December 19th, 2011

Official says US “deeply concerned” about “weakening democracy” in Hungary

The United States government is “deeply” concerned about the impact Hungarian government decision-making is having on the country’s democratic institutions, Thomas O. Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, said in an interview to news website hvg.hu.

In the interview published late on Friday, Melia, head of the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said that Hungary had passed several laws which eroded checks and balances.

Melia said changes to bills had been made at the last minute without being properly debated beforehand and without consultation of the opposition or experts. Citing as an example, he said a law which could undermine the independence of central bank had been tabled without consultation of central-bank leaders.

“A draft law which would curb the power of the central bank is the latest in a series of measures that add to the worries the US government has over Hungary,” he said.

This practice “may undermine an institution central to the working of the free market,” he told hvg.hu.

A delegation of the IMF and the EU interrupted informal talks with Hungary on a precautionary loan on Friday in connection with legislation governing the central bank.

“Hungary’s ruling party’s action of filling the judiciary with its own people also threatens the independence of that branch of the state,” Melia added.

Melia told another news portal origo.hu late on Friday that the US was worried over the ongoing transformation of the judicial system in Hungary. In response to Fidesz parliamentary group leader Janos Lazar’s announcement on Friday that the church laws would be repealed for “technical reasons”, Melia said he was eagerly awaiting the new proposal. He added that the US administration had been worried about the law’s structure and its possible impact on religious communities.

He also repeated earlier concerns over Hungary’s constitution and the way it had been submitted and adopted, with little involvement from other parties, as well as passage of the media law.

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  • Viking

    “may undermine an institution central to the working of the free market”

    But in Orbanistan we do not have a ‘Free Market’, we do have a ‘Fidesz Market’

    Just pay service to the Party and the Business is Yours!

    (the reCAPTCHA wants me to type in “ngiloc Chávez”, what could be more suitable…)

  • Leto

    I’m also deeply concerned about the impact US government decision-making is having on the country’s democratic institutions. Bugger off, Yankees.

  • wolfi

    So should NATO and the EU and the democratic world in general say:

    Bugger off, Magyars ?

    I wonder what the real Hungarians living here (not the Mü-Magyars thousands of miles away …) would think about that.

    • Leto

      Just wonder, you bloody unwelcome, alcoholic foreigner. Or rather wander off.

    • Pete H.

      Yeah he has completely regressed into insults and threats.

  • wolfi

    Orbán’s kuty is maybe getting desperate ?

    Aren’t there any comments besides these that you can make ?

    FYI: I’ll be staying here in beautiful Hungary, hoping that things will get better – and that loonies like you will continue buggering someone somewhere far, far away …

    • Leto

      Yeah, things will get better. That is worse for you, bloody unwelcome, alcoholic foreigner. :)

      • Pete H.

        What are you suggesting Leto? That the next steps will be to punish foreigners who disagree with and publicly criticize the Hungarian government?

        How exactly will things get worse for Wolfi?

        And you don’t seem to realize that such an attitude towards foreigners is so very very commie of you.

        • Leto

          What I’m suggesting is that I hope wolfi (or you) will feel even much worse about Hungarian politics soon. That means things would go in the right direction. :)
          BTW, no, I don’t mean “foreigners in general”. Not at all. I’m no xenophobic and Hungarians are not either, no matter how much you say so.
          I mean foreigners like, for example, this alcoholic German, Obnoxious in Budapest, the Sweedish moron or you.
          I’m perfectly fine with people like Sophist or Eric, for example, even though I often disagree with their political opionions. The big difference is that they don’t radiate this malignancy which you do.

  • I love Hungary

    What I dislike about the USA making comments like this is that it lets wannabe dictators of today deflect attention from themsleves and, to their own populations, make the story about the USA’s treatment of the Native Americans in the early 19th century.

    • Leto

      Let’s not forget the Blacks, please. Up to the second half of the 20th century as a minimum. :D

      • Anonymous

        And Leto let’s not forget that Hungary eagerly assisted the Nazis is killing its Jewish population or that the country fought both world wars on the German.

        • Leto

          Oh, sure, eagerly. You want some more compensation? Mind you, the ideas about MÁV and OTP cash cows have already been taken.

        • Gandi

          Let’s also not forget the Communist persecution of Hungarian citizens from 1949-1989. Don’t forget the 600,000 Hungarians deported to the Soviet Union breaking all international treaty and protocol just after WW2!

        • FriendOfHungary

          c’mon – it is like comparing Hungary stilling of a candy from the shop with american outright mass-murder

      • Big Fish

        and let’s not forget women who didn’t receive the right to vote until very early in 20thC.

  • olga

    @ Wolfi

    concerning the “real Magyars” – the few who I know in Hungary and keep in contact with support Orban and although they are less than thrilled about his performance, they say he is the best of the lot as there and until there is, they would vote for him again. Ironically, those are my exact sentiments about our Conservative PM in Canada.

