MSZP campaign at home and abroad. Part II

Hungarian pollsters did after all come out with their most recent findings. Although there are no earthshaking developments in the popularity of politicians and parties, there are a few noteworthy points.

First, neither the student demonstrations nor the government’s announcement of a 10% decrease in natural gas prices made a difference as far as electoral support was concerned. The number of those who are undecided has grown since December. There are, however, signs that something is brewing if questions are posed in a way that doesn’t address actual voter participation. When asked whether they would like to see this government continue after the 2014 elections 53% said no and only 21% answered in the affirmative.  The problem for the opposition is that 48% of those who would like to see Viktor Orbán and his pals go don’t support any of the opposition parties either.

Second, although Gordon Bajnai is still more popular than Viktor Orbán, support for E14 has been decreasing in the last two months. There might be at least two reasons for this decline. One is that E14 seems to be a reluctant partner in the initially promising prospect of a united front embracing all democratic opposition forces. I don’t think that it is Gordon Bajnai himself who is responsible for this development, although one can blame him for choosing Milla’s Péter Juhász as one of his partners. Péter Juhász seems to be about as reluctant to work together with MSZP as LMP’s András Schiffer. I recall that back in October, before the Milla-organized mass demonstration, Ferenc Gyurcsány expressed his doubts about the wisdom of this move. I’m afraid he was right. Juhász and other civic organizers are only strengthening the population’s mistrust of parties. But without parties on one side against a ruthlessly led and centralized party on the other side there is no way of winning an election.

While E14 is losing momentum, MSZP under the leadership of Attila Mesterházy is gaining ground, although its gains don’t show up yet in the statistics. One must keep in mind that Fidesz’s lead over MSZP is slight: 1.5 million would vote for Fidesz and 1.3 million for MSZP. So, it doesn’t matter how many people, even among the readers of Hungarian Spectrum, would prefer that MSZP not have an important role in Hungarian political life, its disappearance will not happen any time soon.

But let’s move away from the domestic scene to MSZP’s play for Hungarians abroad. Key MSZP politicians made a pilgrimage  to Romania on January 16. As I mentioned earlier, Fidesz is the clear favorite among the Hungarians of Romania. Why? First, the Romanian-Hungarian population is conservative. After all, RMDSZ, the largest and most important Hungarian party, is a right-of-center political formation. Second, because Transylvanian cities formerly inhabited by Hungarians became Romanized with the passing of time, Hungarians for the most part remained in the countryside. And as we know from examples all over the world, there is a great deal of difference in the politics of the cities and the countryside. Third, I’m being told time and time again by people who know the psyche of the Hungarians of Romania that those who live in Transylvania know darned little about what’s going on in Hungary. They made up their minds years ago that Fidesz represents their interests and the socialists do not.

mszp uj logoNow with the possibility that perhaps tens of thousands of Romanian Hungarians might cast their votes in the Hungarian elections, MSZP felt that they had to make themselves heard. The first trip was to Cluj/Kolozsvár where Attila Mesterházy outlined the party’s new “nationality policy” (nemzetpolitika). He sketched out five programs. (1) The Carpathian Basin program would in the next ten years try to strengthen the economic and cultural level of Hungarians. (2) If MSZP wins the elections the new Hungarian government would promote education, culture, and the study of history. They would pay special attention to the dissemination of information via the Internet. (3) They would encourage cooperation between the electronic media near the two sides of the border and they would restore the original function of Duna Television. (Duna Television, although ostensibly still the TV station for Hungarians in the neighboring countries, is today under the central governance of all public media and thus its programming doesn’t reflect the needs of those living outside of the country.) (4) They would continue the past practice of  joint Romanian-Hungarian cabinet meetings. (5) They would make the dispersal of Hungarian subsidies more democratic by including Romanian-Hungarians in the decision-making process.

