January 29th, 2010

Opposition Fidesz aims at two-thirds majority

Hungary’s main opposition Fidesz party is aiming at winning a two-thirds majority at the parliamentary elections in April, Laszlo Kover, head of the party’s national board, told reporters in Szolnok (C) on Thursday.

Kover said his party needed an absolute majority so that the next government could perform its tasks. He noted that Fidesz had a realistic chance to win a landslide.

Concerning the radical nationalist Jobbik party’s gaining ground Kover said it was a “lamentably negative” tendency, adding that it was rooted in the “disaster government” of the Socialist Party and its former liberal ally Free Democrats.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU&feature=related Viking

    “lamentably negative” tendency

    How should we interpret that, as
    – regrettable,
    – unfortunate,
    – deplorable,
    – pitiable.
    If it is suppose to be understood as the two first, then he really emphasises that Fidesz has no responsibility what so ever to engage anti-Government critics in what is good politics and what is not.
    So if during the Fidesz-controlled next Parliament the MunkasPart (the real communist party in Hungary) would raise to become an important political player with 10-15% in the opinion polls, we could all blame the Fidesz Government?

    If Fidesz had put in the same effort that they have been using to destroy MDF the last 4 years, on instead engaging Jobbik in an open debate on what is right and wrong to do in politics, then the situation with Jobbik would have been different today. By not doing this Fidesz has given its silent support to Jobbik’s policies.

  • GmBh

    Never really quite follow your logic, Viking.
    (Or, lack of same.)
    I admire your artifice in blaming Jobbik for every conceivable wrong under the sun.
    It is obvious from your comments that you support Bokros^David at MDF headquarters.
    Strange how you never seem to criticize the current MSZP government?
    After all,are they not responsible for our current misfortunes.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU&feature=related Viking

    It is obvious from your comments that you support Bokros^David at MDF headquarters.
    Strange how you never seem to criticize the current MSZP government?
    After all,are they not responsible for our current misfortunes
    GmBh at January 29, 2010 2:04 PM

    I think/hope Bokross is another type of politician than the Orban/Gyurcsany-type. The latter 2 you either hate or love, they tend to divide people than to unite people from different camps.
    I lived in Hungary during the Bokros-years 95-98 and they were hard but Hungary has lived on the house-cleaning he did at that time. The guys that came after him:
    – Orban,
    – Medgessy,
    – Gyurcsany
    continued the old Communist-policy from the 80s loan money to “improve people’s living conditions”. That is why we got the minimum wage under Orban and ever increasing promises every election of more gold and honey.

    I have hardly ever seen a Government-positive post, so to criticize the Government would just be writing something someone else already written and what would be the point?

    The Government is of course responsible for many things, but to blame Jobbik’s success on the Government is in my opinion not correct
    Every democratic party has a responsibility to oppose anti-democratic ideas and tendencies. Fidesz takes very light on this responsibility, especially when they have had organised cooperation with Jobbik
    I think though that Jobbik’s usefulness is finished for Fidesz and after the election it will be harder times for Jobbik/MG

  • GmBh

    I read some of the things Bokros has written on the advice of Vándorló. I can see in former times that he was the man for the job as far as finances are concerned. He is not a man of the moment, though.
    I appreciate and agree with your remarks about both Orban and Gyurcsany.
    If you support MDF why don’t you tell us more about them?
    I asked Mark the same question about Jobbik.
    People that live in Hungary are interested in all the options open to them as far as the coming election is concerned.
    We are not concerned with the schoolboys that continually post about racial and border issues and are clearly Adolf Hitler adherents.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU&feature=related Viking

    If you support MDF why don’t you tell us more about them?
    GmBh at January 29, 2010 9:53 PM
    I must admit that I had a problem with MDF, then they were in power in 1990-94 and that goes as one of the most corrupt time in Hungarian history.
    As I understand most of the leadership from that time went to Fidesz later and the more obnoxious types, like Csurka Istvan open up their own shop.
    MDF today is different and has struggled for over 10 years to survive from the big ‘charm-offensive’ from Fidesz
    MDF has presented some different ideas, like:
    * A cost of promises calculator:
    Given the traditional to ‘buy’ the electorate in the true spirit of Kadar this would be a ‘Good Thing'(tm), even if it is of course an election ploy, then no other party will follow suite.