    Reading the Canadian papers these days is like reading this website as far as criticizing the PM goes but there is one huge difference – we don’t have an evil political party in Parliament that’s gaining ground and trying to take us back to a 1930′s Europe.

    Take a look at what a reader wrote to the papers in response to a “Harper is the Devil” article:

    “It’s called a Majority Government. Get used to it and quit your belly aching. If the opposition actually had a tangible platform to offer Canadians instead of their mundane recycled old school policies that they A) Never implemented and B) Canadians are no longer buying into, then they would be in the Conservatives position. And let’s be realistic here, when Liberals were the majority they did exactly the same thing so their whining is falling on deaf ears! ”

    Change the word Canadians to Hungarians , the Liberals to MSZP and it could be posted by you know who on this website :))

    If I were a “real Magyar” I would spend less time on criticizing Orban and more time on trying to build an opposition because unless there is a viable alternative I truly believe that Orban will win again and the opposition will be JOBBIK –

    I am ok with a FIDESZ or MSZP win because I don’t think it’s my business who the country votes for, but JOBBIK is everyone’s business MuMagyars, realMagyars half-Magyars or anyone who ever visited the country and fell in love with it (I have lots of friend who meet that criteria)

    BTW, how do you figure that JA is engaging in “name calling” when you address her as justwhining? If you want whining and snivelling it ain’t her, it’s the Parasite of Budapest and you don’t seem to have problems with that jerk.

    • Leto

      Hi-hi, that newpaper reader put it well indeed. :D That’s what I’m saying, too.

      Just let them keep whining about Orbán’s dictatorship… as long as they do so loudly there isn’t for sure. :)

      • Viking

        olga says:
        December 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm

        “It’s called a Majority Government. Get used to it and quit your belly aching”
        ===
        Leto says:
        December 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

        Hi-hi, that newpaper reader put it well indeed. :D That’s what I’m saying, too

        Yes, that fits very well in on Fidesz criticism of the Gyurcsány-administration also
        Funny that we should forget that part of the history when we speak about opposing a majority Government

    • Anonymous

      Tell me, dear Olga, what does the typical Hungarian know about democracy? Can they distinguish democracy from a dictatorship of the majority? Do they understand the importance of checks and balances? Of a constitution protecting civil liberties?

      On all these issues Fidesz gets an ‘F’ and by extension so do the real magyars.

      By the way, tell me the last time that Canadian tried to remove head of the Canadian bank or limit the powers of judiciary?

      Come on, Fidesz is your wishy-washy bored housewife opinion is just regular guys who enjoy a beer after work …

      • justasking

        @Anonymous,

        “By the way, tell me the last time that Canadian tried to remove head of the Canadian bank or limit the powers of judiciary?”

        Just because they haven’t, does not they don’t have the power to do so.

        “The head of the Bank of Canada is the Governor, who is appointed by the Bank’s Board of Directors. The Governor is appointed for a seven-year term, and can be dismissed by the government. In case of a profound disagreement between the government and the Bank, the Minister of Finance can issue written instructions for the Bank to change its policies.[19

        • justasking

          sorry…forgot the would ‘mean’

          ‘Does not mean, that they don’t have the power to do so’

        • Viking

          Yes, exactly that part
          * “The Governor is appointed for a seven-year term, and can be dismissed by the government. In case of a profound disagreement between the government and the Bank, the Minister of Finance can issue written instructions for the Bank to change its policies”

          is totally opposite from the European practice
          Here no Government, but only the Parliament can dismiss a National Bank Chief, but only after grave personal misconduct, meaning criminal such

          In Europe we trust our bankers more than our politicians, with making sound financial decisions

          • justasking

            @Viking,

            “In Europe we trust our bankers more than our politicians with making sound financial decisions”

            I don’t see why you would…they’re one and the same.

          • Viking

            justasking says:
            December 20, 2011 at 2:49 am

            I don’t see why you would…they’re one and the same

            No, look how Orban is trying to subdue the Hungarian National Bank to use its money to play with, now when he lost our Pension money

            Look at how the ECB is holding on to their very limited scope, keep inflation under 3% in the Euro-zone, while many politicians (outside Germany) wants the ECB to become involved and issue Euro-bonds, so these politicians do not need to make tough cuts in their countries

            There is a difference, but clowns exist everywhere
            But it is the politics that elects the Central Bankers, so bad politicians select bad bankers

          • justasking

            @Viking,

            “But it is the politics that elects the Central Bankers, so bad politicians select bad bankers”

            Agreed

        • Anonymous

          The Bank of Canada, Canada’s central bank, is an independent body operating at arms-length from the government with a mandate to “promote the economic and financial well-being of Canada.”

          The Minister of Finance doesn’t have a seat on the Board of Directors, and while the Deputy Minister of Finance does, he or she doesn’t have a vote. Since the creation of the central bank in 1935, the Minister of Finance has never dismissed a central banker or been forced to redirect central bank policy.

          That sounds like an independent central bank.

