What will come of Orbán’s opposition?

Yesterday HVG  published a two-page summary of Medián’s polling results over the 2017 calendar year. Ever since April Fidesz has been gaining in popularity among the electorate as a whole. Jobbik, although losing some of its support, has maintained its position as the largest opposition party. Opposition parties on the left, taken together, have garnered, depending on the date of the poll, between 19% and 25% support. Medián has a category of voters it calls “active undecided.” These are people who claim they would definitely vote but are still undecided about their party of choice. This is a group of a little over a million voters. And about half of the electorate, despite the seemingly overwhelming support for Fidesz, would like to see a change of government.

One of the striking findings of the survey is that with every passing month the number of people who would under no circumstances vote for MSZP or DK has grown. By November 59% of respondents said they wouldn’t vote for MSZP; 60% wouldn’t vote for DK. The reason for this development is twofold. First is the growing doubt about the chances of the left-of-center opposition at the polls. And second, the protracted negotiations between MSZP and DK gave the impression of incompetence, lack of political finesse, and the will to win. Whether this view will change after the conclusion of the first phase of the negotiations only time will tell, but I wouldn’t be overly optimistic, again for at least two reasons.

The first reason for my doubt is the relatively weak popular support for the kind of arrangement that MSZP and DK came up with. Only 21% of those who want a change of government would like to see one common left-of-center candidate against the candidates of Fidesz and Jobbik. A much larger percentage (45%) of respondents support across-the-board cooperation among the opposition parties, including Jobbik. That arrangement would pit one joint opposition candidate against one Fidesz candidate. In brief, almost half of the anti-Orbán forces are convinced that without Jobbik the left opposition cannot win.

The second reason for my belief that the campaign on the left-of-center side will not be particularly successful is the inability of its political leaders to set aside their bickering. I had hoped that public arguments about the best arrangement would come to an end once an agreement was reached on the individual districts. But I was mistaken. Last night Gyula Molnár and Ferenc Gyurcsány spent close to half an hour discussing the pros and cons of the arrangement on ATV’s “Egyenes beszéd.” For good measure, they also engaged in, at the urging of the anchor, a lengthy discussion about their differences of opinion regarding Gergely Karácsony as a suitable candidate for the post of prime minister. This conversation, as far as I was concerned, didn’t help the situation of either MSZP or DK. Gyurcsány’s disparaging remarks about Karácsony were unfortunate. He didn’t have to give a lecture on the unimportance of popularity as a political category or make snide remarks about MSZP not being able to come up with a candidate of its own. It was equally unnecessary for Gyurcsány to talk about the unlikely situation in which the left-of-center parties win the election and then have to decide on the best person for prime minister (when he didn’t rule himself out as being the best choice), as he did in an interview with Olga Kálmán on Hír TV. None of this is helpful in strengthening the electorate’s trust in the opposition.

It is also difficult to understand why László Botka felt compelled to give an interview right after his party and DK had just signed an agreement. I wasn’t convinced by Botka’s reasoning that he “owes the people of Szeged an account of his candidacy at the end of the year.” Botka looks upon himself as an innocent victim who was attacked by both Fidesz and his own party. He still believes that he “suggested total cooperation” and did everything in his power to achieve it. As we know, this was not the case. He spent nine months negotiating with no one and on principle excluding the leader of the second largest party from that “total cooperation.” In addition, he was largely responsible for his party’s rapid loss of popularity during the summer and fall of 2017. But instead of admitting his contribution to MSZP’s troubles, he now publicly accuses the current party leaders of not striving for victory. Botka now claims that he resigned because he couldn’t withstand the  “incredible pressure” coming from Fidesz “for which left-wing politicians often offered the munition.” It is unlikely that this mixture of public crying over spilt milk and accusations will inspire the anti-Orbán forces to stand behind the left-of-center parties.

By now it has been determined, whether DK likes it or not, that Gergely Karácsony will be MSZP’s candidate for prime minister, which I consider to be a fine choice. At the moment there are four declared candidates: Viktor Orbán, Bernadett Szél, Gergely Karácsony, and Gábor Vona. Medián asked voters to choose among these candidates. Although there remains a large undecided group (35-39% of the electorate), among those who have an opinion Viktor Orbán would win hands down with 45-46% against Szél’s 19%, Karácsony’s 18%, and Vona’s 16%.