In addition to these programs Mesterházy outlined five MSZP strategies. (1) MSZP in contrast to Fidesz will never try to “export domestic political debates” to Hungarian regions in the neighboring countries. (2) The principle of equality between the Hungarian government and the democratically elected representatives and organizations will be scrupulously observed. Unlike Fidesz the government will not pick and choose among Romanian-Hungarian organizations according to political preferences.  (3) MSZP will not interfere in domestic issues that might influence the lives of Hungarians in any given country. (4) MSZP’s policy will be based on partnership, and therefore Budapest will not dictate policy to Hungarian representatives and organizations of other countries. (5) The guiding principle will be “nothing about them without them.” MSZP will seek continuous dialogue with the Hungarian political leaders abroad on all questions that concern the Hungarian minority.

rmdsz3Finally, Mesterházy apologized for MSZP’s decision to support those who cast their votes against dual citizenship in the December 5, 2004 referendum. As he put it, “it was a wrong question at the wrong time.” Responsibility for that mistiming lay not only with MSZP. Obviously, he was alluding to Fidesz, the party that in the last moment joined the clamor for a plebiscite.

The reactions of pro-government papers were predictable. It was also expected that László Tőkés, who only recently established a new Hungarian Party supported by Fidesz, immediately attacked the meeting. He is an opponent of both MSZP and RMDSZ. His new party, Erdélyi Magyar Néppárt, ran against RMDSZ in the last election and did poorly. It seems that some of the Hungarians in Transylvania were also skeptical of  MSZP’s effort to gain a toehold among Romanian-Hungarians.

Szabadság, a Hungarian-language paper in Cluj/Kolozsvár, republished an analysis from Mensura Transylvanica. The author of the article was not impressed. One by one he criticized past policies of the MSZP-SZDSZ governments and expressed his doubts that the party’s attitude toward the Hungarian minority’s organizations has changed. Moreover, there is nothing new in the proposals or strategies outlined.  MSZP’s favorite was always RMDSZ while they were leery of the two right-wing parties, one favored by László Kövér and the other by Viktor Orbán. Mensura Transylvanica doesn’t seem to like the MSZP idea of having good relations with the governments of the neighboring states. This policy harks back to the Antall government that wanted to have a balance between good relations with the governments of the neighboring states and the rights and interests of the Hungarian minority. “All in all, the new program of MSZP does not bring anything new to past practices.”  The author especially worried about “the partnership that is being forged by RMDSZ and MSZP.” Whoever our author is, he is no friend of the largest Romanian-Hungarian party. As for MSZP trying to get votes from Transylvania, he considers it a hopeless cause.

Yet Mensura Transylvanica admitted that the visit was “an important milestone in Hungarian nationality policy” and an indication of RMDSZ’s changing policy. Until now, RMDSZ kept equal distance from all Hungarian parties, but now due to the worsening relationship between RMDSZ and Fidesz the political leadership of the party gave up one of its cardinal rules concerning its relationship with Hungary. However, warned the writer of the article, if RMDSZ decided to make this move in the hope of achieving a better relationship with Fidesz, it is a risky undertaking. In order for RMDSZ to benefit from this partnership MSZP and its future allies must win the elections. And our man doesn’t believe that this will happen.

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30 comments

  1. London Calling!

    I really do believe that if the opposition parties form some form of alliance – or a breaking out of unity – it will still be insufficient to earn the voters’ trust.

    Unite! Unite! Unite! – but the voters will still not trust.

    E14, MSZP and LMP et al must draw up a three-point ‘contract’ (or as few as are necessary) that will ‘retrieve’ democracy – to ensure fair elections.

    I believe that the voters will be able to unite around the objective of restoring a fair electoral environment by appealing to their better judgement – and unite in significant numbers, possibly achieving 66% (maybe wishful thinking!).

    This ‘caretaker’ regime can then ‘reset’ the electoral stage – for fair elections once more.
    (Fidesz would be by then a busted flush).

    This will be the only way to defeat Orban’s ‘buying off’ of the electorate with low energy bribes; low petrol bribes; 14-month pension payments/one-off ‘recalibrations’ bribes – etc.

    If it is just a beauty contest between party manifestos, Orban will walk off with the crown.

    A slam dunk.