          • justasking

            @Ugly American,

            “The Bank of Canada, Canada’s central bank…”

            Yeah, I’m well aware of role the Bank of Canada plays.
            ———–

            “The Minister of Finance doesn’t have a seat on the Board of Directors,”

            You should have kept on reading…the Minister of Finance appoints the Board of Directors
            ———

            “Minister of Finance has never dismissed a central banker or been forced to redirect central bank policy.

            That sounds like an independent central bank”

            That’s because Canadian Politicians remeber why they’re there, who they work for and conduct themselves accordingly by appointing the best person for the job and not ‘the best job’ for their friends.

  • I love Hungary

    Exactly, Leto, or the Viet Nam war or the USA policy towards Cuba….. the only thing you really want to “forget” is the policy of the current Hungarian government.

    • Leto

      I don’t want to ““forget” is the policy of the current Hungarian government” since I’m basically fine with that. See also my response to your post on the other thread.

      • spectator

        - Obviously, you’ve got, what you deserved.

        Glad to hear!

        • Leto

          I’m glad that you’re glad. It’s so nice to see shiny, happy people. BTW, you should have put in a lot more orbaniada in this post.;) Don’t let your standards degrade…

          • spectator

            - No need to: Mr.Orban does all to make himself a ridiculed pariah, in Europe and overseas as well, why should I waste a valuable area of this site to such waste..?

            But anything, to make you glad, as you see!

  • olga

    @ Leto and Wolfi

    Leto: re: “that newpaper reader put it well indeed That’s what I’m saying, too.”

    Gee, I thought I was so subtle that you didn’t realize that “you know who” was you :))

    Wolfi”

    I read a few weeks ago that 77% of Germans want their neo-Nazi NPD party banned and here you have Hungary with the party gaining support.

    If you have a few minutes and can take a break from calling JA names while bonding with the Parasite, can you direct me to any German publications in English about the reaction to the poll re the NDP?

    • Leto

      Oh well, yes, you were. :) Or I may appreciate the impact I make on this site. :D

      • Leto

        may not

    • Anonymous

      Wishy washy Olga … What a beautiful name …

  • olga

    @ Anonymous

    re: “Tell me, dear Olga, what does the typical Hungarian know about democracy? Can they distinguish democracy from a dictatorship of the majority? Do they understand the importance of checks and balances? Of a constitution protecting civil liberties?”

    The typical Hungarian knows enough about Democracy to be fearless when casting a ballot and not worry about repercussions when organizing protests against the current government – try either scenario in JOBBIK’s beloved Iran. Thus, I am sorry I cannot relate to all this drama about Orban being a dictator and that democracy being dead when I read that a Friday demonstration is planned against the “end of democracy in Hungary” which is an oxymoron

    Moreover, you call me wishy washy and consider me an Orban supporter but I support any and every democratically elected political party in the world provided said party does not have a platform that tramples on Human Rights and incite hatred against any minorities, because that’s when everyone in a free country has the obligation to interfere – thus my interfering when it comes to JOBBIK. If my attitude meets your definition of wishy-washy then be it.

    Moreover a country that’s still reeling from the Bush legacy and water boarding should stop lecturing other Democracies about the D word and btw, please feel free to define the word “Democracy” because I for one would be interested in your definition.

    We can eliminate Hungary, Canada and the US as Democratic countries ( for “proof” just take a look at some articles on-line) so after you define Democracy, please tell me which countries meet your approval.

    • Leto

      a Friday demonstration is planned against the “end of democracy in Hungary” which is an oxymoron

      Similarly when, earlier this year, Népszabadság, Népszava and other postcommie newspapers were published with a blank front page, displaying this single slogan: “freedom of speech ended today”. :)

      • Viking

        Leto says:
        December 20, 2011 at 2:48 am

        a Friday demonstration is planned against the “end of democracy in Hungary” which is an oxymoron

        Similar to joining the profession ‘lawmaker’ to any Fidesz MP?

        Who has the Hungarian record in getting its laws rejected by the Hungarian Constitutional Court?

        No wonder Fidesz wants to limit the Constitutional Court’s scope and jurisdiction as much as possible…

      • Buta-Leto

        Leto thinks Attila the Hun was a left wing flower child.

        :)

    • Anonymous

      Democracy is more than elections and protests.

      Athenian democracy had both, but it would not make the grade today.

      It also involves checks and balances, including the independence of the Hungarian judiciary and Central Bank.

      Even if you are living in Canada, you must be aware that Fidesz eliminated the ability of the Supreme Court to review any related to the government budget. They made the Chief Prosecutor equal powerr to the Supreme Court and even gave him/her the right to attend their sessions even that is a huge conflict of interest. Then Fidesz merged management of the judicial system, which is typically governed by judges, and putting executive governance.

      They even gave the Chief Prosecutor the right to choose which court in which a trial takes place. So now the prosecution can choose the venue to maximize the chances off winning.

      Modern democracies do not limit the power of review of the courts.