    * They are also the only party that claims that the current pension model is not sustainable and that the Swedish model would be better.
    Fidesz was thinking of the Swedish model, but back-tracked immediately when they understood they could loose votes on this issue

    This is the thing, to say uncomfortable truths even if it means losing some votes on it
    We all know, by our and our neighbour’s wallets, that the economy will be important the next 2-3 years for Hungary, like this from MTI:
    “Hungarians see joblessness as biggest problem”

    The question is:
    – Bokross fixed the economy 95-98, why not give him another chance?

  • olga

    @ Vandorlo, Viking, Sophist, Wolfi and everyone other than JOBBIK supporters)
    If FIDESZ’ claim is true and it has 2/3 majority, JOBBIK has approx. 12% support, MSZP is dog meat – is there a party that could be a threat to FIDESZ?
    Has Orban come out with a concrete plan? There must be a reason for the 2/3rd majority unless it’s just a vote against MSZP
    Fascinating as it is to rehash Rakosi and other evil dead Communists ad nauseam, while taking time out to dump on Israel, the election is fast approaching.
    I was thinking of a Carroll Lewis poem that started with “The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things” -the Hungarian spring elections come to mind.
    If there is a concrete point by point plan by Orban for Hungary’s future under his leadership, could someone post the link please? ( I will struggle through it in Hungarian if it’s what he will actually do as opposed to how awful his opponents were, are and will continue to be)

  • http://www.centralbudapest.com Vándorló

    @Olga: Right now the biggest threat to Fidesz is Fidesz’s past, or rather Orbán’s past: “The Serious Fraud Office charged that between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2008, Mensdorff-Pouilly had conspired with others to give or agree to give corrupt payments to agents of certain central and eastern European governments.” http://bit.ly/ajzvKk
    Orbán was one of those and chose Gripen fighters in a last minute turn around against the advice of military experts. Oh and he could also make the mistake of trying to talk about policies etc… That has lost him the one horse races at the last post twice already.
    @GmBh: I’m not here to entertain you or translate the news for you. You have said you have lived here for 3 years and already support a Fidesz-Jobbik pact so you explain to me what on earth you are voting for and why.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU&feature=related Viking

    is there a party that could be a threat to FIDESZ?
    olga at January 30, 2010 2:02 AM

    To winning the elections (= being the biggest party)?
    Hardly no other party as it stands today.
    The Fidesz voter base is probably so firm that even a major fuck-up by the Fidesz leadership would not remove the expected victory from them.

    Will Fidesz get 2/3rd majority?
    Pro (Stable majority (if they can keep order inside their own party-group)):
    * can be a good thing in hard economic times to push through unpopular measures
    * can stand firm against anti-democratic forces like Jobbik (Orban has already declared that organisations like Magyar Garda is not needed in Fidesz-land)
    * Change the Constitution to make Hungary more governable, like limiting the right to referendums (MSZP are likely to start pushing for different referendums on April 12 to give back what Fidesz did on them)

    Cons (single majority or even not that, but still biggest party):
    * To introduce unpopular measure in bad economic times it is normally better to have a consensus among the non-populist parties (Jobbik will never agree to anything that they can be held responsible for in the next election)
    * Fidesz, especially if only 3 parties and no MDF, can cooperate with Jobbik for Constitutional changes which will never be good
    * A Fidesz-Jobbik alliance would be viewed as a Bad Thing(tm) abroad and inside the EU and make Hungary’s foreign policy very hard
    Conclusion: MDF is needed in the next Parliament

  • Sophist

    “If there is a concrete point by point plan by Orban for Hungary’s future under his leadership, could someone post the link please”
    Given government finances and private foreign currency debt, there’s little Orban can do that is different to the current MSZP regime. Public finance and services need massive structural change, and taxes need to be paid; Hungarians are not intereseted in hearing this, so Orban is wisely not going to tell them. An alternative point by point plan would just expose him to later charges of broken promises. The only point of interest is whether Orban is going to get the majority to rejig the constitution on its own, or whether he is going to have to co-opt/destroy Jobbik to get it. Until we get a constitution that enables the government to force through necessary but unpopular change not much can happen to domestic policy – look at the fate of the property tax, and Hungary’s destiny remains in the hands of the international organisations that currently finance it.

