The failure of Hungarian democracy: The universities

Yesterday I indicated that the administration at ELTE must have known what was going on in HÖK (Hallgatói Önkormányzat). It has been an open secret inside and outside of the university for years.

Since I aired my suspicions yesterday afternoon, more and more facts have surfaced about the activities not only of the HÖK of the Faculty of Arts but also of the HÖK that represents the law students at ELTE.

Last night a website appeared written by an unnamed student of ELTE’s faculty of arts (BTK) who penetrated Ádám Garbai’s HÖK, allegedly in order to unveil their activities. Although some of the Fidesz politicians, like István Klinghammer, the new undersecretary in charge of higher education and former president of ELTE, expressed their suspicion that the list is a fake, or as Klinghammer put it, “a provocation,” our unnamed student swears that the lists are for real.  Our “secret agent” claims that “the reign of Jobbik in HÖK has been going on for years with the tacit consent of the administration.” I think that it is enough to look at the following interview of Olga Kálmán with György Fábri, vice president of ELTE, to believe what our “secret agent” alleges.

Fábri seems to be very satisfied with the work of HÖK, which he considers to be a vital part of Hungarian university life. He obviously wouldn’t like to curtail their wide financial and educational powers. As for the concern expressed by Olga Kálmán about the undue influence of Jobbik within HÖK, he defended their right to belong to the party of their choice. As it turned out at the end of the conversation, he as a student was one of the founders of the first HÖK at ELTE. I couldn’t help thinking that Fábri might be a supporter of Jobbik himself. If that is the case, HÖK will never be cleansed, at least not as long as Viktor Orbán is the prime minister of Hungary.

Mushroom farm

Mushroom farm

But it is not only the administration that seems to be tacitly supporting HÖK and through it Jobbik. There are several faculty members who are actively involved with this extremist party. For example, János Stummer, former BTK HÖK deputy chairman, who just started a student movement at ELTE called Magyar Tavasz Mozgalom (Hungarian Spring). A video that is available on kuruc.info.hu about this movement indicates that it subscribes to a far right irredentist ideology. Even the freshman picnics that BTK HÖK organizes regularly end with “Down with Trianon,” says our informer.

HÖK activists have been involved with Jobbik’s election campaigns, often being used to distribute Jobbik propaganda material. Their latest contribution was the distribution of 6,600 copies of a free Jobbik newspaper called Hazai Pálya (Domestic Course) in District VI in Budapest. Often the propaganda material was actually stored in the university’s building on Múzeum körút. Naturally, after the scandal hit the Internet the Jobbik leadership tried to distance itself from the official university student groups.

The semi-official government paper Magyar Nemzet was slow to respond to ATV’s publication of the list and the comments. Quite a few hours passed before they managed to find their voice. A few minutes after Antal Rogán warned people that one must carefully check the authenticity of the list, Magyar Nemzet decided to publish an article with the headline: “One must very carefully check whether the students really made lists at the university.” Almost as if the editors waited for a signal from the government on how to respond to this embarrassing event.

Naturally, HírTV was quick to interview Ádám Garbai. Garbai “admitted that they were negligent” because they were not careful enough when storing the lists and thus enemies of HÖK could get to them and alter their content. Because this is Garbai’s story. He also claims that he has not seen any lists since he became chairman in January 2011. Our informant predicts that they will deny the charges to the bitter end.

Yesterday right-wing students tried to break HaHa’s strike. However, they seem to have a manpower shortage. They managed to gather about 50 students, not all of whom were students at ELTE’s BTK. Their plan was to join the HaHa students and outvote them in order to end the strike. Once that plan failed, they were satisfied to conduct a shouting match in which they fiercely defended HÖK and claimed that the list is a fake.

So, here we are in a politically polarized situation at the universities. All this while no political activity is allowed in Hungarian universities. This decision was made back in 1990 when perhaps the restriction was more understandable than it is today. During the Rákosi and Kádár regimes both at the workplaces and at the schools and universities there used to be communist party cells.  Naturally, the opposition didn’t want parties to recruit or put pressure on students and employees and therefore fought to end the practice.

But in normal democratic societies it is in schools and universities that students learn the rudiments of democracy in theory and practice. In the United States already in elementary school students learn to campaign for class offices. By the time they reach college age they have a fair idea about political campaigning. Both in Canada and in the United States political parties have student organizations in the universities. I urge readers to take a look at the parties that exist at Yale University under the umbrella organization called the Political Union. To ban political discussion at universities is a crime against democracy.

