The “Let’s stop Brussels” questionnaire: Orbán’s silver bullet?

I haven’t analyzed Viktor Orbán’s speeches for some time, but yesterday he delivered a fairly important speech to parliament. So I think it’s time to take a closer look at the Hungarian prime minister’s state of mind.

As usual, he is on a war footing with Brussels. But if I’m correct, his posture, despite his belligerent tone, is more defensive. His position within the European Union has weakened considerably since the Brexit referendum and the French election. More and more voices can be heard within the European Union calling for financial retribution as a form of punishment for countries that refuse to cooperate when it comes to the refugee crisis. For the time being Jean-Claude Juncker would like to avoid such a drastic step, but the announcement of a looming infringement procedure can be expected any day.

Obviously, Orbán has been expecting such a move on the part of the European Commission. Right now the only bullet in his defensive arsenal is “the national consultation,” with which he wants to “stop Brussels.” But not all bullets are equally effective. The “Let’s stop Brussels” campaign and its imbecilic, deceptive questions have annoyed the Commission from the beginning. I very much doubt that the Commission will be impressed by the responses the Hungarian government received arguing against any interference by the European Union in what Viktor Orbán considers purely national affairs.

Before I turn to the actual speech, I would like to say something about the “success” of this particular consultation. The claim is that the “Let’s stop Brussels” questionnaire was returned by a record number of citizens. Indeed, if we take a look at the Wikipedia entry on “Nemzeti konzultáció,” we can see that this year’s questionnaire was returned by a greater number of people than any of the other five campaigns previously staged. However, we must keep in mind that no independent body counts the returned forms. We have only the number the Orbán government provides.

Given the lack of accountability of the government, I have long had my doubts about the government’s figures in connection with these consultations. This time I’m even more suspicious than before. The consultation drive began on April 1, and on April 19 Antal Rogán’s propaganda ministry reported that 140,000 questionnaires had been returned. But then, on April 25, six days later, Csaba Dömötör, undersecretary in the prime minister’s office, announced that 380,000 questionnaires had been received. Quite a jump, I would say. Two weeks after that, the same Dömötör triumphantly announced that “more than 1,130,000” citizens had already returned their questionnaires. In two weeks the numbers had almost tripled. But if the drive was such a success, why was it necessary for Lajos Kósa, as leader of the Fidesz parliamentary caucus, to ask for an extension of the deadline from May 20 to May 31? In any case, Viktor Orbán at the beginning of his speech in parliament yesterday claimed that 1.4 million people are practically unanimously standing behind the government in its fight against Brussels. This number, by the way, by the end of speech became 1.7 million. So, who knows?

Altogether 8.1 million questionnaires were sent out to all citizens over the age of 18, and therefore it doesn’t matter how you slice it: 1.4 or 1.7 million returned questionnaires, take your pick, shouldn’t be hailed as a great victory. But what is really annoying is that Viktor Orbán blithely turned the official government figure(s) of a 17%-21% return rate into a pro-government response rate of greater than 50% when he said that “the majority of Hungarians think that Brussels is going in the wrong direction.”

What do the government and the “majority of Hungarians” want, according to Orbán? They want “a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe.” A couple of years ago Jobbik’s Gábor Vona announced with great fanfare that “Hungary belongs to the Hungarians,” and it seems that Viktor Orbán now agrees with him. I wonder what he would say if the prime minister of Slovakia or Romania announced that he wants to have an ethnically pure Slovakia or Romania and the Hungarian minority has only two choices: emigrate or assimilate. I assume there would be an incredible outcry, and with good reason. As for the “European Europe,” we all know what Orbán has in mind. A white Europe.

In connection with the ten-year jail sentence for “terrorism” meted out to Ahmed H. for using a megaphone to call for calm during clashes at the Serbian-Hungarian borders, Orbán accused “Brussels” of supporting terrorists at the expense of the security of the Hungarian people. Bernadett Szél (LMP) said in response that Orbán had “misplaced his medication.” George Soros couldn’t be left out of Orbán’s speech to parliament, and indeed the “American speculator” was pictured as someone who is directing the fate of Europe. The European Commission is under his influence. He asked the members of parliament “not to stand by Brussels in Hungary’s disputes with the European Union.” In addition, the parliamentarians “should stand by the Hungarian people in the battle between the Soros mafia and Hungary.”