Slogan says: Determination / Announcement for a meeting in Miskolc

Karácsony is a low-keyed man who, although he inherited a Fidesz-majority council, has been successfully running a Budapest district of about 130,000 inhabitants. He is young and good-looking. MSZP decided to send him and Ágnes Kunhalmi on a nationwide campaign. As Gyula Molnár said, the most popular politician with the most popular MSZP politician should be a winning combination.

December 22, 2017
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Jean P
Guest

For a long time now commenters have consoled themselves and the readers with a final remark: “A miracle may happen before the election day”.

Now the miracle has happened. Fidesz has gained support.

wrfree
Guest

If there’s anything the opposition ‘candidates’ can takeaway from the rise of VO and his cohort is the fact that the latter he knows how it feels to be one among the unemployed.

The opposition is now in the experience and should feel the same if only to simply have a shot at a job that more and more looks as nice work ‘if you can get it’. VO is like those iron statues that never seem to go away. He has a high melting temp.

1956
Guest

This is the question that can unite most decent Hungarians:

Who is our common main enemy?

After a short thinking, all of us can answer it:

The Active Measures Complex from Moscow.

They bombard us with disinformation, lies, and incitement.

Let us unite, and vote for candidates who pledge fighting the Active Measures.

Even ordinary Russians are welcome to join us.

tappanch
Guest

official statistics for the 2018 election.

number of people eligible to vote
with vs without Hungarian address

2017.08.10: 7960767 vs 291409 (3.53%)
2017.12.23: 7947870 vs 314071 (3.80%)

Difference: -12897 (0.16% decline) vs +22662 (7.78% increase)

Remark #1:
The natural decline of the Hungarian population in the four month period of July through October was
7421 people, which gives a 8199 approximation for the August 10 through December 23 period.

Remark #2:
95.37% of the non-disqualified & (mailed-in or dropped-off) votes of people
without Hungarian address were tabulated to Fidesz in 2014.

tappanch
Guest

Remark #3:
The number of registered voters without Hungarian address was
193793 in April 2014. This number is up by 62.07% by December 2017.

did not send in ballot: 88514 (45.67%)
sent in ballot that was invalidated: 42307 (21.83%)
valid votes for Fidesz: 60059 (30.99%)
valid votes for all other parties: 2913 ( 1.50%)

Remark #4:

backlog.
applicants to vote without Hungarian address that were not yet approved:

2017.08.10: 353225-291409 = 61816
2017.12.23: 378470-314021 = 64449

Ferenc
Guest

What is most annoying:
more talk in the media by left-liberal ABOUT each other, THAN
talk WITH each other ABOUT what to do TOGETHER, and then
really DO together!!

i.e.too many talkshows, for the subjects at hand…

tappanch
Guest

National debt is at a new high.

Gross debt of the central government as calculated by the Treasury (akk.hu),
which is always a much smaller number than the debt according to the National Bank.

Trillions of forints, as of November 30 of each year.

2012: 20.6535
2013: 22.4533
2014: 23.9145
2015: 25.5051
2016: 25.4899
2017: 26.9345

Foreign reserves of the National Bank are at a new low.

Billions of euros, as of November 30 of each year.

2012: 33.865
2013: 34.729
2014: 34.135
2015: 33.140
2016: 25.151
2017: 22.171

Ferenc
Guest

Looking at those figures:
-gross debt (per akk.hu) show steady increase
-foreign reserves (per ??) show stable 2012-2015, then sharp decline (2015-2017)
Brings me to the questions:
*What does and/or can it all mean?
*Where did/could have all that money (increased debt and decreased reserves) go(ne)?

tappanch
Guest

[foreign reserves] – [debt denominated in other than forints] is always positive, but close to zero.

This was true under the Socialist governments, under Orban, under Matolcsy and under Matolcsy’s predecessor.

In my humble opinion, the grand plan is as follows:

1. [2015-2017]
Reduce the non-forint debt of the government by reducing the foreign reserves of the National Bank. (This is illegal under the rules of the European Central Bank, so they did it indirectly)

The rating agencies love the non-forint debt numbers, they do not look at the National Bank numbers.