Moreover, as we can see, the ban was good for only one thing: the underground–or not so underground–growth of a racist, irredentist, far right party. And this official student organization has the support of both the university and the government. It is a shame.

Demokratikus Koalíció was the first to respond with a suggestion that might remedy the current situation. Csaba Molnár, one of the deputy chairmen of DK, suggested that parties should be able to function under the supervision of the university authorities. This is the situation in Germany and in Austria. He might also have mentioned the United Kingdom, Canada, or the United States. I can only agree.

51 comments

  1. The reported events at ELTE are absolutely wrong, but the fact that the university took the correct steps in remedying the situation is encouraging.

    The actions of a small number of radical advocates does not necessarily mirror the sentiment of society. In the U.S. criticism of “political correctness” pushed by those far removed from the mainstream has recently found an echo in the media. Good examples are known from Brown University and New York where recently invited speakers were disinvited by those in charge who thought that they might disagree with what the invited speakers could advocate. Though troubling, especially in university environments, this does not signal the end of American Democracy.

  2. Traditionally, with oppressive regimes, the universities are the centres of resistance, the last place the spark of rebellion survives, the one place the regime daren’t hit too hard – our own Éva is living proof of that.

    But, once the universities, the students themselves, become agents/supporters of the government, what hope is there?

    I can’t remember another situation like this where this has happened. Another first for Hungary.

  3. Csaba K. Zoltani :
    The reported events at ELTE are absolutely wrong, but the fact that the university took the correct steps in remedying the situation is encouraging.
    The actions of a small number of radical advocates does not necessarily mirror the sentiment of society. In the U.S. criticism of “political correctness” pushed by those far removed from the mainstream has recently found an echo in the media. Good examples are known from Brown University and New York where recently invited speakers were disinvited by those in charge who thought that they might disagree with what the invited speakers could advocate. Though troubling, especially in university environments, this does not signal the end of American Democracy.

    Superb! I really miss our trolls. This is straight out of the Fidesz-Jobbik ‘how to reply to posts from Hungary Haters’ manual – 1) deny it, 2) compare to some fatuous, irrelevancy in the US.

    Thank you, Csaba, I was feeling a bit down tonight, after a rather painful minor op today, but you made me laugh!

  4. The administration of ELTE is made up of Jobbik and Fidesz leaning people, who started at HÖK.

    They must have known because they were HÖK before.

    That is how the right takes over the adminstration and the teaching positions and later the curriculum too. Systemaitcally and strategically and over the long term. Meanwhile the left and the liberals do nothing, have no organisations, don’t give a damn.

    The Socialists or Bajnai have nothing to comment, they are not organising, just sitting on their buttocks.

  5. Louis Kovach/Zoltani redux.
    Have these people got this twisted in kindergarten age?
    The nation is dying, and the privileged few still sleep.

  6. Csaba K. Zoltani :
    In the U.S. criticism of “political correctness” pushed by those far removed from the mainstream has recently found an echo in the media. Good examples are known from Brown University and New York where recently invited speakers were disinvited by those in charge who thought that they might disagree with what the invited speakers could advocate

    Can you be more specific? We have no idea what are you referring to.
    At the same time let me tell you that in Canada too, they turn away certain speakers from universities, mostly those who teach and speech hate. That is not political correctness, that is sticking with the morals of a developed, democratic country. In democracy everyone has the right to live a life without being pre-labelled, and without being subjected to hate speech, harassment and verbal abuse. Hungary has a long way to go to protect its citizens from its careerist clowns, religious fools, nationalist hypocrites and certainly from organizations, like HOK, that is a puppet of bad intentions.

  7. There is wide-scale social acceptance for tragic political views on all levels of university life. As a former student at a Hungarian university, I can tell you that I’ve seen some appalling stuff.

    In people’s minds, being a radical today is just like being anything else. If I want to summarize the mood at universities: general consensus among young people is often that it is okay to hate others because Gyurcsany lied.

    I’ve had many fellow students tell me the exact line that was repeated by a govt official at the Kossuth House in DC some years ago: the Jews had the Holocaust, and we’ve had Trianon. In light of this previous knowledge, I’m actually not shocked at all. I’m sad, but not shocked.