Orbán announced that Hungary “can’t accept that [its] future is decided in Moscow, Brussels, and Washington.” As for the future, Orbán made some strange comments. Let me quote one of them. “The French election during the past weekend shows that the revolt of the European people has also reached France.” We know that when Orbán in the last couple of years was talking about “the revolt of Europeans” he was not thinking of Macron’s centrist movement. Macron’s victory is not a welcome piece of news for Orbán, which he tries to hide here. He also seems worried about a possible French-German “experiment to transform Europe,” which may take place after the German election. At the moment, “it is not clear whether these developments will help or hinder the realization of Hungary’s national interests.” Odds are, however, that hard times are coming, and therefore the national consultation took place at the best possible moment.

Let me express my very serious doubts that Orbán’s national consultation is the kind of silver bullet that will save the Hungarian government from the consequences of Viktor Orbán’s antagonistic, confrontational behavior and his flaunting of the core values of the European Union. Surely, in his sane moments he must know that those stacks of returned questionnaires are not worth a plug nickel when it comes to negotiations with the important political players of the European Union.

June 13, 2017
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I_reborn
Guest
Quote from the first paragraph of your article : “So I think it’s time to take a closer look at the Hungarian prime minister’s state of mind.” Did you just got your new diploma as a physiatrist or psychoanalyst or just the usual “I know everything” intellect-mania? Why don’t we take a closer look at your state of mind at least once? How can someone hate the three times democratically elected PM of a foreign country with such a passion as you hate Orbán Viktor and his government? Why don’t you declare the real reason behind your blog and the relentless daily attacks on Prime Minister Orbán Viktor and the Hungarian Nation? Yes I said the Hungarian Nation because in spite of the continuous lies flowing out of this and other ultra-left liberal blogs and “main-stream-media” outlets, the current government has been elected by 2/3rd majority in free and democratic elections back-to-back. That means for any clear minded freedom loving person who (wants to) understand the meaning of classical democracy (not liberal democracy) that the Hungarian Nation stood behind Mr. Orban twice in overwhelming majority. That is a bad news for people with incurable Orbanophobia and Hungarophobia. (I am quite… Read more »
FreeWheeling
Guest

Would you mind sharing with us your real identity? I think I recognize your writing from certain catchwords that I’ve seen before on certain Fidesz Facebook threads but would be willing for you to be show yourself so you can stand up and be counted as a true supporter and defender OV and his values.

ambator
Member

There you go. Now you got it good.
This reborn gentleman has a reasonable question. Doesn’t he? Orban and the Nation are one, he claims, so, why do you hate them, or it?
Let me offer the answer.
Well, Mr. reborn, exactly for this reason. Because Orban is not the Nation, his electoral ”victory” was accomplished with cheating and even that was not enough for more than 42% of the votes.
But you just go ahead and ignore all he facts, practice your blind faith and just keep on amusing us with your rants. Thank you.

Oh! And BTW, please send in your tax return next time. Let us see if you are paying your taxes on the money you are receiving from Fidesz head quarters for your arduous labors on behalf of the ”Nation.”

Guest

Not too much OT:

It is well known that many Tiszta Magyar Fideszniks don’t like to pay taxes in Hungary – that starts with having a big car, a Mercedes or BMW SUV or the like (a few weeks ago in Budapest we saw even an 8 cylinder US SUV, a real gas guzzler …) with a Slovak licence plate, but a picture of Greater Hungary and something about Trianon …
I sometimes think this might be a code for the police: Do not touch this car or its owner!
And the number of offshore companies with Fidesz owners is legend!
I often tell my friends:
In Hungary only the poor and the stupid pay taxes!

Guest

I can’t believe that your idiotic propaganda is meant to be real – alternative facts like the current government has been elected by 2/3rd majority are too obvious …
You surely know that Fidesz didn’t even get 50% of the votes …
So again the old adage:
What’s worse than a liar?
A stupid liar who is easily found out.
You’re a really good example of the way Fidesz handles politics: lies, damned lies and …
And your threats are laughable too!
The ones who make illegal money are the Fidesz honchos with their tobacco shops e g – and we know many more cases of obvious corrution, just look at the Jobbik billboards!
PS:
If you reapeat your nonsense too often I’m for deleting it.

Jean P.
Guest

The ones who make illegal money are the Fidesz h….

