A new group formed: The Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter

The following press release has been sent to politicians of the European Union, Canada, and the United States. I understand that there is enormous interest in the group's website.

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Global 
Indictment Issued Against Hungarian Government

Montreal. October 20, 2011: A new, global civil-rights advocacy group–The Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter (CHDC)– based in Montreal, Canada, issued a worldwide indictment against the government of Viktor Orbán today. Addressing the international court of public opinion, the 10 point indictment accuses the Hungarian government of, of wilful civil and human rights abuses, of deliberately undermining Hungary’s democratic foundations and thereby threatening not only the economic and political stability of Hungary but Europe’s as well. The indictment points out, that Hungary is the first member of the European Union to cross the line separating democratic governance from autocratic rule. The CHDC echoes the alarm raised by such internationally reputable anti-communist crusaders as Vaclav Havel, the first President of the democratic Czech republic, or Adam Michnik, one of the most respected leaders of the Polish Solidarnost movement. Along with hundreds of well known Hungarian anti-communist activists, they had sent an impassioned appeal to leaders of the European Union already at the beginning of the year: „Just 20 years after communism collapsed, Hungary’s government, though elected democratically, is misusing its legislative majority to methodically dismantle democracy’s checks and balances, to remove constitutional constraints, and to subordinate to the will of the ruling party all branches of power, independent institutions and the media” (www.iprotest.hu). The situation since then has gotten much worse. The spokespersons of The Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter emphasize, that their indictment is not directed against the people or the nation of Hungary. They reject the crude attempts of Hungarian authorities to stigmatize all their opponents as anti-Hungarian. „Our indictment is not against the people of Hungary, but against the country’s unscrupulous and self-serving rulers, who are showing little regard for universal democratic principles and who, as a consequence, threaten not only Hungary’s but Europe’s peace and stability. We ask everyone who holds the basic principles of democracy sacred, to visit our website, www.hungariancharter.com , and  join forces with us by signing our petition”.

According to the latest studies, more than 50 democracies around the world are on the verge of a “democracy meltdown”, due to the failure of governments to respect the fundamental principles of democratic sustainability. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Hungary became the first member of the European Union, to face such a meltdown. The “Indictment” prepared by the The Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter furnishes unassailable evidence, that in this small, Central European country, once part of the Soviet Empire, it is not the people but the popularly elected government, which bears the chief burden of responsibility for this failure.

The Orbán government was elected to office in May, 2010 with a large majority, promising to provide a million new jobs, and economic prosperity to Hungary’s long suffering populace. The preceding socialist-liberal coalition government, which was in power during the previous 8 years, had clearly lost the confidence of the people due to its own political shortcomings and inability to master Hungary’s increasingly difficult economic challenges. Instead of implementing badly needed structural reforms, the Orbán government opted for a bizarre mix of predatory economic policies, which penalise the less fortunate and those that can offer little resistance to governmental excess. Instead of strengthening the country’s democratic foundations and providing a broader base for reasonable debate and discourse, Orbán’s government has ruthlessly silenced dissent against its misguided policies. As a consequence of these predatory actions, Hungary’s economic and political stability has been seriously compromised.The Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter’s spokespersons declare that: „The Hungarian government’s failure to respect universally valid democratic principles has an impact far beyond the borders of Hungary. The virus of autocracy does not recognize international borders and is capable of setting off an international pandemic.Tolerance of rogue governments, such as Orbán’s, within the confines of the European Union, will simply demonstrate to other would be autocrats, that the road is open towards autocracy in Europe and the rest of the world. We must not allow this to happen. The Canadian – Hungarian Democratic Charter will fight alongside Hungary’s citizens, to restore democratic rights in Hungary, and will also do its part toprevent the spread of the autocratic virus beyond the borders of Hungary, to the rest of Europe and North America”

The Canadian – Hungarian Democratic Charter is a non-partisan, global, civil rights advocacy group, based in Montreal, Canada. It is not affiliated with any political party. It was launched on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the Hungarian people’s heroic uprising against communist tyranny. According to its Founders, “The initiative is a salute and tribute to the example and sacrifices that Hungarians have made to promote and uphold universally valid democratic principles. We hope, our efforts will help the citizens of Hungary to once again enjoy the fruits of their past and current sacrifices. We are committed to helping them to regain the respect their country may have suffered as a consequence of the self-serving, predatory actions of their current leaders. Our efforts are undertaken in solidarity with the friends of democracy wherever they may be”

 

 

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47 comments

  1. Hát ezt jól megkaptuk.
    Would the Czechs, Romanians or Serbs do this to themselves, running down their country like this. Would an American, living abroad, issue something like this against his government. I doubt it. He would be stripped of his citizenship. I have sent this Charta to a number of my friends in Hungary. I am curious what they have to say.