  8. Csaba K. Zoltani :
    The actions of a small number of radical advocates does not necessarily mirror the sentiment of society. In the U.S. criticism of “political correctness” pushed by those far removed from the mainstream has recently found an echo in the media. Good examples are known from Brown University and New York where recently invited speakers were disinvited by those in charge who thought that they might disagree with what the invited speakers could advocate. Though troubling, especially in university environments, this does not signal the end of American Democracy.

    To compare the American democracy, based on a Constitution that rarely gets amended and through a very complex and difficult process, his to what’s going on in the Fidesz-Jobbik Hungary under Orban, where the “Basic Law” is changed by the ruling party every time the Constitutional Court objects to anything, well this is more than a slight exaggeration.

  9. gdfxx :

    Csaba K. Zoltani :
    The actions of a small number of radical advocates does not necessarily mirror the sentiment of society. In the U.S. criticism of “political correctness” pushed by those far removed from the mainstream has recently found an echo in the media. Good examples are known from Brown University and New York where recently invited speakers were disinvited by those in charge who thought that they might disagree with what the invited speakers could advocate. Though troubling, especially in university environments, this does not signal the end of American Democracy.

    To compare the American democracy, based on a Constitution that rarely gets amended and through a very complex and difficult process, his to what’s going on in the Fidesz-Jobbik Hungary under Orban, where the “Basic Law” is changed by the ruling party every time the Constitutional Court objects to anything, well this is more than a slight exaggeration.

    Quite aright, gdfx.
    This is Fidesz ‘misdirection’ 101–pick a slight appearance of similarity and extrapolate it to the whole.
    Here’s an example: “I have a belly-button as do you, therefore I am just as honest and honorable as your are.” Quite ludicrous, really, but to the unsophisticated
    mustachios of the countryside, it will do.

    The genius of Orban is this: he has succeeded in bread-weaving the church (Catholic) and the government (Fidesz) into a seamless whole. What
    right-thinking Trianon-hater could want better than that?

  10. By Fidesz and by the Fidesz-related media there is now an all-out assault on HaHa and comprehensive efforts to defend and rehabilitate HÖK. I will not repeat the lies the Fidesz-media now repeats.

    Fidesz and Jobbik will not give up its influence on the existing power network and access to youth minds at universities without a fight. And their fight is concentrated and meticulously planned. They include a concerted efforts of government people, various media outlets, blogs, blog-comments, physical presence and so on.

    Fidesz does not take prisoners and everyone must realise that if someone opposes the governmnet’s plans and agents, he/she will be a ‘target’ and will be shred. They do it with András Simor (the outgoing NBH governor, effectively the last man standing against the government or the hardliner but sometimes wavering Fidesznik László L. Simon at the ministry of culture) now HaHA is the target.

    But the most important method to target HaHA is simply saying that they are l-s. “A certain l-party is behind them”. “And behind them the financier, and certain others, whom we know of course, but we shall not name.” With this, noobody wants to associate them, because it’s uncool to seem liberal and you get ridiculed.

    TGM (the philosopher pundit) is right in that Bajnai Gordon was given a huge hit (got ridiculed) and all media was concentratred on this factoid, that his recent political gathering was attended by former SZDSZ people, such as Gábor Kuncze. Once you are linked to liberals, once it turns out the “old” SZDSZ liberals are ‘trying to return’, you are dead in the water.

    Bajnai and his peope don’t get it: avoid the L-word like the plague. It’s much-much deadlier that it was in the US under W. Once you are labeled a liberal and connected to SZDSZ (the defunct liberal party) you are politically untachable.

  11. Off topic:

    We were checking our bank statements recently, and wondering why every time we withdrew money, we were charged an extra 260 HUF. We thought it might be some extra bank charge for withdrawals, until we realised that this is the new ‘transaction tax’ which the government takes. It seems that it’s not 0.3% after all. It’s a minimum of 260HUF each time, and then perhaps 0.3% above a certain minimum limit. Turns out we’ve been donating a couple of forints to the Hungarian government over the last few weeks!

    I wonder how long it will take the majority of people to notice this, or realise it’s a government tax. Admittedly, my wife checks her bank statement online every day.

  12. HÖK is a democratic university institution for students with ELECTED members of the universities. Therefore: It has the LEGITIMACY. While so-called “HAHA” is just a self-appointed organization. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

  13. HAHA is a flash mob organisation , for students who want free lessons and university from the taxpayers’ money, than they want to left Hungary and move to western Europe for Higher salary….