The forint-denominated debt went up tremendously in the same period.

2. [2018- ]
Devalue the forint, so the value of the debt goes down in euro terms. The domestic population and the foreign bond holders will use value in euro terms as a consequence.

tappanch
Guest

correction: will lose, instead of will use.

Ferenc
Guest

thanks, for your info

petofi
Guest

What it means…Since it took only 5 years to deplete the national reserves by 33%, we can expect Orban to remain another 10 years and finish the job–

bimbi
Guest

Nepszava today on the Great Leader’s Friday Radio propaganda speech reports, “We can stand on our own feet”… …”We are not dependent on anybody’s money, the country stands on its own feet; the economic driver is not EU money, but rather the efforts of the Hungarian working people.”

For the ruling Fidesz elite this is good news for what he is saying is that they don’t have to steal money from the EU but rather that generated by the Hungarian workers. Put simply this says:

WE STEAL… …THEY WORK.

Same difference. Got it?

tappanch
Guest

Employment.
Thousands of people, as of October of each year.

enterprises + non-profits + government + fostered workers:

2014: 1867.9 + 94.2 + 697.7 + 178.6
2015: 1923.2 (up by 2.96%) + 99.2 (up by 5.31%) + 699.1 + 209.8
2016: 1981.0 (up by 3.01%) + 108.0 (up by 8.88%) + 687.6 + 203.0
2017: 2027.7 (up by 2.36%) + 130.3 (up by 20.65%) + 700.6 + 155.0

Nice run-up in the number of employees of the non-profit organizations,
regarding the fact that the Orban government tries to kill all of the
really independent non-profits.

Ferenc
Guest

re “non-profit organizations”
increased employment is very strange…
Isn’t possible that the Government Organised more “NGOs” (so actually G.O.NGOs) and that would explain it?

Note: for example I remember the “Antall József Tudásközpont” to have recently strongly increased their staff (and simultaneously kicking out some who were critical)…

Gabor Toka
Guest
The opposition really drive their potential supporters mad with these never-ending coordination games, but it is difficult to blame them for this. (I leave aside now whether they look disappointing even without these games.) Yes, “if only they could unite” there might pull out a somewhat better result collectively, but the chances of winning, forming a coalition that can last in office and govern against all the many legal and illegal obstacles that Fidesz would undoubtedly create are so low that the expected benefit of a few more seats taken from Fidesz look small compared to seeing your individual part of the cake grow rather than disappear – and I do not mean here payments and useless office privileges for opposition backbenchers and their parties, but getting a more prominent place within the future opposition for the people, the strategies, and the policies that you believe in and for the success of which you worked many hundred hours over the last few years. Some are a bit more into self-sacrifice like Karacsony, while others are more selfish like Gyurcsany, and politics is a game where the former always loose chicken games to the latter (but, unless you die in a… Read more »
Marty
Guest
Right now there is only one party in Hungary and that is Fidesz. It’s not only that Fidesz is in the position of the “ruling party” (of which every electoral autocracy naturally has one, and which for all practical purposes cannot be deposed) but average people who don’t like Fidesz also say that the opposition parties are not in the same league as Fidesz is in. Jobbik, MSZP DK, especially the rest are not seen as being real “contenders” even put together. On the other hand, Fidesz since losing power in 2002 had always been a realistic “contender”. A force that was always absolutely ready (at least it appeared so) to govern and take power over if given the chance. Although after 2006, and especially after the 2008 economic crises, Fidesz wanted to make sure MSZP/SZDSZ carries out the restrictive economic policies so Orban can forever always blame the leftists who only know how to torment people (once in 1995 with Bokros and then in 2009-2010 with Bajnai). But the point is Fidesz had “deciders”, real “leaders” and not clueless “macskajancsik”. The entire opposition between them lacks one single charismatic, serious leader even an efficient, disciplined consigliere. Not only it… Read more »
Guest

So you’re calling Orbán a charismatic, serious leader?
Funny in a way, but it shows the limited opportunities Hungary has …
As my wife says: 70% bunko paraszt!
That of course includes those who are too lazy to vote at all.