      By the way, the word games you play don’t impress me. Hungary, the US, and Canada are all democracies. But some are better than others.

      And let’s face, you can’t provide any defense of these practices, you will just engage in your usual ‘it is the business of the Hungarians’.

  • I love Hungary

    The typical Hungarian knows enough about Democracy to kill it in just about 20 years.

    But I agree.

    At least this time when you become an an international pariah, you will be able to just look at the “man in the mirror”.

    That’s not Democracy, it’s a mixture of tyranny of the majority and “mob rules”.

  • olga

    Oh Fuddle Duddle as Pierre Trudeau once said. Not only do you know all about Democracy but you are an expert on typical Hungarians whoever they may be.

    Pray tell, have you looked in the mirror yourself and realize that defining anyone as typical of their race, nationality or religion is the epitome of racism?

    I have the ideal party for you in Hungary and it’s name is JOBBIK

    • Anonymous

      Dear Olga,

      Cultural generalizations are perfectly valid. Cultures differ. The Irish trink too much. The Northern Europeans work harder. The French are slim and the Italians don’t like to get up early.

      Instead of simply acknowledging the grave faults in Hungarian culture, you evade the issue by throwing racism accusations.

      Be a Big Girl.

      You are typical of the Hungarian malaise: defensive about your culture and unwilling to admit the anti-democratic
      thrust of Fidesz policies, which include limiting the power of the Constittutional Court, creating an all powerful media authority that can both levy and demand payment of fines before judicial review, making the Chief Prosecutor equal in power to a Supreme Court Justice and giving this Prosecutor the right to attend the closed sessions of the Supreme Court (talk about a conflict of interest), limiting the power of minorities in Hungary while insisting on complete autonomy for Hungarian minorities, levying special one time taxes so that Hungary can temporarily continue living beyond the means, etc.

      Pray tell how Harper is reading from the same book as Orban. May be they play cards together every Friday night.

    • Anonymous

      Olga,

      The typical Hungarian is conservative and highly nationalistic (Hungary is the only country where a majority want the borders changed) and you never the typical Hungarian ever admit that Hungarians did anything bad in their history).

      You can’t get away with claiming that anyone who makes generalizations about people belong to Jobbik.

      Such a response by you is simply a refusal to face the sad reality of the failure of Hungarian culture to modernize itself and adopt the norms of Northern Europe.

      • Leto

        @Obnoxious in Budapest:

        “Hungary is the only country where a majority want the borders changed”

        Unfortunately that’s not true. Even though we would have every reason to think so.

        “The typical Hungarian is conservative and highly nationalistic ”

        Unfortunately that’s not true either. I wish it would be.

        We don’t need to “adopt the norms of Northern Europe” and we are not going to. I suggest you should go to Northern Europe if you preferred the “Northern European norms”.
        Any more problems this time or you’d be capable of shutting up for a minute?

        • Silly Leto

          Your country definitely do need to adopt the norms of Northern Europe. They have a superior culture. Which explains why they rich and your people are poor.

          Or you can just visit a Slavik like the Czech Republic, where they are also light years ahead …

          • Leto

            We definitely don’t need to adopt the norms of Northern Europe and we are surely not going to (like I wrote above). And the Northern European culture is surely not superior to ours. And you are surely an inferior creature, Obnoxious in Budapest.

    • Pete H.

      He is completely correct about Democracy and the anti-Democratic measures taken by Fidesz. Jobbik may be a threat on the horizon, but Fidesz is the cancer that is currently destroying Hungary.

      He doesn’t get typical Hungarians. I find his generalizations about Hungarian obnoxious. Most Hungarians I met were unhappy with Fidesz and I observed several large protests in Hungary that make it clear that the malaise is hardly universal.

  • olga

    its name not it’s

  • DoubleH63

    Did AiB switched to Anonymous because he got kicked for just about every post he made, or is Anonymous only his twin brother?

    @wolfi Don’t you realize how ridiculous your Mü-Magyar bullshit is, when the only Hungarian in you is the alcohol in your blood, freaking Mischling!
    [Are you taking Hungarian grammar lessons with Comrade Schmitt or it’s only your drunkenness why you can’t find on your keyboard the ‘ű’ so at least you can write Mű-Magyar correctly.]

    @olga Don’t mind I love Hungary. I am sure he is one of those Americans, who believes wholeheartedly the propaganda that 9/11 happened because “they hate our freedom”. Sadly enough there are way too many of them.

    • Anonymous

      To the contrary, the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are largely right wingers.

      It is interesting how you guys with inferiority complexes love to attack Americans. Perhaps jealous of a people enjoying vastly superior success in all realms of endevour from science, music, education, commerce, technology, democratic institutions, world influence, historical success …

      Let us know when the Hungarians are ready to match the New York Philharmonic or Stanford University.

      We are not holding our breath ….

      Let us know Hungary becomes a global center ….