  • olga

    Vandorlo, Viking, Sophist
    Thanks- interesting to read 3 perspectives.
    My own conclusion after reading your opinions is that the less said about concrete policies the better and pray the polls are accurate.
    Regarding the Reuter article:
    “It said Mensdorff-Pouilly was accused of paying off unknown officials of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria to secure, or as rewards for having secured, contracts for the supply of SAAB Gripen fighter jets.”
    Unknown officials? If they charged him, they must have proof who these officials are – I assume it will come out during the trial. Fortunately for FIDESZ, the trial will take place after the elections if the bail hearing is set for February.
    Re: “The Fidesz voter base is probably so firm that even a major fuck-up by the Fidesz leadership would not remove the expected victory from them.”
    Once again, “silence is golden” – the less said on policy details the better.
    About MG not being needed in FIDESZ land – that kind of “army” or whatever it is, is not needed by any democratic Western country unless it wants to be viewed by the Western world as a joke.
    Re: “Given government finances and private foreign currency debt, there’s little Orban can do that is different to the current MSZP regime.”
    Sounds like “ Same shit, different day” (it’s a quote from a book but I don’t know the source)
    I can’t wait to see the election results – much more exciting than Canadian elections.

  • Farkas László

    Dear Olga,
    I also share Sophist’s concerns about the country having structural problems with it’s system of public finance, along with a dependency on international financing. This is hitting the nail on the head. It’s an awful situation to be in, because a political solution by any party becomes very difficult. To fix the mess would mean inflicting pain and that can backfire politically.
    What has happened throughout the world in similiar situations is that unpopular changes regarding taxes and public finance are often forced by international lending agencies. The political party that happens to be in charge when the international lenders have become tired of financing the status quo, is usually the one “thrown under the bus”!

  • http://magyargarda.hu/ Mark

    Everyone expects a big Fidesz victory because everyone had enough of thieving Communist MSZP, SZDSZ and MDF. However, I see 2/3 only with Jobbik’ support. Contrary to polls, I hope that Jobbik will crush the Communists. This should create an interesting situation.
    If Fidesz rejects Jobbik’s support for laws that are in the national interests under international, mostly Israeli pressure, Fidesz will damage its national image and it could come back to bite them in 2014.
    If Fidesz accepts Jobbik’s support, Fidesz will not be able to attack Jobbik and the Magyar Garda. It will mean some screaming from the colonialists and their press but it would help Fidesz win in 2014.
    I do not see the return of Communists in 2014. It will be another Fidesz government if Fidesz defends Hungary from the predators or it will be Jobbik. Actually, it is up to Fidesz.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I5BGsK5ZAU&feature=related Viking

    Everyone expects a big Fidesz victory because everyone had enough of thieving Communist MSZP, SZDSZ and MDF
    Mark at January 31, 2010 8:17 AM

    How does MDF end up on that list?
    They have not been in Government since 1994, since then Fidesz was in Government 1998-2002, but they are not on the list.
    Strange is the selection method of Mark

    The rest of Mark’s post speak volumes of the problems Hungary will face if MDF does not come into the Parliament and we get at least a 4 party Parliament
    And of course, Jobbik will not vote for anything that they will be able to be accused for in 2014
    It is a very comfortable populist position, but totally irresponsible when Hungary need to take itself out of the financial crisis due too much public spending and not enough tax money coming in
    Not that Jobbik will help out there, just sitting on the fence screaming something about Israel, while people have not enough money in their wallets

    Ask your local Jobbik-rep if the Swedish model for Pensions would be a good thing for Hungary, or the Hungarian system is self-sustainable?
    Do not hold your breath waiting for a comprehensive answer…

  • olga

    @ Farkas Laszlo
    Thanks for your comments – I remember taking some social work course 101 a long time ago and we were taught that dependency creates hostility – it can apply to clients, marriages, politics, and dependency on national financing. No one and no country enjoys being indebted and/or forced to be “grateful”
    BTW, I hate to spread rumours, but I heard this from reliable sources.
    There is a giant conspiracy in Hungary to clone you and force all of you to run for political office – “They” say (I could name names but true to Molnar form I won’t) once you are in charge, Hungary’s GPS will be programmed in the right direction.
    Don’t say I didn’t warn you

  • Farkas László

    Hello Olga,
    The resentment is also there when outsiders to a nation are seen as laying down the rules “in loco parentis”; that is when rules and austerity are imposed that our politicians could not bring themselves to impose. Being so deeply in hoc gives others that leverage. There is no substitute for home grown discipline as well as checks and balances.
    Re: cloning. I need not be cloned, but if my ideas get around and help bring about constructive change, then I will have considered my time well spent.

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