    Regards

    Charlie

  2. I think we all need to be cool and not obsessed with the polls. It is very interesting and exciting, true, but remember that in 2002 Fidesz’s win (result) was significantly overestimated (Median won with only a 3% point overestimation, Gallup by more than 8% points). This time the situation, fear from retribution by Fidesz for being an opposition voter is much worse — although pollsters may have become smarter, have more indirect clues. People are not in a position to vote soon, so that 48% (if true) of undecided malcontents is good, there is still more than a year for them to decide whether they want another 4 years of Orbán – and that will be the decision to take. Anyway, all I am saying is that we need to be cool and deal with other issues and not concentrate on the numbers and get desperate.

    Noone knows what will happen and unfortunately it will be very difficult to figure out what the main (proximate) cause of a loss for the opposition was (the election system? the lack of unity? Fidesz’ control of the media? Fidesz’ superior GOTV organisation?) or a reason for a win for that matter. At this point, it is not like there is a huge burden on MSZP or Bajnai to win. They are the underdog and if they lose (together or separately) there could be many reasonable justifications. So they can’t really lose, can’t really disappoint, sad as it is. But this is good.

    Bajnai is working on many fronts (though I guess the national network building is the most difficult). As far as I see, they will want to convince voters that they have the unique ability to govern. Not the ability to exercise power, but that they are able to successfulyl implement policy (for a modern Hungary), if they are able also to change the constitution. In this, governing, Fidesz has been an utter, unmitigated failure. All they know, and they know this well, is how to exercise power (for all those people, the underlings, who heard the shouting of party bosses, terror may not be an exaggeration, I am not kidding).

    There will be a hundred obstacles if there would be a win by the opposition, and (although I don’t agree with Bajnai’s declaration of not using certain legal “weapons” such as pushing trough a referendum on a new constitution) the win would have to be decisive to get legitimacy to change the constitution. But Bajnai is open to the middle, so they want to make sure that they are not seen as radicals, but conservatives and that is why they had to declare that they are restrained and only support any change of constitution if there is a broad support.

    MSZP’s move in Romania is freally or the long term, a slow image campaign, plus for the voters living in Hungary, who care about these issues. So this is not a big deal.The Romanian votes will not be as important as first thought (they may not be able to vote, as a practical matter, after all – if they cannot vote by mail, they will not be able to vote in Romania in other places than at the consulate or the embassy, which is a bit difficul for many people. Although the Romanian government may want to let a whole physical insfratsructure in Romania managed by Hungarians, just to let the ethnic Hungarians devide each other, but this would be almost unprecedented). But if Romanians could vote by mail, so could – absent any discrimination – the 500.000 “emigrants” living in Western-Europe (who are less inclined to vote for Fidesz, I am afraid).

  3. “So, it doesn’t matter how many people, even among the readers of Hungarian Spectrum, would prefer that MSZP not have an important role in Hungarian political life.”

    Éva, it’s not that we “would prefer that MSZP not have an important role in Hungarian political life”, indeed it’s absolutely vital that they have THE important role. But first they have to face up to their past corruption and incompetence, and their part in Orbán’s coup, and then they have to reinvent themselves so that the people can believe in them again – and so that they can present a genuine, heartfelt, and believable set of policies for a post-Fidesz recovery.

    There is little to be gained by replacing Fidesz with the old/existing MSzP, especially when you consider the state of near civil war the country will descend into afterwards.

    Almost certainly, Fidesz will win in 2014, so our best chance of ultimate recovery is to accept that and to plan long-term – starting now. Well before 2018 there must be a genuine, believable opposition in place. Fidesz must not only lose in 2018, but lose badly and humiliatingly, so that Orbán has no real chance of operating any destructive guerrilla war, and the new government can concentrate on getting Hungary back on its feet.

    Of course it would be better if this could be done in 2014, but the opposition has wasted the last three years and there’s no way they’ll re either ready or electable by April 2014.

  4. Hectorromano – the polls are indeed not to be trusted, but not so much for the reasons you give. The main reason for mistrusting the polls is simply that the electoral systems has changed completely since 2010 (and could well change again before 2014) and nobody knows what the impact of this will be.

