psychological effect on the members of Parliament is harmful. The megalomanic scale of the building, its excessively pinnacled exterior and the likewise excessively gilded interior cannot fail to impart the parliamentarians with a feeling of superiority and a reduced sense of reality. Actually, there is much evidence that they go crazy from it.

I believe that at least some parliamentarians would recover their sanity if they had a sane building of a sane size as their workplace.

Guest

Perhaps now it really looks like this. That is where the \’deals\’ are made now. You know off in the distance in a hovel away from prying eyes.

comment image

And of things happening in Parliament one can tell something was real amiss when an observer could see the absolute viciousness of the political fight between Orban when he was on the ascendant and Gyurcsany on the defensive in those hallowed chambers. Orban , like a gladiator , was out for the quick kill. If Tacitus the great Roman historian was around he\’d no doubt revisit his observation when judging Orban that \’ it is always easier to requite an injury than a service: gratitude is a burden , but revenge is found to pay\’.

And thus a whole new state political program came into play. Arguably the aftermath of the battle was called \’peace\’ with victory but maybe oh so slowly turning into a desolation. If anything Tacitus knew everything about corruption and what it did to states and their statesmen.

Guest

“A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.”

Tacitus

Guest

Az igaz, mint a római Forum meglévő szemünk előtt. A múlt mindig sok igazságot elmondani.

Perhaps others , like Tacitus, with perspective will write the history of this day where it will show how character results in the abuse of power and the decline of good government.

lubos
Guest
“They should be called to account for any alleged criminal activities. In addition, all concessions of tobacco shops, casinos, and land sales must be examined for their legality.” Now this is what shows how DK – and the entire left field – is bereft of lawyers. The lefties just don’t have the grasp to understand how a state and a legal system operate. The leftists totally lack the legal min, when Fidesz is a cabal of lawyers, even their oligarchs are lawyers. These transactions were “legal”, they cannot be undone on a piecemeal basis, by mere examination. There were formal “tenders”, a properly chosen committee based on predetermined factors decided etc. All the paperwork was done and then I guess all the other pieces of evidence were destroyed. Based on the existing agreements, documents it’s now impossible to prove before a court of law that any of these deals were illegal. How would they do that? Via oral testimonies (we saw how reliable those are in the Hagyo-case)? DK should’ve said that we will cancel the land privatisations, 2/3s of which went to fidesznik politicians and the rest to fidesz-loyal local strongmen. Why would DK respect that? Why would any… Read more »
Guest

Yes, and of course another easy solution:
Revoke the tobacco monopoly – let gas stations, bars and shops sell cigarettes again (preferably at a much higher price though to reduce smoking) and voilà, the Fidesz sellers would be reduced to being businessmen with a strong competition …
But we all know that won\’t happen soon …

Member

Is all that right for that?

petofi
Guest

Suck rubbish.
I’d like to know how many small grocers had gone bankrupt because of the tobacco law. Did they get compensation from the government?
Did they have a chance to challenge the law in court? If found against, could they go to a higher court?
What the government did was to defraud the long-time grocer from his business and offered no compensation in return. Pass as many laws as you want, but that’s not the way a responsible government is supposed to function.

On the basis of unfair application of the law, and probably several other grounds–was the law held to be ‘constitutional’–I think many Fidesz laws could be overturned by a constitutional court free of government interference.

petofi
Guest

“Suck” = Such

Bifidus
Guest
There is a fundamental issue here which must be addressed. The Pesti Sracok has a point. DK dreaming of the 2/3s? Why should any party dream of the 2/3s? This assumes that an opposition party would have to necessarily accept the current situation: the rigged electoral system (which is a moving target anyway), the controlled courts and prosecution, the unlimited funding for Fidesz, controlled media, corruption at every level, etc. As if it is prescribed that any opposition party must necessarily accept the system and simply come to terms with it it, implying everything is legal and nothing could be done. But why? Hungary is not a democracy. In political science it is called an electoral autocracy. It looks at first sight as though it was a democracy, that there were formal freedoms but in practice the system is so rigged and controlled that factually it is impossible to legally amend the system back to a less corrupt, less controlled, less fidesznik, normal state. It is impossible. I think if any opposition party accepts the current rules without fundamentally questioning them, without reserving the right to change the system even in the absence of 2/3s (e.g. if it had a… Read more »
Guest

Bifidus: “Fidesz strategy is to force the opposition to accept the rules of the game (the Orban system) which Fidesz alone created exactly to smother the opposition (not totally, only to a point when it becomes harmless). Should opposition parties accept that?”

Gyurcsany cannot safely advocate any other method to remove the Fidesz/Orban system than to follow the laws that the system has introduced. If he did otherwise he would be accused of treason and put into prison. What he can do, and seems to do well, is to tell what should be done with the Fidesz/Orban legislation if the system were removed by an act of God or something like it.

webber
Guest

OT
What’s with the air-raid sirens in Budapest? Orban re-introduced testing the system – and I guess setting them off every six months or so makes some sense, but they’ve been going off every week now. They were wailing this morning, for example.