      • FriendOfHungary

        Oh, You forgot to mention milions of milions people killed in conflict all over this planet – conflicts started, fueled, and profited by USA. If You plunder other countries, steal they resources (Iraq, Libya, half of Africa) then – what is obvious – You are able to pay higher salary for scientists and musicians from all over the world, so they can create “Your “, “american” success-story… But are we jealous? Some probably are, I personally do not envy thieves and bandits of what they have stolen…

        I think it is rather You who should envy Magyars – they have found strenght and endurance to change course of their country – thing that fat, obese and lazy America will never be able to do…not even if it will cost its totall decay and fall.

        It is very sad, becouse america it is also country of millions and millions of righteous people who deserve better then to live in police-state governed by bunksters and military-complex.

        btw – I think many americans makes mistake of puting equal sign between eastern-european” right parties and republicans in US – You can not make bigger mistake – there is – apart from instrumental use of faith and some elements of rhetoric – very little in common between them. I think such a comparisons are rather insulting for FIDESZ

    • justasking

      @Double,

      “Did AiB switched to Anonymous because he got kicked for just about every post he made,”

      Yuuuup!

  • Kovács János

    Orban Viktor is looking forward to the winter break
    as he will be visiting North Korea (via Iran) to brush up on
    his technique.
    Leto will be receiving a postcard from the “divine light”
    to keep him updated on events. Naturally.
    Ode to Orban by Leto:
    “ In the canyons of your mind
    I will wander through your brain
    To the ventricles of your heart, my dear
    I’m in love with you again!”

    • Leto

      Te meg ki vagy és kérsz egy sallert, pöcsfej? :D

  • I love Hungary

    “In love with you again”….. is actually quite appropriate. Anyone who was in love “Orban the Freedom Fighter” would have to find a new love for “Orban the Post-Fascist”.

  • olga

    @ Dearest Anonymous ( Obnoxious in BP I presume?)

    You do not seem to have a problem with the English language therefore I must conclude that you purposely chose to completely misunderstand my postings concerning the Orban and Harper gov’ts so be a “big boy” and use some else’s postings to further you agenda.

    What Orban and Harper have in common is they both won a majority and they are both criticized for being heavy handed thus I keep reading how Canadian Democracy is at risk and I yawn. End of the similarity between the two PMs (I will support Harper until his term is over and then decide if he deserves another chance and vote accordingly)

    Re: /Pray tell how Harper is reading from the same book as Orban. May be they play cards together every Friday night./

    I addressed the issue of what they have in common above but according to my reliable sources, they do play cards on Friday nights . I have been told that Harper has strong opinions on the way Orban runs Hungary but he keeps those opinions to himself and instructs his Ambassador to do likewise.

    He was proud to see the Canadian Ambassador and her staff cleaning up a BP Park this month and according to our Ambassador Tamara Guttman : /Our goal on this day was to increase volunteer participation and to give back to our community. We are fortunate to live and work in the beautiful city of Budapest and plan to continue this new tradition each year. Corporate Social Responsibility is a pillar of Canadian foreign policy, and the Embassy of Canada in Budapest was proud to put words into action on this day of community volunteering./

    No word about Guttman’s input about the Orban gov’t that I know about but feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    re: “By the way, the word games you play don’t impress me. Hungary, the US, and Canada are all democracies. But some are better than others. ”

    The first sentence was devastating since I live to impress you but I agree with the rest of the sentences that follow and while some democracies are better than others, the US should clean up its own act and not interfere with the internal affairs of other Democracies It appears that Gyurcsany is never going to hide under a rock so if he decides to run against Orban in the next election and wins, it’s still not up to the US to worry about Hungarians electing a confessed liar if that’s what the majority chose to do. Get my point?

    About the Hungarian judicial system that I know nothing about:

    I can tell you that the Canadian lawyers I know think the American judicial system stinks because Judges and District Attorneys are elected which politicizes criminal and civil law enforcement and getting convictions become vote getters and popularity contests. According to your former Supreme Ct Judge Sandra Day O’Connor, “execution of a legally and factually innocent person would be a constitutionally intolerable event/ so don’t forget to check out Rick Perry’s role in the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. The wrongly accused and the mentally ill are executed in the USA yet I don’t see any of our PMs lecturing the US on its Draconian justice system.

    My postings you managed to twist and misinterpret had more to do with the American inability to shut the f..up about other democracies’ wrong doings than it had to do with Hungary. After all, Christopher Hitchens referred to the US as a Banana Republic a few years ago in Vanity Fair, so I suggest you focus on your homeland and I shall continue my dusting and cleaning like all respectable housewives do who are legally married to their houses and properly referred to as Mrs. House or in my case Ms. House

    • Silly Olga

      Dear Silly Olga,

      You flunked basic logic. Doesn’t matter whether the critics are black, red, American, or from another galaxy.

      None of those considerations are at all relevant to substance of the criticism.

      You don’t like the message, you attack the messenger. Very Fidesz approach …

      :)

      By the way, most American judges are appointed, not elected. Both at the State and Federal level

      Feel free to criticize the US. I do.