  2. Joseph, what is your solution to this problem? You suggest that controversies among Hungarians should be addressed in Hungary. Out of reasons that you certainly know, this is becoming more and more difficult (just to remind you, in democracies a prime place for such competition and balancing is the parliament, reduced in Hungary to an incessantly bill writing and law approving machinery of Fidesz). If there were more room for dissenting opinions and ideas and a proper debate, perhaps the foreign audience would not be necessary. And by the way, if matters in Hungary are in good order, why worry about a few dissenters who write from abroad…? Or is the only thing that matters országképépítés?

  3. Kirsten: “And by the way, if matters in Hungary are in good order, why worry about a few dissenters who write from abroad…?”
    Moreover, what an idea that someone is not allowed to criticize his or her government. And if someone does, this person must be stripped of his/her citizenship. Incredible idea. Only someone who has no clue what democracy is all about can say something like that.

  4. With people such as Joseph Simon and his brainwashed ilk, and unfortunately there are too many of them in Hungary, it is difficult to hope that Hungary can eventually free itself of autocracy. He does not, because, obviously, he would if he could, argue with the facts, his only worry is damage to the image of Hungary. I suppose that, based on the same principle, he resented any criticism of the Rákosi regime. The only conclusion one can make is that to them image is more important than the truth, and the well-being and freedom of the people. Or perhaps they are looking only for excuses for the Orbán regime. God help Hungary!

  5. Eva, you are completely right, but I heard it rather often that one should not “badmouth” one’s country abroad. The problem is that not only is this not a crime, but also it would not occur if people had no reason to do so. The division of the Hungarian society should be overcome, while it has instead been cemented in the last year. To ask people to speak only kindly about their home country in order not to spoil the (presumedly) positive image of the country abroad is not solving anything in the basic problem of the division of the society or the fact that a conservative revolution has been forced on the society. The demand to speak only well about one’s country is just a reflection of a forced “national harmony”; while instead an acceptance of differences and the ability to debate and balance ideas and interests would be needed to raise the general “harmony”.

  6. Kristen: “what is your solution to this problem?”
    You are on the wrong track.
    The problem is not what you think. The problem is that ESBalogh and her political kin lost almost all their power to exert their (damaging) influence on Hungary. Now that they lost their stage within the borders of Hungary, they go abroad and try to manipulate the public from there.

  7. Joseph Simon: Would an American, living abroad, issue something like this against his government. I doubt it. He would be stripped of his citizenship.
    Some Americans did protest against the US government when they were abroad, and they were not stripped from their citizenship. Example: Vietnam war.

  8. For people born with US citizenship, it cannot be “revoked” unless the person does an “expatriating act”. Does anybody know whether this is different according to the new or old Hungarian constitutions…?

  9. Eva seems to have been on the FIDESZ list of talking points today. She was mentioned on the radio (I believe Info Radio but I’m not sure…) in a discussion about the Canadian Charta in a dismissive way tonight around 8. Johnny Boy and Joe Simon… you gotta start working on the weekends to earn that FIDESZ communications strategy office paycheck!

  10. “Kave too bad you can only “think” based on your own perception of reality.”
    Thanks, JB, I was having a bad day, but your madly self-referential criticisms always make me laugh.
    Good to have you back.
    Although I notice that neither you or JS have actually presented any form of argument against this document or its contents, just the usual (and getting rather tired, now) hysterical abuse.

  11. Éva – well done to you and the other founders, it’s an excellent document (although strangely full of typos!). Let’s hope it has some effect.
    Because, despite JS’s mad postings, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the only real chance that Hungary has now will have to come from outside.
    An example of what it’s like inside the ‘barracks’ – tonight my wife came off the phone to her mother and said “Good news! The Americans have publically backed what OV is doing in Hungary!”