Marty
Guest

Perception is what only matters, wolfi. Omit me, I try to relay how average joes think. And in comparison. People compre Orban vs. Vona vs. Karácsony vs. whoever and the result is compared to all of theabove Orban is a “decider”, a real (if corrupt) leader. But between a stupid (weak, hapless, bickering etc.) and the corrupt people vote for the corrupt. This is an axiom of politics. The left just doesn’t understand that coming across as stupid and weak is deadly. No amount of long-term strategy, trickery, manuevering can compensate for that perception. Yes, the opportunities are limited – as in any autocracy.

Ferenc
Guest

OV is as charismatic and serious as a wolf is for sheep!

I have watched and read old appearances and writings by and about him (all the back to late 1980s!), my conclusion is that at heart he NEVER changed.

OV has just grown out of his worn-out sheep clothes…

Member

Orbàn is as charismatic as ordinary Felcsúti paraszt.
But Ferenc, I’d like to elaborate on your wolf picture.

I believe Orbàn is not a wolf, but a Ordinary Felcsúti Greedy Skunk ever since. In the beginning, when the wind came from the west he put on sheep clothing.
After winds changed, he changed clothes.
What is still a miracle to me: Why don’t people sense this ugly smell.

Ferenc
Guest

…some game for christmas…
…find the difference…
…s…

Marty
Guest

I don’t thing we need to obsess with the word charismatic. The point is that (1) people still somehow prefer him over the available opposition individuals (who are considered weak, not up to the task) and (2) Orban does have a very substantial religious following, who are just absolutely crazy about him, no opposition politician has a following anything close to that.

If you add (1)+(2) it means Orban wins vs any of his “challengers”. Btw this is the point: none are considered as “challengers”, they all come across as just petty amateurs trying their luck against the heavy weight Orban.

The opposition lack – among others – heavy weight personalities.

Member

Your admiration for dictators have no boundaries, your contempt for democrats neither.
What about praising your idols somewhere else, or at least talk straight?

Ferenc
Guest

Fully agree with Winston.
Marty writes like speaking with a double tongue, pretending to be one thing, but writing at heart opposingly.
E.g.(with some exceptions) mostly like ”(the) people…” and “opposition lacks this and that”. BUT hardly ever “personally I…” or positive features of others than OV&Co.

On the other hand, to judge the OV (himself, with his ‘Co’), I made the following:





Above are listed all compromises, I could find, OV has made in his political career (so since early 1990s). Think it really shows how ‘democratic at heart’ ‘m really is…

Marty
Guest
You are both making the exact same mistake as the US establishment Democrats are making who are just obsessed with “the Russian collusion” – and in the meantime they continue to totally ignore the economic, social reality, the real problems on the ground. Which is why the Republicans could push through their radical tax cut which will affect the social fabric of the US in ways that no comparable Democratic plan (not even Obamacare) affected in decades. And otherwise Democratic people who advise to not be obsessed with Russian spies and collusion, but instead they tell the establishment to honestly look into the failings of the Democratic party (how it totally abandoned the white working class, how it became the party of the elite, how it came to love FBI, CIA to the point where now W Bush is seen as a positive figure etc.) are called trolls, Russian operatives, agents and the like. You have been calling me a troll again and again and in the meantime you have been consistently failing to face Hungarian reality. It seems to me you are – still – both underestimating Orban (his system, his existing, real following, his entrenchment) and overestimating the… Read more »
Member

Nobody here denies the situation in Hungary. Eva is reporting every day on it.
But why do you don’t get any other reasons for it into your mind like:
– Orbàn has charisma
– Orbàn understands the people
– Orbàn is smart

What about:
– Orbàn has no scruples
– Orbàn uses every tool, a decent human wouldn’t use, like lying, hate mongery, dismantle press freedom
– and so on….

In any case, you’re not honest.

BTW: I also live in Hungary. But in the worst case we both could emigrate, thanks to the liberal and free EU.

Ferenc
Guest

Cut the …words… Marty!
Please answer me two simple short questions:
1.Who do/would you vote for now in Hungary
2.Why?