  14. Bowen :
    Off topic:
    We were checking our bank statements recently, and wondering why every time we withdrew money, we were charged an extra 260 HUF. We thought it might be some extra bank charge for withdrawals, until we realised that this is the new ‘transaction tax’ which the government takes. It seems that it’s not 0.3% after all. It’s a minimum of 260HUF each time, and then perhaps 0.3% above a certain minimum limit. Turns out we’ve been donating a couple of forints to the Hungarian government over the last few weeks!
    I wonder how long it will take the majority of people to notice this, or realise it’s a government tax. Admittedly, my wife checks her bank statement online every day.

    My remarks on Feb 7:

    “Most banks started to collect Orban’s transaction taxes from February 1st.

    In dollar terms, it looks like the maximum of [0.3% or $1].
    ….
    I think the government gets exactly 0.3% no matter how much you withdraw.
    (So the bank makes some profit out of this if you withdraw less than $340)”

  15. Bowen: They don’t care (noone checks the bank statments, too compliacted). “Plus, it’s the banks again, stupid, sucking the blood of the Hungarian citizens as is their wont, with various fees. They just increase their fees all the time. Why can’t Fidesz force them to decrease the fees as with electricity? We need a stronger government. Jobbik would cut banks to shape, I guarantee you.”

    People can’t make the connection. And it seems that there is a reason why are not a politician (sorry).

    Meahwhile KH Bank made – “despite all the crying that the banks are overtaxed” – HUF 20bn profit. In an astonoshingly stupid PR move KH Bank (owned by debil Belgians, the KBC Bank) opened the season of reporting on banks profits. Although the profits did not come from improved opartions, but from the release of reserves (provisions for loan losses; so its a reasignment of previous losses, not profits made this year) it looks terrible (or rather, it is a gem for Fidesz). Meanhile today it was announced that three unnamed banks made a loss of HUF 160bn (!). But who cares, if we don’t know the names. All we know is that KH is huuugely profitable and OTP probably too. So there is room for further bank taxes.

  16. Éljen a Fidesz! :

    HÖK is a democratic university institution for students with ELECTED members of the universities. Therefore: It has the LEGITIMACY. While so-called “HAHA” is just a self-appointed organization. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    I’m afraid, you are wrong. According to new regulations HÖK members must be elected by at least 25% of the student population. ELTE BTK HÖK was not elected this way. It was elected by a very small percentage of the students. So, they are not legal and therefore they are not legitimate. However, Zoltán Balog, the minister in charge of education, declared that the BTK HÖK can function undisturbed regardless. However, he added, the leadership doesn’t have decision making powers. Whatever that means.

  17. Éljen a Fidesz! :
    HAHA is a flash mob organisation , for students who want free lessons and university from the taxpayers’ money, than they want to left Hungary and move to western Europe for Higher salary….

    Without good higher education, a country is condemned to perpetual poverty.

    I would rather give my taxes to students than to Orban, Simicska and their maffia, who take Hungary back to the Dark Age.

  18. Bowen :
    Off topic:
    We were checking our bank statements recently, and wondering why every time we withdrew money, we were charged an extra 260 HUF. We thought it might be some extra bank charge for withdrawals, until we realised that this is the new ‘transaction tax’ which the government takes. It seems that it’s not 0.3% after all. It’s a minimum of 260HUF each time, and then perhaps 0.3% above a certain minimum limit. Turns out we’ve been donating a couple of forints to the Hungarian government over the last few weeks!
    I wonder how long it will take the majority of people to notice this, or realise it’s a government tax. Admittedly, my wife checks her bank statement online every day.

    Even though the extra charge at the ATM is the result of the new government tax, Fidesz is just going to blame the banks for it… that’s the beauty of the transaction tax. It makes it possible for Fidesz to tax people and blame someone else (the evil banks). And a lot of people who never think anything through will fall for it.

    Orban is an idiot but there is one area in which he is a genius: manipulation. This is the skill that earned him the power he has in the country now.

  19. An: Orban is an idiot but there is one area in which he is a genius: manipulation. This is the skill that earned him the power he has in the country now.

    If he is such a genius, why is failing with most of the readers and commentators of this and many other blogs?