  • Kovács János

    @ Leto.Te vagy a falu bolondja. tányérnyaló.
    Make sure you get your Xmas bonus for all the hard work you have done for nagy bácsi. Won’t you?

    • Leto

      Dugulj már el, te szerencsétlen büdöskomcsi seggfej… :D :D

  • Big Fish

    US official should mind his own business – and comment on the weakening citizen rights and democracy here at home in the US!

  • olga

    @ Silly Olga

    Funny we have similar names yet we have nothing in common.

    Every time I post a link it gets stuck in moderation so if you wish to put the following on a google search you might learn something about the US judicial system:

    \Adam Liptak Examines Elected Judges in the United States\

    Sneak preview for you for the last 2 sentences:

    Sandra Day O’Connor, the former Supreme Court justice, has condemned the practice of electing judges.
    No other nation in the world does that, she said at a conference on judicial independence at Fordham Law School in April, “because they realize you’re not going to get fair and impartial judges that way.”

    This is just a suggestion, but perhaps before you appoint yourself as my Modes of Reasoning Professor and grade my logic skills you may wish to grade then improve your knowledge about your own country and God willing, you might have less time to worry about us low life, evil, genetically inferior Hungarians.

    • Pete H.

      This is not the practice at the Federal level and it is not a practice shared by all states.

      In my state of residence it is not the practice. If it was, I would complain.

      In any case, why should dHUngary move backward in this matter, even if some US states are not perfect?

      Why so much deflection by you and many others? Who cares if there are worse examples – I’d like to see Hungary do the best!

      • Leto

        @Pete H.:
        So do you advocate so advanced “democracy” which even your own country, the self-proclaimed standard of democracy, wouldn’t practice? :D :D :D

    • Silly Olga

      Show me a federal judge who is elected. You can’t. They are all appointed by the President with consent of the Senate.

  • American in Budapest

    Peter,

    They (Olga and Justasking) are losers. A loser is someone who can’t face the facts and engages in endless deflection.

    Olga and Justasking are bored housewives and typical Hungarian conservatives.

    Hopeless lot.

    Hungarians have been engaging in deflection for the last hundred years. Explains why they made no progress. They don’t have the courage to look in a mirrow.

    • Pete H.

      I do not agree with your stereotyping of Olga, JA, and Hungarian’s in general.

      I was raised by Hungarians. I don’t appreciate your negative stereotyping of Hungarians.

      And it’s spelled “mirror” not “mirrow”.

      • American in Budapest

        A hundred years of history supports my assertion. Show me a period when Hungary was a progressive modern state. You can’t. Hungary between the Great Wars evolved from an authoritarian anti-Semite State into a fascist state which eagerly assisted the Germans in liquidating ‘undesirables’. During the Austrian-Hungarian empire the minorities were marginalized. No progress was made regarding women’s rights until the Communists came to power and even today there are very few Hungarian women in positions of political or economic power. And I hope you don’t try to dispute the massive tax cheating and corruption that pervades the society.

        Does the preceding mean that all Hungarians are bad? Of course not. But the lack of progress over the last 100 hundred years can’t be blamed just on the ‘politicians’. The politicians reflect the society at large. It is hogwash to claim that do not reflect the general culture.

        Over the last 20 years Hungary has been ruled by a series of incompetent governments that largely reflect the unwillingness of the average Hungarian to make the right choices. Hungarians want a generous welfare state despite the country’s poverty, which makes no sense. Hungarians wanto cradle to grave social security, but they feel little obligation to pay their share of the taxes required to support this premature social democracy. And instead of showing any allegiance to the State, they ransack it like thieves. And because we must show pity, Hungarians run one of the most inefficient public transport and rail systems in the world because we must keep old men and women employed doing useless things like checking tickets at the Metro entrances and train stations. And despite the fact that state-owned companies are less efficient and dynamic than their private counterparts, Hungarians continue in useless nostalgia for ‘Hungarian companies’.

        So tell me where I am too severe on Hungarian society … I don’t think you can defend this society – this society has overwhelming supported Fidesz and that in itself is an indictment of Hungarian culture.

        PS: Foreigners overwhelming support my characterization of Hungarian society. They may be too polite or cowardly to say it, but they are thinking it …

        And there are more foreigners than Hungarians … game over this spring. The IMF is coming or Hungary’s defaults. Either way this country will learn within its means.

        • Pete H.

          My issue is your over generalizations. Over generalizations about history, culture, and politics. While I think there has not been enough progress, it’s nonsense to say there has been no progress. Today’s HUngary is not the same culture that my came of age in the 1940′s. Not even close.

          Unfortunately much of that progress is currently being eroded and a large number of Hungarians are not OK with that.

          A few qualifiers and attention to specifics would drake your comments a lot less offensive to those of us who have roots there and care about Hungary.

        • FriendOfHungary

          You seem to oversimplify many things and present them from one – negative – point of view – especially history of Hungary. As far as last 20 years – there is much true in what You write – but still – You are missing elements of culture and history – that allow to get it all right.