Member

Here in Stockholm vi have them once a month. 15.00 pm every first monday of the month. Not to defend OV.

webber
Guest

Could be Tarlós, not Orbán. I don’t know. All I know is that during the Demszky decades I NEVER heard an air-raid siren.

Douglas Daniel
Guest

The fatal flaw in Hungary’s previous constitution was the party list for two reasons. Either reason is sufficient to ban it permanently from Hungary’s legal system. First, party lists allowed Fidez to gain a 2/3 majority with only 51% of the vote in the 2010 election. Second, an MP’s loyalty is to the party that put him or her in office and not to the voters who elected them. In my 15 years in Hungary, I have never met a voter who could tell me who his or her MP was.

Member
I side with those who believe that Gyurcsany does not have a chance to win. For whatever set of reasons, not in 2018. Never mind how you explain, like him or not, he is simply not electable in the foreseeable future. In this situation, he could have made several choices. He obviously opted for passing the threshold of 5% in order to keep his party alive. The second option could have been building up several joint “electable” candidates on the opposition side for 2018. In the meantime, he could start serving the people instead of producing paper tigers, only. And his ego. I also believe that whoever wins at any given time should announce some kind of d i s c o n t I n u I t y with the present regime otherwise the new government would be a lame duck drawn into the swamp and simply fall into the traps that are preset by the regime. A new constitution is a good idea to start with PS: I feel strongly about the difference between legality and legitimacy. I believe 2-2,5 million votes in Hungary does not authorize anyone to turn Hungary into a Frankenstein state ( as… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Gyurcsany should have left the stage in 2009 and let Bajnai form an alliance of opposing parties–Bokros, Gabor, Bekesi etc. Why did Gyurcsany have to muddy the waters by staying on? He’s a grandstander. I don’t mind him having a role in a Bajnai government but he should really be influencing from the background. Too large an ego for that.

abris
Guest

Very well put.

webber
Guest

Eva, I didn’t say you mentioned Gyurcsány. Others here did, well before me. I’d be happy to ignore the man. You entered that discussion – one nobody said you’d started.
As I said above, in my view Gyurcsány lost in 2010 via Bajnai as a proxy (look at what I said above, you’ll find it). People voted against Bajnai as a proxy for Gyurcsány.
In 2014 Gyurcsány lost again, in my view (he sure as hell did not win). He was in the elections.
You and I surely agree that the left needs to be united.
Who split it? Was it MSZP that was so hopeless? (Gyurcsány’s narrative). Or was it Gyurcsány taking his people? (MSZP’s view)
It doesn’t matter to me.
Divided we fall. Gyurcsány does not seem to me to unite (except for hatred from the right).

webber
Guest

Hear, hear!

Member
@Webber\’s own idiosyncratic antipathy for Gyurcsany (which apparently preceded Orban\’s smear campaign, though was no doubt reinforced by it) is no reason for anyone else\’s withholding full support for the only candidate that is honest enough, intelligent enough, and has enough charisma to defeat Orban. (No point @Webber\’s repeatedly mentioning his idiosyncratically preferred candidate, since he is not even a candidate, and time, along with much else, is being lost yearning emptily). Yes, defeated candidates can and do make come-backs — even dishonest, unintelligent and demagogic ones like Orban. And yes, when an electorate repeatedly makes bad — indeed catastrophic — choices, who\’s to blame but the electorate? But reproaches won\’t remedy it. The only thing that will work is pointing out — clearly, with evidence and reason — (1) the cause-and-effect relation between Orban\’s doings and the electorate\’s woes, and (2) the cause-effect means to remedy it all. And that is exactly what Gyurcsany is doing. Those who are opining that there must be a \”better way\” to win over the Hungarian electorate are either imagining that there is a way to de-brainwash everyone even while the Orban family is still running the whole show — media, laws, property,… Read more »
webber
Guest

Stevan
I come not to bury, but to praise.
My hats off to Gyurcsány for taking in refugees. It was a humanitarian act in a sea of hatred.
Now, please be honest: Do you really think he can win an election in Hungary?
I don’t. That’s what I care about.
Convince me.

webber
Guest

P.S. And you don’t need to convince me to like the man. I don’t need to like a politician. I need to be convinced they can beat Orbán. Right now, I’m convinced he can’t.

Member

Vide supra.

webber
Guest

Must point out “1) the cause-and-effect relation between Orban\’s doings and the electorate\’s woes, and (2) the cause-effect means to remedy it all. And that is exactly what Gyurcsany is doing.”
Yes, and that is also what all decent opposition candidates are doing.

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