  12. Paul where do you see hysteria?
    Maybe in one post, and it was Kave’s.
    Who, along with you by the way, cannot think anything else than JS and me are on Fidesz paycheck.
    This tells a lot about you, not me or JS.
    This tells how your own concepts work.
    I wonder if you have ever tried to think into who voted for Fidesz.
    Fidesz must have an awful lot of money to pay all those people!

  13. Johnny Boy: Fidesz must have an awful lot of money to pay all those people!
    Thanks JB now we know the reason why this country is bankrupt. I think the last time they pay money out was on March 15, and therefore, they can not afford October 23 rally.

  14. I know very well who voted for Fidesz, JB, as you would know if you actually read my posts.
    I am married into a strongly supporting Fidesz family. Again, as you would know if you actually read my posts.
    I know exactly why they voted for Fidesz, and I am very worried about how they will react when, eventually, it sinks in just how badly they have been conned. Already a few of them have become disillusioned and are openly discussing voting Jobbik at the next election.
    I like and respect my adopted family (and country) and it both saddens and angers me to see what OV’s black propaganda has done to them and it.
    We are going to have to live with the mess you lunatics have dumped on Hungary. And God alone knows how bad it’s going to get before it’s over.

  15. You misunderstand me. Yes, in a democracy we should take criticism seriously, and not dismiss it. I never said anyone should be stripped of their citizenship on that account But there is a US law on the books, anyone involved in organized criticism of the US, such as the Charta, I assume, would be stripped of his US citizenship.

  16. @Joseph Simon: “anyone involved in organized criticism of the US such as the Charta, I assume, would be stripped of his US citizenship”
    No such rule on the books. US citizens can be stripped of their citizenship if they are convicted for an act of treason. Mind these words: convicted AND for treason.
    Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481), as amended, states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain specified acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Briefly stated, these acts include:
    obtaining naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA);
    taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration to a foreign state or its political subdivisions (Sec. 349 (a) (2) INA);
    entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (3) INA);
    accepting employment with a foreign government if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or (b) an oath or declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position (Sec. 349 (a) (4) INA);
    formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States (sec. 349 (a) (5) INA);
    formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only under strict, narrow statutory conditions) (Sec. 349 (a) (6) INA);
    conviction for an act of treason (Sec. 349 (a) (7) INA).
    From the US Department of State
    http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_778.html

  17. @Joseph Simon: Also, criticizing the government, even in an organized form, is not an act of treason. From the US Constitution:
    “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”

  18. Joseph Simon: “Would the Czechs, Romanians or Serbs do this to themselves, running down their country like this. ” THey did before. Do you remember things under the communism? Yes, people were lobbying in Canada in the USA in Vienna, and so forth for their birth home. You have very short memories. It is unfortunate that Orban’s dictatorship brings out the same resistance from the same people who fought for Hungary’s freedom in 1956 or later. What you and Johnny Boy do not want to see that you are actually serving the same crooks that Hungarians, Czechs, Serbs and the Romanians needed to serve for over forty years after WWII.

  19. Paul;”An example of what it’s like inside the ‘barracks’ – tonight my wife came off the phone to her mother and said “Good news! The Americans have publically backed what OV is doing in Hungary!”
    Paul, I think there are two options: either the US ambassador in Hungary is an idiot or this crazy embassy press release is a part of a larger strategy.
    What do you think?

  20. Eva: “And if someone does, this person must be stripped of his/her citizenship. Incredible idea.”
    Everything is possible under a dictator….!!!!!!
    G.

  21. Paul: ” I know exactly why they voted for Fidesz, and I am very worried about how they will react when, eventually, it sinks in just how badly they have been conned. Already a few of them have become disillusioned and are openly discussing voting Jobbik at the next election.”
    This disturbs me more than anything. The disillusioned is not waking up, but turnes farther right to Jobbik. Are we going to gain anything with this?
    In my eyes Jobbik is as bad as Fidesz, if not worst.

  22. @Gabriella “In my eyes Jobbik is as bad as Fidesz, if not worst.”
    Let’s clarify here:
    Jobbik is a nazi party. Fidesz is a fascist party with an appetite for nazi voters.

  23. koeszmeod:
    I would make this even clearer: Jobbik is a nazipart, and most of Fidesz have the potential to become one.