  • olga

    @ Silly Olga

    I never mentioned a Federal Judge being elected – I had a “crash course” on the difference between the Canadian and US justice system by a friend who graduated from a US law school in the last couple of years.

    BTW, I really want to end this nonsense and the “deflection” accusation, because I do not need to deflect in order to defend Hungary; Hungarians living there are much better suited for that job.

    I simply want the present government to succeed and then I will root for the next government whether it’s FIDESZ or the MSZP or LMP etc because I only see JOBBIK as the enemy, other wise I trust every Democracy that they know what’s best for them

    This whole discussion was started because you decided to put down the Hungarian court system and I wasn’t trying to “deflect” since I don’t know much about the subject, but I knew the flaws with the US justice system so I pointed out them out because I felt the idioms “the kettle calling the pot black” and “people in glass houses” etc was appropriate.

    You have every right to be proud of your own country, I happen to like the US and Americans in general, but why do you find it strange or xenophobic for Hungarians to feel the same pride about their own country unless of course you have a patent on national pride.

    You and Obnoxious (probably the same person) sound like truly awful people and that has nothing to do with your nationality or religion, nor about Hungary or the US – it has to do with some deep seated personal problems you should be dealing with and until you do, you are simply the bullies on a Hungarian website’s playgrounds

    No need to reply because unless I get bored, I don’t think I will respond to either of you any more but should you wish to have the last word – go for it

    Whatever Holidays you celebrate, have a good one.

  • Silly Olga Still Silly

    I think you and your Holocaust Industry friend are the bullies. You launch personal attacks because your deep seated Hungarian security makes it impossible to acknowledge legitimate criticisms of both the Hungarian culture and system.

    • justasking

      @ Olga,

      “your deep seated Hungarian security”

      I too, noticed this about you.
      ———

      “makes it impossible to acknowledge legitimate criticisms of both the Hungarian culture and system.”

      There is a big difference between ‘legitimate criticism’ and hateful, hurtful and deliberately malicious comments, made towards a subject.

      The former stems from a place of actual affection/respect/concern, to said topic being discussed by an individual. The later, comes from a place of contempt/disdain (dare I say…heartfelt/deep seated hatred) towards the topic that individual has decided to focus upon.

      That, and one mans ‘legitimate concerns’ are another mans bullying….C’est la vie

  • FriendOfHungary

    Americans bashing Hungary about democracy??? It reminds me how Americans (then in middle of invasion of Iraq) were diplomatically attacking Iran for – please pay attention – interfering in internal affairs of Iraq – I love American double standards… I am just waiting when they start to lecture china about too high budget deficit of chinees government.

    America has laws (Antiterrorist Act and other acts introduced after 9/11) that allow government services to arrest, detain or even execute US citizen without judge or court (the later case happened in Yemen, where predators were used to target and kill “suspected terrorists” (please forgive me this american newspeak) – one of killed was american citizen.

    My best wishes for Hungary and REAL Magyars – I hope You will succeed in regaining Your country

    • American in Budapest

      Actually, those comments are inaccurate. Under the evil Bush administration, suspects were to be given military trials under rules which clearly favored the military prosecutors. A military is not good enough, but it is a trial and hence your statement is false.

      Besides, these rules were reviewed by the judiciary, unlike Hungary where the precedence of exempting government legislation is now established under Fidesz.

      Far more Hungarians are affected by the lack of judicial review of the government’s seizure of private pension assets than by accusations of terrorism in America. Nonetheless, both are extremely reprehensible.

      • FriendOfHungary

        You addressed kind of american discrimination I was not talking about (unjust treatment of prisoners of war held in Guantanamo), but failed to address what I was talking about – that is execution of US citizen without judge or court – what have happened over and over during the course of so called “war on terror” – I gave You precise example above.

        I am not sure what You mean by seizure of private pension assets – Fidesz just reversed social security system to the way it was earlier. Moreover – private pensions funds were not owners of this funds – they were just supervising its investment. So FIDESZ merely changed supervisor.

        according to court rulings (before this “seizure” if I was to use Your terminology ) – in simmilar case – even those who pay this money for their pension are not owner of them – till they will be in appropriate age to receive pension. I know it is insane and it is just another way government is robbing You of Your own money – but that is how it is – and it is not another evil FIDESZ deed.