    Is it because the non-readers are stupid and/or are unable to think for themselves, or is it because due to his 2/3 majority he can do anything he wants and there is nothing anybody (including the EU) can do?

  20. Bowen: I wonder how long it will take the majority of people to notice this, or realize it’s a government tax. Admittedly, my wife checks her bank statement online every day.

    Most banks have not introduce this ATM tax, until recently. Most banks will have implemented this by March 1. This, by the way, includes the OTP.

  21. I cannot watch Orban’s conceited, self-congratulatory lies any longer on television.

    There is no one in the crowd of few hundred who would stand up and say

    “Down with you, dictator Ceau 2”.

    No, the crowd consists solely of the beneficiaries of Orban’s maffia rule.

  22. tappanch :I cannot watch Orban’s conceited, self-congratulatory lies any longer on television.
    There is no one in the crowd of few hundred who would stand up and say
    “Down with you, dictator Ceau 2″.
    No, the crowd consists solely of the beneficiaries of Orban’s maffia rule.

    Indeed. Which nation is Orban talking about? Surely it isn’t Hungary.

  23. @Ron: Orban is not a genius, only that he is genius of manipulation. Manipulation does not work very well with people who are well- informed and like to think critically about what they hear and read. The readers of this blog belong to this category. The average Hungarian (and most people anywhere) does not.

    His “genius” talent for manipulation was enough to get him 2/3, and yes, 2/3 gives him a lot of power. And though a lot of people, are seeing through him and getting fed up with him, he still influences a sizable chunk of the population… this is quite a feat, with all the moronic stuff he does.

  24. tappanch :

    I cannot watch Orban’s conceited, self-congratulatory lies any longer on television.

    There is no one in the crowd of few hundred who would stand up and say

    “Down with you, dictator Ceau 2″.

    No, the crowd consists solely of the beneficiaries of Orban’s maffia rule.

    I didn’t watch the speech but I understand that the audience was perhaps less enthusiastic than in the past. And apparently the speech itself was rather poor. But, let’s face it, it is difficult to give an enthusiastic speech under the circumstances.

  25. The low turnout ratio doesn’t nullify the legitimacy of a democratic institution. Think about the usual low turnout of the parliamentary elections in most Western-European countries. Do you think that Western European parliaments and governments are all illegitimate?

    Eva S. Balogh :

    Éljen a Fidesz! :
    HÖK is a democratic university institution for students with ELECTED members of the universities. Therefore: It has the LEGITIMACY. While so-called “HAHA” is just a self-appointed organization. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    I’m afraid, you are wrong. According to new regulations HÖK members must be elected by at least 25% of the student population. ELTE BTK HÖK was not elected this way. It was elected by a very small percentage of the students. So, they are not legal and therefore they are not legitimate. However, Zoltán Balog, the minister in charge of education, declared that the BTK HÖK can function undisturbed regardless. However, he added, the leadership doesn’t have decision making powers. Whatever that means.

  26. Éljen a FIDESZ! :
    The low turnout ratio doesn’t nullify the legitimacy of a democratic institution. Think about the usual low turnout of the parliamentary elections in most Western-European countries. Do you think that Western European parliaments and governments are all illegitimate?

    Eva S. Balogh :

    Éljen a Fidesz! :
    HÖK is a democratic university institution for students with ELECTED members of the universities. Therefore: It has the LEGITIMACY. While so-called “HAHA” is just a self-appointed organization. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    I’m afraid, you are wrong. According to new regulations HÖK members must be elected by at least 25% of the student population. ELTE BTK HÖK was not elected this way. It was elected by a very small percentage of the students. So, they are not legal and therefore they are not legitimate. However, Zoltán Balog, the minister in charge of education, declared that the BTK HÖK can function undisturbed regardless. However, he added, the leadership doesn’t have decision making powers. Whatever that means.

    You are democratically challenged. In a strong democracy the right for citizens to assemble, organize, and petition their government is universally recognized. HAHA is not just a flashmob organization. Your trivializing stems either from ignorance or conscious deceit. They have made some very rational demands and are practicing their right as an independently formed NGO to pressure there government.

    In a strong democracy such an organization is recognized as not more or less legitimate than a University sanctioned organization.

    hallgatoihalozat.blog.hu

  27. Eva S. Balogh :

    tappanch :
    I cannot watch Orban’s conceited, self-congratulatory lies any longer on television.
    There is no one in the crowd of few hundred who would stand up and say
    “Down with you, dictator Ceau 2″.
    No, the crowd consists solely of the beneficiaries of Orban’s maffia rule.