  24. Kirsten: Does anybody know whether this is different according to the new or old Hungarian constitutions…?
    To my knowledge this is not included in both Hungarian Constitutions. However, it may be implemented into these Constitutions retroactively by VO.

  25. Paul/koeszmeod on the US backing VO, all I can say compare the 2009 response of Obama on Gadaffi, with the one on Gadaffi’s death yesterday.

  26. For their own good, politicians should listen to criticism. Yet, if a bunch of American expatriates somewhere in Paris issued a Charta like this, severely critical of the US, how would the political elite and other courtly historians react? They would dismiss it and ridicule it. Remember the Committee of Un-American Activities?

  27. Criticism of a government whether it occurs inside or outside of the country is a perfectly legitimate expression of opinion. In a democracy there is such a thing as “freedom of speech.”
    To mix up the government with the inhabitants of a country is a primitive reaction mostly exhibited by brainless nationalists. Can anyone imagine a situation that criticism of the Rákosi or Kádár regime would be considered “treasonous”?
    Or, let’s imagine a situation in which a Hungarian, regardless of how patriotic, would actually go back to live in the dictatorship of the Rákosi or the Kádár regime? Most of the 200,000 Hungarian refugees didn’t choose this route because they knew the difference between democracy and dictatorship. And yes, their organizations severely criticized the one-party system imposed on Hungary. That was the patriotic thing to do.

  28. ESBalogh: there are two huge differences:
    1. they did not lie;
    2. they were rebelling against a dictatorship, not against a legitimate government elected with a landslide victory.
    I bet you don’t have any idea what these differences mean.

  29. And before you pretend to be outraged that I said this is a lie, here it is: you are constantly talking about lost democratic rights whereas there are no democratic rights lost plain and simple.
    No wonder you don’t have any factual argument to back up your claims, so they remain hysterical comments only.
    Dissidents in the communist era had an awful lot of genuine arguments – you don’t.

  30. @Johnny
    “1. they did not lie”
    You are a funny guy …
    “2. they were rebelling against a dictatorship, not against a legitimate government elected”
    So are we, Johnny, so are we …
    By the way 54% percent is not a landslide Johnny, it’s just a mini-landslide, sort of like a molehill, but I don’t want to call you a liar in front of everybody.
    We have repeated this to you ad nauseam, but criticizing your government is NOT being against your country.

  31. Eva: “Can anyone imagine a situation that criticism of the Rákosi or Kádár regime would be considered “treasonous”?” My exact thoughts.
    And as for Orban was elected legitimately. So, was Hitler. Orban lied to the Hungarian people, which is a fact that he himself admitted to the Americans. THAt would make the election itself illegitimate. As I sad before ANYONE would be elected by promising Hungarians free meals for a year, free houses for all and a gold necklace. So, would that election would be legitimate, when the promises cannot be delivered?

  32. “So are we, Johnny, so are we …”
    No. You are frustrated because you lost. And you cannot tolerate that a different ideology prevails.
    This is completely different from a dictatorship. This only shows your total intolerance and lack of democratic attitude.
    This is your feature exclusively, not the government’s.

  33. Johhny Boy: to others “This only shows your total intolerance and lack of democratic attitude. This is your feature exclusively, not the government’s.”
    No Johnny Boy, what has proven here, that you are the one who cannot deal with different opinion (like Fidesz), you are the one who bails when you cannot handle the truth (like Fidesz), you are the one who do not participate in bilateral talks (like Fidesz), you are the one that after factually has been proven that Orban has lied still pretends that that never happened. You are the Fidesz and when people reading your lines, they get a very clear picture about what the those in HUngary who respect democracy are up against.
    We still yet to hear your (Fidesz) take on the following FACTS:
    – the Orban’s lies regarding election
    – Orban’s acting extras hired from government money to applaud at his public performances
    – the new legislation that takes away the free rights to religion by depriving the church status from well respected religions
    – the selective firing of journalist who do not agree with Orban
    – the appointing of under-qualified individuals to key government positions as payback for sucking up to Orban (porn magazine editor for the top of the media council for example)
    – Orban’s lack of addressing his deep affection to the Communist Party as a young communist and his father as party official
    the list goes on, but why bother it is well documented and well dismissed by Fidesz and the likes of you without any real answers.