    In the past Hungarian elections were relatively easy to predict because there was a fairly good correlation between votes and seats, this will not be true in 2014 – the Hungarian system is no longer proportional. The new system is also very difficult for small parties. And, of course, there will be dramatically fewer seats in the new parliament.

    The best guess of the ‘experts’ seems to be that this will favour Fidesz (some even think that Fidesz will be able to get a comfortable majority with not much more than a quarter of the votes). But, if MSzP make a strong showing, it might even benefit them and give them more seats than they should have.

    It’s almost certainly going to be bad news for the small parties, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if there were no small parties at all in the next parliament. It may even have an adverse effect on Jobbik – who would otherwise have been looking forward to 2014 to consolidate their position and perhaps even become the second party.

    As I said, no one really knows – including the pollsters.

    The new electoral arrangement is almost a first-past-the-post system, and, as pollsters in the UK will tell you, it’s far more difficult to work out how voters’ expressed intentions will translate into actual seats under such a system.

    In the UK, for instance, most seats don’t change hands – the votes of the vast majority of us are completely wasted (my vote, for instance, has never counted in 42 years of voting). Everything hinges on the voters of a few marginal seats, who may well vote in a different way to the rest of the population because of local issues, or simply because of the concentration of national political attention they get in the run-up to the election. So turning people’s expressed preferences into predictions of actual seats under such a system is a black art indeed. One I suspect the Hungarian pollsters are nowhere near mastering – or even yet understanding.

  5. “Mensura Transylvanica doesn’t seem to like the MSZP idea of having good relations with the governments of the neighboring states. This policy harks back to the Antall government that wanted to have a balance between good relations with the governments of the neighboring states and the rights and interests of the Hungarian minority.”

    This is also a reflection of strong opposition of the FIDESZ sympathizer politicians in Transylvania to the RMDSZ’s policy of always trying to be part of the current Romanian government, regardless of the parties in power. They find it hard to accept that this policy did lead to important improvements in the cultural, educational and political life of the Hungarian minority in Romania, although much more is needed to bring this to the level of European norms. A frequently mentioned item is the still not returned properties of the Hungarian churches, confiscated during the communist period. And then there is the issue of territorial autonomy for the area inhabited by the Szeklers, Székelyföld, a desire that the Romanian government is unlikely to ever grant (considering the fact that during each election the winning side uses the anti-Hungarian card quite successfully).

  6. @Paul: “There is little to be gained by replacing Fidesz with the old/existing MSzP, especially when you consider the state of near civil war the country will descend into afterwards.”

    There will be a state of near civil war in the country, no matter how much MSzP reinvents itself (this is not to say that MSzP does need to do some soul-searching). It’s just the fact, that if OV and the top Fidesz manipulators stay anywhere NEAR power (even if in opposition), they will do everything in their power to create civil-war like conditions.

    Even if MSzP disappeared and a new liberal or leftist party came into being with substantial support from the electorate and without the credibility baggage of MSzP, the Fidesz black propaganda machinery would start up right away (in fact, it would start BEFORE such party could get any meaningful popularity). Simply, without the current Fidesz leadership and their vicious machinations being gone, it is practically impossible for a functional opposition to emerge. Just as in marriage for example, you can’t have a functioning relationship if one party in the marriage is totally dysfunctional. The same way you cannot have a functioning democracy if one of the main parties do not respect and abide by the principles of democracy.

    Fidesz has to disappear as we know it today to have any kind of progress in Hungary. This could only happen if OV and Fidesz loses its credibility totally, just like the Kadar regime did by the 80s…. and that hasn’t happened yet. Although a large part of their voters are disillusioned, Fidesz still retained its cult-like following in its core base. Unless this following erodes, unless the spell they hold over their ardent followers is broken, there won’t be any meaningful change in Hungarian politics. .

    What could possible bring about such a change in the ardent followers?