    I didn’t watch the speech but I understand that the audience was perhaps less enthusiastic than in the past. And apparently the speech itself was rather poor. But, let’s face it, it is difficult to give an enthusiastic speech under the circumstances.

    I saw a small part of it. The only thing that I remember is that his neck tie is red-orange. For the last two and a half years it was green or blue or greenish blue or blueish green.

    I think he is preparing for war. He also looked better than the last time I saw him. Perhaps he was in Austria in the “wellness” clinic.

  28. Éljen a FIDESZ!
    February 22, 2013 at 11:11 am | #30

    “The low turnout ratio doesn’t nullify the legitimacy of a democratic institution. Think about the usual low turnout of the parliamentary elections in most Western-European countries. Do you think that Western European parliaments and governments are all illegitimate?”

    I am afraid, you are wrong. The 25% is in the LAW. An election which is illegal by the law (i.e., the one by which your Jobbik friends were elected) is not democracy.

  29. Ron :
    An: Orban is an idiot but there is one area in which he is a genius: manipulation. This is the skill that earned him the power he has in the country now.
    If he is such a genius, why is failing with most of the readers and commentators of this and many other blogs?
    Is it because the non-readers are stupid and/or are unable to think for themselves, or is it because due to his 2/3 majority he can do anything he wants and there is nothing anybody (including the EU) can do?

    The answer: both.

  30. ‘Democracy’ means different thing in ‘the West’ and in Hungary – or at least in Orbán’s Hungary.

    To us in the West, it isn’t just about majority voting, it’s also about the rights of minorities and the duty of the elected government to act on behalf of the whole country, not just their voters. It also includes the right to free speech and free media, the right to demonstrate and strike, etc.

    In Hungary, at least under Orbán, ‘democracy’ just means the absolute rule of the majority. Orbán confuses the idea of democracy (the rule of the people) with the technical means to establish how that democracy should be run (i.e. majority voting).

    But I doubt very much, even if he cared, Orbán has the ability to understand this subtle, and vital, difference.

  31. According to your logic, there are no need for democratically elected parliaments, because there are some self-appointed civil organizations who can run the countries…. strange logic.
    And instead of parliaments (and other institutions like the HÖK in universities) the future of a country (or universities) will decide the future on the streets…… Very very civilized
    thought….

    Pete H. :

    Éljen a FIDESZ! :
    The low turnout ratio doesn’t nullify the legitimacy of a democratic institution. Think about the usual low turnout of the parliamentary elections in most Western-European countries. Do you think that Western European parliaments and governments are all illegitimate?

    Eva S. Balogh :

    Éljen a Fidesz! :
    HÖK is a democratic university institution for students with ELECTED members of the universities. Therefore: It has the LEGITIMACY. While so-called “HAHA” is just a self-appointed organization. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    I’m afraid, you are wrong. According to new regulations HÖK members must be elected by at least 25% of the student population. ELTE BTK HÖK was not elected this way. It was elected by a very small percentage of the students. So, they are not legal and therefore they are not legitimate. However, Zoltán Balog, the minister in charge of education, declared that the BTK HÖK can function undisturbed regardless. However, he added, the leadership doesn’t have decision making powers. Whatever that means.

    You are democratically challenged. In a strong democracy the right for citizens to assemble, organize, and petition their government is universally recognized. HAHA is not just a flashmob organization. Your trivializing stems either from ignorance or conscious deceit. They have made some very rational demands and are practicing their right as an independently formed NGO to pressure there government.
    In a strong democracy such an organization is recognized as not more or less legitimate than a University sanctioned organization.
    hallgatoihalozat.blog.hu

  32. Don’t feed the troll!

    “Éljen a Fidesz!” is nothing more than an idiot trolling this site, writing totally false statements like “Think about the usual low turnout of the parliamentary elections in most Western-European countries.”

    Well in Germany the turnout is usually around 70 % – and in Hungary ?

    And btw, Fidesz didn’t get two thirds of the votes …

  33. London Calling!

    Moving back on topic! (Unusually!)

    (Btw Eva – You will be banned by the Media authority if you repeat that Jobbik is extremist!)