Fidesz is the Party of the Hungarian Stealing Class.

wrfree
Guest

Re: Fideszian apologists and ‘catchwords’

When it comes to combative opinion-making the grating ‘style’ is apparent and terrible on the eyes and ears. Useful from that perspective in driving seething ‘Jacobins’ into the lair of the EU in Brussels as ‘revolt’ is seemingly everywhere. If the Fidesz hierarchy is perhaps ‘unhinged’ it just might be it’s getting ‘ meleg in the konyha’.

dos929
Guest

Democratically elected? You must be joking…. or you haven’t got the slightest of what democracy and elections mean…

Ferenc
Guest

Re: U_gotlost
democracy in Hungary: overwhelming 2/3 majority = 44.9% of votes
reality in Hungary: (Hungarian) Nation ≠ OV
furthermore: winning a democratic election does NOT prove the ‘winner’ is democratic

Watching, hearing, reading current matters in Hungary in all available media (free/public/dirty = szabad/köz/kosz) makes me realize how on our earth it is possible that a society with an overwhelming majority of ordinary and respectful people can ‘achieve’ what Germany did in the time span of 3 election periods (1933-45).

PS: I recently did a consultation about this blog:
Do you consider the ‘Hungarian Spectrum’ blog a good resource of information about current matters in Hungary?
A: Yes / B: No
My consultation was very successful and an overwhelming majority (100%) responded with Yes!
So I had to plaster my whole consultation area with ‘Hungarian Spectrum is a Strong and Proud Blog’ (wondering how it looks now inside Andorra…)

Ferenc
Guest

addition to “democracy in Hungary”: all non-Fidesz&Co parties (so in fact opposition parties) got 55.1% of valid votes in 2014 elections, this gave them the (underwhelming) amount of total 66 of 199 seats in HU parliament (so just under 1/3 of seats)

Member

Your feverish, non-questioning support of the mentally ill criminal destroying our country is despicable.

You sir/madam, along with the fascist regime you (are paid to?) support, are nothing less than traitors to the Hungarian nation.

Guest

You state mistakingly that this blog relentlessly attacks the Hungarian Nation. Let me confirm that as a member of the Hungarian nation living in Hungary I don’t consider this blog as an attack against our nation at all! Instead, every sentence on this blog actually is written for the benefit of the Hungarian nation. I wish that more and more people in Hungary actually read it to have a real and unbiased picture of the current state of our country. The Hungarian history is full of unqualified bad leaders, unfortunately, Orban is one of them. He is a good candidate for being in the top three no matter the fierce competition, so no wonder our country is in such a sorry state. As the saying goes: “A fejétől bűzlik a hal.” The only comfort is that we are here being entertained every day by this amateurish bunch of clowns currently leading the country. But actually a great national tragedy unfolding before our eyes. “Egyik szemünk sír a másik szemünk nevet”

dos929
Guest

Fact #1: Not one of the numbers quoted by ANY of the government officials or Orban himself are factual. They are all figments of imagination. They fake every statistics, and they are fake politicians themselves. The only truth about their propaganda is the copying of the methods used in Orwell’s ‘1984’.

Fact #2: Orban, without doubt, a sick person with a sick mentality. Not him, and not any of his henchmen are equipped with the ability to handle successfully even a small grocery shop, never mind a country. To be evil one doesn’t need to be exceptionally intelligent, it is enough to be void of compassion towards others, and they do practice this very well…

Fact #3: Juncker and the other EU leaders know now and knew from the beginning what kind of a ‘leader’ Orban is, and all they done and still do is ‘talkfest’, no action. And Orban is fully aware of their incompetence and using this against them. So no one should expect any real change; Orban will stay and will continue his rhetoric whilst Hungary sinks deeper and deeper into the quicksand of misery and hopelessness….

csubi
Guest

First, we don’t know the exact number of returned questionnaires. It may be significantly less than what Fideszeniks say. There’s no penalty for lying, we know Fidesz very often lies and there’s an incentive for lying (not to look like a failure). So personally I assume the real number is actually much smaller.

Second, hundreds of thousands (maybe a million) were filled out online – which can be done without any unique identifier which means trolls or even bots can fill them out and “send in” as many as they want or progrrammed for.

This was a failure and even Fideszniks know it.

Ferenc
Guest

Curious if one of the (independent) polling institutes will bother to do an independent survey about this consultation (e.g.participation, replies and opinion).
Might reveal the level of (in)reliability of governmental info and data.

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘unreliability………info and data’

VO appears to like to put words into the mouths of the entire electorate. However it is evident that in the country not all figure as saps and rubes when it comes to what the ‘government’ says reality is.