    – A total catastrophe (an economic collapse, for example)

    – A sudden leadership crisis in Fidesz and the removal of the charismatic leader (could be brought by sudden illness or death…. given OV’s relatively young age, this is unlikely)

    – Slow erosion of trust for Fidesz and the ideas represented by Fidesz (as Fidesz cannot fulfill all the hopes its followers are blindly believing in). This would take a lot of time though. Just like a lot of people actually believed at the beginning that communism offered a better word … it took long long years for those who believers to recognize what communism actually meant in real life, and how these ideals were used and abused by a political elite for their own purposes. By a very pessimistic estimate, it may even take a generation.

    – The appearance of a new charismatic leader among the opposition, who has a stronger “pull” than Orban…. the danger here is that this person may as well turn out to be the leftist populist version of the right-wing populist OV. In that case the country would swing back and forth between right-wing and left-wing populism ( I think this is the story in many Latin-American countries). There is a slight chance that this charismatic leader would be a true and committed democrat and would use its personal charisma to lead the country back to a functioning democracy… this would be the best, and perhaps the most unlikely scenario.

  7. Orban henter sine stemmer i provinsen og hos landets mange fattige og halvfattige.

    I sine og statens medier fodrer han dem som Hitler med Fascistoid facination: Virkelighedsfjerne film og folkemusik fra gamle dage.

    Vi må realistisk indse Fidesz har magten i mange år fremover.
    Man bør nu udnytte demokratiets vigtigste redskab: YTRINGSFRIHEDEN og bruge kræfterne på redelig analyse og oplysning, så der kan ske en bevidstgørelse af befolkningen og få den ud af tilstanden af kollektiv postraumatisk stresstilstand og blive modnet til ansvar og handling.

    Gode hilsner fra Danmark (-:)

  8. Don’t be surprised if Orban just up and quits. Excuse? Health reasons.
    Or maybe he just wants to leave and enjoy his millions.

    (Without Orban, Fidesz is dead int the water.)

  9. Dark Blue (2003), a cop movie based on a story written for film by crime novelist James Ellroy and takes place during the days leading to and including the Rodney King trial verdict.

    Sgt. Eldon Perry (just arrested): – The whole damn city’s going to burn.

    Chief Arthur Holland: – It’ll get ugly before it gets better.

    – How ugly do you think it’ll get for me?

    – Ugly.

  10. whhooo Hoss, has anyone really read what MSzP wants to do? Does anyone get that what they are proposing is another round of provocative infringement on the sovereignty of the neighbouring countries? I just don’t understand how one can say, we’re not responsible for the sins of our fore-bearers and then engage in this type of behaviour using history.. or the sins of their fore-bearers as an excuse.

    Recent past has demonstrated that the opportunities of catering to domestic support over this issue are just overwhelming.. Hungarians (as in resident citizens) are suffering under austerity after austerity program and yet the parties continue to engage in spending money on activities that infringe on their neighbours provoking all kinds of (unneeded) ill will for non-contributing citizens of another country.

    If these are the only two real choices.. there isn’t a choice that represents the citizens of this country which is why I predict very few will bother to vote.

  11. @LwiiH,, I hate to tell you but Viktor Orbán also talked about a program that would contribute to the development of Hungarian inhabited areas on Romania and Slovakia. I agree that the idea is preposterous.

  12. An – a very good summary, and more or less what I was getting at (but obviously didn’t say clearly enough!) – hence my aiming at 2018, rather than 2014.

    By then, not only might the opposition (in whatever form) be ready to govern and likely to get comprehensively elected, but Orbán and Fidesz will have made such a god-awful mess of things that they simply won’t have the support or credibility to mount an effective guerrilla war against the new government.

    I fear this may even take until 2022 (if there are still elections by then), but I’m hoping that the opposition can get its act together a lot quicker, and that it won’t take a complete collapse of the country before Orbán loses enough credibility amongst his supporters.

    As regards the state of near civil war that we both fear – I wonder just how many of those advocating the defeat of Orbán in 2014 have thought this through? Orbán’s reaction at losing would be far worse than post-2006. He will not only be hell-bent on revenge, but he will also have dispensed with what little restraint he still had pre-2010. And, not only will he have enough long-term political appointees in place to effectively prevent the new government from doing anything, he will also have millions of loyal supporters on his side – all quite convinced that the election was stolen from them by ‘outside forces’, Hungary-haters, etc, and therefore they are ‘justified in taking whatever action is ‘required’.