  34. @Johnny
    “You are frustrated because you lost”
    True. Duh.
    “And you cannot tolerate that a different ideology prevails”
    Umm, what am I doing? How am I intolerant? By constantly criticizing the current government? No shit Sherlock …
    Stop skewing Johnny! You didn’t think it was surprising that some people weren’t fan of the extra-right ideology. So what? Our problem is that the current regime is forcing this ideology on us by gradually taking away of basic civil rights. Plus of course the damage in the economy is another thing … sigh. I want the Hapsburgs back.

  35. “Umm, what am I doing? How am I intolerant? By constantly criticizing the current government? No shit Sherlock …”
    Yes shit Mutt.
    By crying out that democracy is being ruined, by lying that any of the basic civil rights are taken away (this is a LIE: no right is taken away), you are intolerant.
    You do not simply say I don’t like them, I don’t like what they are doing, you label and discredit them instead.
    And until you don’t understand the difference, you are no democrat.

  36. Johnny Boy says in defence of Fidesz: “[people are] lying that any of the basic civil rights are taken away”
    1. Freedom of opinion has been taken away by the firing of many media workers who dared to raise questions.
    2. Freedom of the press was taken away when the independent radio station Klub Radio became the pariah of the Fidesz, so they “changed the application process for the frequency in a way that will kill the radio station.”
    3. Freedom of free speech were taken away when Fidesz told many of those who gathered two weeks ago in protest that they will loose their job.
    4. Freedom of religion has been taken away wit the new religious law.
    Johnny Boy, facts speak louder than your typing or Fidesz’ empty words about democracy.

  37. Johhny Troll: Yes, we are all intolerant of the Emporer when we notice that he is not wearing any clothes.

  38. Was it not Fidesz, who incited abroad against the legal Hungarian Government, when they were in opposition?

  39. Karl Pfeifer: “Was it not Fidesz, who incited abroad against the legal Hungarian Government, when they were in opposition?”
    I think VO compared the Hungary to Cuba and Burma. Perhaps not these two but two absolutely dreadful despotic countries.

  40. Karl Pfeiffer: “Was it not Fidesz, who incited abroad against the legal Hungarian Government, when they were in opposition?”
    Not only that but he was in constant contact while in opposition with the Ambassador of the USA (Foley) and “feeding him” with news. You can read “Viktor Orban tells us” on the wikileaks documents.
    Orban did not participate in the works of the democratically elected Hungarian Parliament while in opposition , instead he started to organize “civic organizations” while avoiding
    THis man, also warned the democratically elected members of the EU that he will fight them if they do not agree with him: “Naturally, I am ready to fight. But if these two things are mixed, it’s not Hungary that will suffer, but the whole community of the European Union,’‘
    How about Orban combining the State with Church? “appearance in regional churches of flyers that read “Bless Viktor Orban.” “FIDESZ Mayor Istvan Bebes in Kormend agreed that a
    connection between FIDESZ and the Roman Catholic Church
    exists, ” (wikileaks)
    I think some of our regular posters have very short memories…

  41. For once I would like to thank Mt Joseph Simonand Mr Johnny Boy fpr confirming that it is Fidesz’s policy to deprive ALL Hungarian Citizens who disagree in any way with the incumbent Government of their citizenship. In doing this they will also deprive those persons of their citizenship of the E.U.
    I know that:-
    1. Fidesz is Hungary!
    2. Fidesz is Orban Viktor!
    3. Orban Viktor is Hungary!
    All hail the Victator!.
    Now where have I heard something like that before?
    I fear that the Victator will like so many other poisonous little toads before him will sacrifice his fellow citizens for his own ego and aggrandisement. Mind you it would be fun finding him hiding in a Cesspit!
    Any way I am pleased that our tame trolls have confirmed the Vikatator’s policy on those who disagree with him.

  42. Gyurcsannal az ember azt hitte volna hogy ilyen sok agymosott magyar-ellenes szoci-diki rajongo nincs. De itt vannak ni . . .

  43. I agree with Johnny Boy, let us make this a bit more fair.
    All hail Orban!
    All hail Fidesz!
    ‘Don’t look at what I’m saying, look at what I’m doing’ – Mr Orban Viktor

  44. To Angyal Fold, This is an English-language blog and therefore, please refrain from using Hungarian. By the way, Gyurcsány’s name is not Gyurcsán.

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