If the hierarchy continues to try and continually bang square pegs into round holes the situation cannot help but to bring a blowback. For the massaging and facile manipulation of information proves there is trouble in the Magyar paradise within high levels. At bottom their assessments are venture into the unreal.

I_reborn
Guest
@ FreeWheeling …. I am sorry my friend but I cannot satisfy your request for the simple reason Eva blocked my original entity and in spite of all “encouragements” she still did not lift the “blacklistings”. However I let you in on my secret. I never belonged to a party and I never will (although they say “never say never” but in this case I make an exception). Also I never supported any person (I meant a leader) or a party or an ideology. I always voted on policies and programs and not on party loyalty base. So what you seem to be insinuating is in fact a non-existing Fidesz Facebook affiliation. Being “a true supporter and defender OV and his values“ is false for the aforesaid reason. However I do not believe (contrary to the ruling philosophy on this blog) that anybody is always right or always wrong; therefore there are “values” that I can identify with and there are others I cannot. I am a devoted advocate of that every Nation has the right to determine whom they let into their country, and on this I am 100% in par with OV. I also agree with him that… Read more »
Observer
Guest

C’on, just go away, “free thinker” my foot – very much doubt the “free” bit and definitely not a thinker.

I_reborn
Guest
@dos929 ….. I cannot dispute your “Fact #1” neither can I agree with it because I have no information pro or contra. I guess you do otherwise you wouldn’t state what you did, would you? As far as “Fact #2” concerns I am not a doctor so I take your diagnostics at face value assuming that you are one, otherwise you wouldn’t state what you did, would you? But on “Fact #3” I would like to comment: as you stated “Juncker and the other EU leaders know now and knew from the beginning what kind of a ‘leader’ Orban is” what they did not now and I am afraid they will never do because the soros banknotes blinded them what kind of Europe their offsprings (except childless Merkels) will live fifty years from now. And on that note, I do not care how much OV and his cronies steal as long as they reinvest it in Hungary (not as the Demsky-Gyurcsany Ocean11 gang did) , I don’t care what they do to the numbers or whether they are capable to run a pans shop as long as he stands firm against the tide of the horde that the ultra-left liberal… Read more »
I_reborn
Guest

@ Ferenc … “democracy in Hungary: overwhelming 2/3 majority = 44.9% of votes reality in Hungary”

The last time I checked the number of seat in Parliament does not equal to the % of total votes. Please correct me if I missed some changes in the definition of democratic election methodology. If the non-won votes were to determine the governing party than perhaps there would be no government in Hungary and the USA would also have an empty White House. My opinion on this 44.9% votes is that the leaders of the liberal parties in Hungary would have a group orgasm if they got close to such numbers together. Conclusion: 44.9% votes that resulted in 2/3 majority of seats is really an overwhelming majority but you have a valid point: Hungarian Nation ? OV, but the people of Hungary are still strongly behind his government. Next spring you will see it with your own tearful eyes (just like Hillary’s crying supporters saw Mr. Trumps’ numbers).

I_reborn
Guest

@ wolfi7777 … “What’s worse than a liar? A stupid liar who is easily found out.”There is only one worse that that … blind looser liberal who is in denial and tries very hard to find an excuse how to make something he doesn’t want to accept a non-existing fact. And yes I do “surely know that Fidesz didn’t even get 50% of the votes”, but I also know something that you do not seem to know; that is all of the liberal leftist parties combined get less than half what the governing coalition did. Simple mathematics my friend not a political wish list.

And I am not surprised for a second that you are in favor to suppress my “nonsense” because you know that it is true and you just cannot coop with it. Vive la cenzura – Long live the censorship – Es lebe die cenzura.

I_reborn
Guest

@ ambator …. Thank you for using the distinguished designation of “gentleman” which is quite unique on this blog. I solute you for this. I agree with you “Orban is not the Nation”. I never meant to imply that, but since it has been interpreted multiple times by multiple readers this way I must admit it is my fault because I was not clear in my comment. I should have emphasized it better why the blogger hates Prime Minister Orbán Viktor so passionately and the people of the Hungarian Nation who voted him into power. I guess this would have been a better way to phrase the question. My apology. You will find the answer to the rest of your comment under my reply to @ FreeWheeling that should clear up a major misunderstanding for you and many other Ladies and Gentlemen.