        • Viking

          FriendOfHungary says:
          December 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm

          Fidesz just reversed social security system to the way it was earlier. Moreover – private pensions funds were not owners of this funds – they were just supervising its investment. So FIDESZ merely changed supervisor

          No Fidesz did not do that
          Fidesz *stole* money that Hungarians had earned. Money that had been taken from these Hungarian’s salaries and put into a unique account that could be traced. These money then could be used in different investments;
          * one was in the Budapest Stock Exchange,
          which meant capital was there for Hungarian companies to expand their businesses,

          * another was Hungarian State Bonds,
          which meant that the Hungarian State did not need to take a exchange risk when taking up loans

          Both of these resources that was very helpful for managing the total Hungarian economy has now been removed from the market, meaning there is very small amount of own financing inside Hungary, meaning the Hungarian State will have to take a big and bad exchange risk with forex loans for their bonds

          It was nationalisation, day-light robbery, nothing else and ith will hurt Hungary for at least 20 years to come, then it takes 15-20 years to build up such a system, where the State Budget does not need to finance a major part of peoples pensions, which Fidesz destroyed in one day

  • justasking

    Until the people who voted Fidesz in, start holding protests to what they feel maybe a case of…
    ‘dwindling/weakening/demise/elimination/removing/casting aside of democracy in Hungary, (and not the opposition or individuals who simply do not like this freely elected Majority Government) I’m gonna guess…they agree with what’s happening/the direction of Fidesz.

    • Sock Puppet Police

      1) According to the polls, half of those who voted Fidesz in, no longer support them. So how could they still agree with what’s happening.

      2) Lot’s of previous Fidesz supporters at this year’s protests. The one I observed, the “Clown Protest” had dozens of people holding signs indicating they previously supported Fidesz, but no more. In addition, that protest had many trade organizations present that had previously shown Fidesz support.

  • DoubleH63

    @Anonymous “9/11 conspiracy theorists are largely right wingers”

    Who is talking about 9/11 conspiracy theories? I gave you the official US government line for the reason why 9/11 happened – “they hate our freedom”. It sounds pretty stupid to me [Hungarian with inferiority complex] but sadly enough it’s good & believable for most [Stanford University educated] Americans.

    “world influence”

    The question is: Is it a good one or a bad one?

    “historical success”

    The US is a young country [not as young as Slovakia but still young enough]. But if she keeps steering away from the Constitution the Founding Fathers wrote; that success might be a short-lived one.

  • DoubleH63

    @Silly Olga Still Silly “Holocaust Industry…the bullies”

    Finally! Something I can agree on with this ‘name changer’

  • DoubleH63

    @justasking

    I see you are back from your Christmas getaway. How was skiing? [Why the hell am I asking that, I hate skiing? Well, Canada and all.]

    • justasking

      @Double,

      “I see you are back from your Christmas getaway. How was skiing?”

      Nope, our Christmas getaways happen after New Years. That’s when the slopes are free from bazillions of tourists, 95% of which, cannot ski.

      Living in Canada, you gotta find snow sports to participate in (downhill skiing and snowshoeing are mine)…if you don’t, it makes for a very, very, very long winter.

      Hope you and your family had a nice Christmas, and I wish you all the best for the New Year.

  • Kovács János

    @Leto. What a fawning, lickspittle, you are? A fully paid-up member of the I luv Uncle Orban’ fan club, irrespective of the fact, that, the Orange brigade is just another ‘red- under- the- bed’ clan, skimming the cream whilst the rest of us starve!
    I am wondering if Erik’s ‘moderating’ machine is geared up to deal with blasphemous puke spouted in Hungarian? I think not in view of your puerile tripe!
    Still, I’m sure you and your comrades are toasting each other’s good health. In Russian, of course! Uncle Joe would be proud of you! Мы будем держать красное знамя здесь! дерьмо сумка.

  • American in Budapest

    American democracy is far stronger than Hungarian democracy. No American government has pressured the head of the Supreme Court into resigning. No American government has weakened freedom of expression as Fidesz did with the Media Council.

    Both the US Congress and the Federal Courts are independent of the executive branch as are the state and local governments. The US central bank is also independent.

    US anti-terrorism laws are a weakness of the American system. Ironically the greatest supporters of these laws are the Republicans, who come closest in spirit to Fidesz, but are still vastly superior.

    Hungary has very weak institutions and that permitted Fidesz to compromise the system without firing a shot.

    • FriendOfHungary

      I think there is a lot of naive simplicity in the way western foreigners – especially americans – are perceiving institutions and way they work.

      Freedom of expression and the way media work in US is very precise described by Noam Chomsky – I encourage You to learn about this system of interdependencies that creates what appears to You to be “free media” in USA.

      FED – here I do agree with You – seems to be independent, especially from interests of average american citizen :)

      When I talk about being naive – I mean that You present things in a way that FIDESZ came, took some perfectly working, independant institutions and politicized them. NOT TRUE – they were politicized before and foremost – they were never perfect. FIDESZ is doing just the same what left was doing before them – he is taking these institutions over – only difference is fast pace at which he is doing this. That’s what makes it easier for left to attack him and present it as some coup de etat – but when You take a look at history of these institutions – You will see how politicized they were before.

      • Viking

        FriendOfHungary says:
        December 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm

        That’s what makes it easier for left to attack him and present it as some coup de etat – but when You take a look at history of these institutions – You will see how politicized they were before

        So what Fidesz is doing is right, because someone else did similar before?

        What is your solution for stopping this circle?
        Accepting what Fidesz is doing and make sure Fidesz never lose?

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