Marty
Guest
1. I have two votes. With the vote for the district representative I will vote for whoever has the best chance of beating the Fidesz candidate. I live in Buda which is traditionally conservative. I hope the MSZP/DK and Jobbik will coordinate and can vote for the single main oppositon candidate. If there won’t be, it could be Jobbik or the coordinated MSZP/DK – with that vote I am ready to vote for the leftists even if I hate them too (like the 60% who say they simply would not even contemplate any leftist party, they are so fed up with the impotent bickering of clueless nobodies.) 2. With the party list vote I am not rewarding a leftist party. I am leaning LMP but I am being told by people in the know that they are controlled by Fidesz which I find plausible. There is a reason why you can’t find the names of the party director and finance director (two very important positions under the articles of association of LMP) on LMP’s home page, but not even google helps. Apparently, LMP doesn’t want people to do a check on these background people. Sad. I will not vote for… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

Answer TOOOOOOOOO long, to be credible…

Marty
Guest

Overheard on the bus to Felsőtárkány (close to Eger/Miskolc) by a journalist at hvg.hu:

“The smartest person of the last 70 years is Viktor Orban. Only Janos Kadar may compare to him.”

How often do you hear similar statements from average joes about other politicians? If you think Orban does not have genuine support and love (besides voters who are simply pragmatic) you are making a huge mistake. This is the sad reality.

http://munchausenparokaja.tumblr.com/post/168955492491/az-elm%C3%BAlt-hetven-%C3%A9v-legokosabb-embere-orb%C3%A1n

Ferenc
Guest

“the sad reality”
If this is really your opinion, why don’t I read anything from you, how you try yo do something about that sadness?
…and try to “make reality great again”…

Marty
Guest

Ferenc, as I mentioned to you I have been doing quite a lot. In private once maybe I could tell about my experiences but for now I’d rather remain anonymous and so you just have to accept my words. You can’t know everything.

Ferenc
Guest

I can only accept your words, IF you limit your future words to the ones you will vote for!!

Member

The queation was not, whether Orbán is smart or not.
The question was, why not any other properties come in to you mind. There are a lot more…

Jean P
Guest

Marty: “The smartest person of the last 70 years is Viktor Orban.”

Marty, if you are not a troll you at least speak troll language like a native.

Marty
Guest

Jean, can you read? I was quoting a rural person in Borsod County (en route to Felsőtárkány). It’s not my opinion. What I wanted to say by referencing this recent quote (overheard a few days ago by a journalist of HVG) is that there are people who genuinely admire Orban but there are extremely few people who admire opposition politicians.

Guest

This seems to prove again my wife’s statement that 79% of her compatriots are bunko paraszt – what could be done/what has to happen to change that?

Member

Gábor Toka, I disagree in many points of yours:
– the electoral system is a handicap, but not an excuse for the oppositions performance
– one has every right to “moralize”, if politicians four months before the elections position themselves for after the elections. This is outrageous and unacceptable.
– I find it cynical to claim that winning the elections by the opposition would make no sense because there would be too many obstacles, This is a punsh in the face of every decent politician and citizen. I find it wrong, too, because no one can say what will happen then.
– I prefer gladly to be a little unrealistic and “unjustified disappointed” after the elections, than to put my head into the sand.
– the first time I heard of lousy votes.
What do you suggest we could contribute?
At least you made the troll happy.

Istvan
Guest
Well since PM Orban has given the Hungarian people his Christmas story I suppose some reference to it is merited, it can be read here in full https://www.bama.hu/orszag-vilag/orban-viktor-meg-kell-vedenunk-kereszteny-kulturat-1208697/ The title of the Orban article translates to “We must protect the Christian culture.” Among the many transgressions of PM Orban in his essay is a theological reformation of what Christians call the golden rule. In secular terms it is the law of reciprocity, a law that exists in many religions. Here is my translation of what Orban writes: “According to Mark’s gospel, Christ’s second commandment sounds as if he write Love your neighbor as yourself. There is a lot of mention of Christ’s command in Europe today. They want to vindicate us that even though we confess ourselves to be Christian, we do not want to, or even let, millions from other continents to settle into Europe. But they forget the second part of the commandment. The doctrine consists of two parts: we want to have our neighbors, but we also have to love ourselves. Loving ourselves also means taking and protecting what we are and who we are. To love ourselves means that we love our country, our nation, our… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