I_reborn
Guest

@ dos929 …. “Democratically elected? You must be joking…. or you haven’t got the slightest of what democracy and elections mean… “ Please enlighten me, I am open to learn new election result counting methods that suits the liberal definition of democracy.

Szerda
Guest

I_reborn is a troll, who creates confusion. The goal of the Russian trolls is not necessarily to spread certain points of view (they do that too, and they do spread fake “news”) but also to create total confusion, to drown average readers, commenters into a sea of annoying comments. His comments should be deleted.

Member

The Orbanites are simply naive to think that a multiple-choice questionnaire can provide legitimacy for anything, especially when each question is worded in an incredibly misleading fashion and has only two possible answers: “I am a Hungarian patriot” and “I am self-hating scum.”

Proving once again that the US founding fathers were right to worry about handing power over to uneducated masses.

Gardonista
Guest

OT: Trump’s presidency seems to be bad for right wing populists in Europe, according to 538:
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/donald-trump-is-making-europe-liberal-again/

B-uda
Guest

R, we should understand that the European right was strongly promoted, guided and supported by the Kremlin.

Their stupid program was adopted by the Kremlin. Their defeat was a big slap to Moscow.

I would like hear from both US parties that they understand the active measures game, and will educate their members to refrain from the daily polarization of the people, as Obama tried in his last days. He wanted to use the Russian cards to its max. strength. Additionally see the Evelyn Farkas statements

The common enemy is the Kremlin before all.

Pole
Guest

As usual I will compare Hungary and Poland. In Poland president Duda is planning referendum together with general elections in 2019. Only question will be “do you agree on taking to Poland forced by EU numbers of refugees”. The plan is very easy: to make atmosphere where general election is dominated only by one subject “refugees”. And this election democratic opposition simply can’t win. 70% of population is against of even a few refugees on polish soil.

Guest
That won’t be good for Poland and its people because it will refresh all those stupid prejudices that many Germans (and British people etc too) had against the Polish people and combined with the reactionary stance of Poland’s government on sexual matters it will reinforce the feeling that Poland just like Hungary is not a part of civilsed Europe. Maybe Western Europe should just give up the fight and let Putin take over the “East” aka the “Balkan”? We Westerners would be better off having those “poor relatives” again – cheap holidays, cheap workers, just like in “Socialist” times … Rather OT: My father was born near Danzig (Gdansk to the Poles) but left when he joined Hitler’s army and found a Schwab girl to love, marry and produce offspring .. In the early 80s my parents, my sister and her English husband went to visit Poland and my father’s hometown. My father later reported very happily how wonderful the Poles had rebuilt that old town – whicn I promptly told to every Pole I met, especially at the tourist fairs that I went to. They were happy of course … The funny part now: My English brother in law… Read more »
Pole
Guest

About family history my father’s family lived in Oberschlesien part of Prussia. In second part of XIX century they moved to Gelsenkirchen to find better living. I don’t understand why they came back to Eastern Europe in 1919.

We Poles have our future in our hands if we don’t want to be part of civilised Europe it’s only our fault.

Guest

Funny how our lives are connected!
I also know quite a few Germans with Polish sounding names whose ancestors came to the “Ruhrpott” more than a hundred years ago to work as miners – they are also very strong in mumbers in the German soccer teams.
So all that crazy talk about “pure nations” from Fidesz etc is really silly – humans are humans!

aida
Guest

It maybe Hungary and Poland deserve Putin, although the Poles would find it hard to swallow. There is however no case for accepting it, let alone promoting it.
The EU problem with the three Visegrad countries is very worrying. If the EU does nothing, which was the case till now, it confirms its impotence. If it makes a move it threatens to cement the present rulers’ power. My view is some action now which maybe escalated later, but hope that the voters will chase away these people on bread and butter issues.

Pole
Guest

When bread and butter issues will surface the people will have no chance to democraticly change regime. Cemented mature autocracy unfortunately can be only owerthrown on the streets.

Member

If anyone still left on here (apart from the contemptible Neo- Nazi apologist) still doubts the evil inherent at the very roots of the fascist regime, please read this: http://budapestsentinel.com/articles/hungarys-transit-zones-are-prisons-where-pregnant-women-are-handcuffed-and-children-go-hungry/.

Never mind the paper-clip pushing cowards of the EU finally getting their act together against the Orban dictatorship, it is the time for the UN to send in independent observers to the Fidesz concentration camps.

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