    In fact the more I think about this, the more I think that it actually might be in Hungary’s best interest for Orbán to win in 2014. He will do a lot less damage to the country if he stays in power – the only thing worse for Hungary than Orbán as PM is Orbán in opposition.

  13. “Does anyone get that what they are proposing is another round of provocative infringement on the sovereignty of the neighbouring countries?”

    This puzzled me as well. Surely the best thing that MSzP could do would be to distance itself completely from Orbán’s actions in this area. By all means promise support for Hungarians in the lost territories, but at all times stress that the Hungarian Government recognises that they are citizens of another country and live in another country’s sovereign territory.

    I can’t think of another situation where politicians from another country cross the border to stir up trouble amongst that country’s minorities. I can’t believe Romania and Slovakia don’t make more of a fuss – this ought to be a diplomatic scandal at the very least.

    Do (for instance) French politicians behave the same way in the French speaking parts of Belgium? Or Russian politicians stir up trouble amongst the Russians in Lithuania?

  14. Petöfi: “Don’t be surprised if Orban just up and quits. Excuse? Health reasons.
    Or maybe he just wants to leave and enjoy his millions.
    (Without Orban, Fidesz is dead int the water.)”

    This will not happen.

    Those who obtain unlimited power will invariably misuse it and they will know that they are criminals who will be prosecuted if they loose power. You cannot steal from the state, no matter how indirectly, without knowing that you are a thief. You cannot steal from the state without anybody else knowing it.

    Everybody in the Fidesz administration who can think ahead will know the danger of becoming the fall guy after the collapse of the cleptocracy and will stash away documentation that the decisions were made higher up.

    Orban is the ultimate higher up. He will not leave voluntarily.

  15. Paul :
    “Does anyone get that what they are proposing is another round of provocative infringement on the sovereignty of the neighbouring countries?”
    Do (for instance) French politicians behave the same way in the French speaking parts of Belgium? Or Russian politicians stir up trouble amongst the Russians in Lithuania?

    Actually if you look at citizenship counts by the Russian government are inflated in former Soviet countries by locals holding a Russian passport (in addition to the local one). Protecting “Russian citizens” was part of the justification for invading Georgia.

  16. Eva S. Balogh :
    @LwiiH,, I hate to tell you but Viktor Orbán also talked about a program that would contribute to the development of Hungarian inhabited areas on Romania and Slovakia. I agree that the idea is preposterous.

    Right, and in a referendum didn’t Hungarian citizens reject this type of interference? So in effect, the government’s current plans run counter to the wishes of the domestic voting group. Wouldn’t be in MSzP’s best interest to capture those disenfranchised instead of further alienating them by continuing with this lunacy? How many other programs that Fidesz conveniently cooked up will they continue on with?

  17. MSZP will continue with whatever it needs to get some right wing and conservative credentials.

    The true leftists just don’t care about the ethnic Hungarians and MSZP thinks that they can get some voters from the middle by presenting a more conservative image (obviously you can be more pope than the pope, but real rightwingers will never ever vote for MSZP).

    But MSZP has always been a wavering party and made gestures to conservatives (when Medgyessy came they left the crown in the Parliament, Horn signed the Vatican agreement, by the way which is under preparation now by Fidesz, to introduce even more exceptional rights to catholic church establishments who in turn are campagining for Fidesz) and it never gets anyting in return (to the contrary Fidesz agressively betrayed MSZP on a number of issues).

    But as it was written, don’t spend too much time with the Romanian situation, it just does not matter, it is a costly hobby for Fidesz because of some harcore people like Kövér and semjén have an obsession with it. But overall it has no relevance in the elections. There ae 30 mor eimportant news items and developlements, whatever happens in Romania is not oen of them.