Thanks Istvan, for all your wrote.
Seems the text appeared in all OV&Co “supporting/by them organized” media (with in front of the troups MagyarIdok and MediaWorks publications).
Magyar Nemzett has made the following article about it – https://mno.hu/belfold/orban-viktor-nem-akarunk-behuzott-fuggony-mogott-unnepelni-2435845

PS: very typical for OV’s words is, that there’s no mention nor reference to “Parable of the Good Samaritan” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Good_Samaritan

tappanch
Guest

The “golden rule” and the two schools of Jewish philosophy (Shammai & Hillel) , 1st century BCE.

‘There was another incident involving a non-Jew who came before Shammai and told him:

“I convert if you teach me the whole Torah while I am standing on one foot.”

Shammai chased him away with a builder’s measuring stick in his hand.

The same gentile came before Hillel. Hillel converted him [with these words]:

“What is hateful to you do not do to another;
that is the entire Torah, and the rest is commentary.
Now go and study it ! “‘

1956
Guest

Poor Hillel and Shamai were the ones who fooled all Jews all times with this useless advice. And lives were lost on horrendous scales.

There are very few people who can not be fooled.

Therefore there were very few ones who could save their lives.

Since Immanuel Kant, the door is open to truth, but in the ocean of lies, very few people are looking for that door.

petofi
Guest

There is a new political movement set free in the world–sycofanatacism.

Ferenc
Guest

And Now… for something completely different…
“Russian submarines are prowling around vital undersea cables. It’s making NATO nervous.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russian-submarines-are-prowling-around-vital-undersea-cables-its-making-nato-nervous/2017/12/22/d4c1f3da-e5d0-11e7-927a-e72eac1e73b6_story.html
May be Istvan can shine some more / his light on this.

PS: Would be dramatical, if here in Europe we would be cut from Eva’s writing…

Marty
Guest

I truly recommend Stephen Kotkin’s (Princeton) new book on Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.

Extremely interesting, readable, insightful.

Btw any book about Stalin is bound to be more insightful about Orban than any book about Hitler.

This is because Hitler was ultimately a thoroughly Western man while Stalin, in his words, a “Russified Half-Asian”. Orban is much more like the Russians with his insane paranoia, never trusting anybody and his corruption than any Western person however dictatorial.

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/529319/stalin-by-stephen-kotkin/9781594203800/

wrfree
Guest

Timely ref on a book as I was perusing one myself. I’ll note ‘Inside the Third Reich Memoirs’ by Albert Speer as an interesting read on insights from an active participant in a autocratic behavior going on now in Magyarirszag.

He was asked how could the Nazis perpetrate all their crimes. He noted it was a combination of ‘unlimited personal power combined with new devices provided by modern technology’. Point to ponder on a Magyar train without ‘positive action control’.

Observer
Guest

Marty
I have read a lot on the revolutions, Stalin, WW2 – alternating Gulag with Children of Arbat, Lenin in Zurich with Cancer Ward and First Circle, Icebreaker and Lying about Hitler, a dozen biographies and memoires on/by main players, incl Zhukov, Vasilevski, Alexander Worth, dozens of specialis articles tc.
What’s new, notable in this book? Read it?

Guest

A bit OT – but maybe interesting as background info:
A long commentary (in English!) on Mrs Merkel, her “non policies” i e non-activities not only re Orbanistan and the coming end of her reign:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/opinion-german-stability-and-the-merkel-era-a-1183519.html
The interesting question is:
Who will be the next “leader” of Germany – and maybe the EU?
Maybe someone like Jens Spahn, a conservative gay politician who just married his long time partner after the law in Germany was changed to allow it (most of his colleagues in CDU/CSU were against it …)?

Jean P
Guest

Marty: “Jean, can you read? I was quoting a rural person in Borsod County (en route to Felsőtárkány). It’s not my opinion.”

Yes, I can read, and I am going to stop using this facility on your many verbose and repetitive comments. You are using one of the common troll devices: Quoting some unidentified person’s praise of Orban, so it is not your opinion. I think it is your opinion and I presented it as such.