  18. People who do not use internet (the majority outside Budapest) will not have access to opposing views during the election campaign (The cable television channel ATV is frequently timid with the government)

  19. Petofi1: “January 24, 2013 at 3:29 am #10 = Don’t be surprised if Orban just up and quits. Excuse? Health reasons. Or maybe he just wants to leave and enjoy his millions. (Without Orban, Fidesz is dead int the water.)”

    Petofi1 suggested it, Hungarians will execute it.

    We need a Kossuth Tér-permanent tent city, and strong demonstrations of enlightened moderates UNITED/Együtt – to underscore this suggestions. Nobody loves Orban! should scream from speakers 24 hours.

  20. tappanch :
    Media council shuts down the last three frequencies of Klubradio outside Budapest.
    http://www.klubradio.hu/cikk.php?id=16&cid=152159

    Google translate makes the usual has of this, so I may have misunderstood, but it appears to be saying that the Debrecen frequency has been taken away (amongst others), but I was under the impression that the Debrecen frequency had been taken away a year or so ago?

  21. Fidesz without Orbán is like a groom without his equipment (if this makes sense in English) , said András Schiffer, but (c) belongs to one József Torgyán.

    Orbán will never leave at his own initiation and he will never be fired either, he will be like Castro who probably died years ago, but will never really die officially. People just slowly get used to the idea that he is absent. By the way Dezső Kosztolányi has a nice short story about this slow acceptance of the absence of a loved one.

    The people in Fidesz know that Fidesz is Orbán’s plena potestas property, his own enterprise.

    You just don’t fire a sole shareholder of a company, the company can be liquidated if it goes bankrupt, but from outside the shareholder cannot be fired. Unless Orbán is physically sick, he wont’ go very far from official power, anytime soon.

    Like under Gyurcsány, Orbán was governing from opposition and he will do so again if he lost. One literally had to ask for his permission to accept an official position (or an inportant business position like a CEO of MVM). Companies, investors had to give them all documents, contracts they made, courts and other state offices literally had to report to him. It was crazy, but everybody had the fear — people knew that he was gonna come and he had complete control over the prosecution, courts (soon over the constitutional court), the intelligence services. Even if there would be a new government, Orbán will be able to literally prohibit certain poeple to accept certain positions. If they don’t comply, well, it is not obligatoy, but then you might find that you will spend a lot of time at the police and courts for the next decade, like in the crazy kafkaesque UD Zrt. case (in which the victims are the defendants) which just went back to first instance after five years. Would you want that? There you go.

  22. Paul :

    tappanch :
    Media council shuts down the last three frequencies of Klubradio outside Budapest.
    http://www.klubradio.hu/cikk.php?id=16&cid=152159

    Google translate makes the usual has of this, so I may have misunderstood, but it appears to be saying that the Debrecen frequency has been taken away (amongst others), but I was under the impression that the Debrecen frequency had been taken away a year or so ago?

    The Media Authority has been using a step-by-step approach.

    October 14, 2011 – Ajka, Balatonfüred, Keszthely, Pápa and Veszprém,

    November 27, 2012 – Esztergom és Tatabánya have been shut down.

    January 24, 2013 – Gyöngyös, Kecskemét & Debrecen – order to shut down Klubradio.

    With this order, Klubradio will no longer be able to broadcast outside Budapest.

    In Budapest, it gets 2-month extensions only, despite several court rulings in Klubradio’s favor.

  23. Orban, like most dictators of the past, is irrational,

    Ron :

    tappanch :
    Here is a map of Klubradio’s reach from November 2009
    http://hu.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=F%C3%A1jl:Magyarorsz%C3%A1g_Klubr%C3%A1di%C3%B3_ad%C3%B3h%C3%A1l%C3%B3zat.svg&filetimestamp=20091108225823
    You can see, Klubradio reached only a minority of the Hungarian population even 3 years ago.

    If this is the case. Then why forbid Klubradio.

    Ron,
    Why did Hitler want to exterminate the Jews? Did it make sense from a rational point of view?

    Why does Orban want to eliminate Klubradio?

    Dictatorial minds are not rational.

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