    Hungarians don’t appear to appreciate that ANY list kept without the consent of the ‘listees’ – and purpose known – is illegal – in any decent democracy.

    It is certainly illegal in an EU country.

    (Even if the information is deemed appropriate by one party – and added to later by others and deemed inappropriate!)

    I am not surprised that this is the case when you consider how the ‘informer’ network operated in the communist era – and the reluctance to open the archives (which probably now is just a formality as the shredders have done their worst).

    Hungarians are conditioned to it.

    And your Data Protection agency (KVH) is a toothless watchdog.

    (I have mentioned here before that even though the European Parliament has advised them twice that the information held on me – in questionably insecure conditions – is illegal, they refuse to agree and continue to allow the immigration authorities to hold more information on me than the average Hungarian citizen)

    The ‘KVH’ is full of Orban’s placemen.

    It will take a whole generation before ‘surveillance’ attitudes change.

    Regards

    Charlie

  34. Éljen a Fidesz! :
    According to your logic, there are no need for democratically elected parliaments, because there are some self-appointed civil organizations who can run the countries…. strange logic.
    And instead of parliaments (and other institutions like the HÖK in universities) the future of a country (or universities) will decide the future on the streets…… Very very civilized
    thought….

    Pete H. :

    Éljen a FIDESZ! :
    The low turnout ratio doesn’t nullify the legitimacy of a democratic institution. Think about the usual low turnout of the parliamentary elections in most Western-European countries. Do you think that Western European parliaments and governments are all illegitimate?

    Eva S. Balogh :

    Éljen a Fidesz! :
    HÖK is a democratic university institution for students with ELECTED members of the universities. Therefore: It has the LEGITIMACY. While so-called “HAHA” is just a self-appointed organization. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    I’m afraid, you are wrong. According to new regulations HÖK members must be elected by at least 25% of the student population. ELTE BTK HÖK was not elected this way. It was elected by a very small percentage of the students. So, they are not legal and therefore they are not legitimate. However, Zoltán Balog, the minister in charge of education, declared that the BTK HÖK can function undisturbed regardless. However, he added, the leadership doesn’t have decision making powers. Whatever that means.

    You are democratically challenged. In a strong democracy the right for citizens to assemble, organize, and petition their government is universally recognized. HAHA is not just a flashmob organization. Your trivializing stems either from ignorance or conscious deceit. They have made some very rational demands and are practicing their right as an independently formed NGO to pressure there government.
    In a strong democracy such an organization is recognized as not more or less legitimate than a University sanctioned organization.
    hallgatoihalozat.blog.hu

    Nonsense, I made it clear that these NGO’s could petition the government, not substitute for it.

  35. Éljen a Fidesz! :
    According to your logic, there are no need for democratically elected parliaments, because there are some self-appointed civil organizations who can run the countries…. strange logic.
    And instead of parliaments (and other institutions like the HÖK in universities) the future of a country (or universities) will decide the future on the streets…… Very very civilized
    thought….

    This latest incident is makes it clear, HÖK should be disbanded… it’s obviously a non-democratic institution that clearly doesn’t represent the interests of the students.

  36. London Calling!

    Isn’t HÖK just a post-communist version of KISS?

    Where if you were a good little communist you were allowed further education benefits?

    Where an accumulation of the ‘good-worker’ badges stood your offspring in good stead?

    Where, in conjunction with the ‘informer’ system, it allowed the communist elite to filter out the ‘counter-revolutionary’ elements and reward ‘good-little-communists’ with a few education concessions to keep the population happy?

    Fábri’s interview is interesting in its display of ostrichism – denying that misuse of the information wouldn’t happen here in the best university – our students are just not like that?

    Oh no! Not much!

    Fábri is in self-denial – Post-communist self-deluding, self-denial!

    It will be very interesting, if an analysis is done on the ‘list’, to see if Fideszbikkers were disproportionally rewarded with tuition-fee free university places, and other benefits, such as the best accommodation.

    I think there’s a lot more juice to squeeze from this lemon, Eva!

    Regards

    Charlie

  37. Can you prove that HÖk incident were made by real HÖK members? No, It is an inner fight between HÖK BTK members. HÖK has more than 150 organisation in Hungary. It is one of them. Do you want to ban all HÖK Organisation too? HÖK BTK members made criminal complaint agaist the fabricator of that fake-list at the prosecution office.

    LwiiH :

    Éljen a Fidesz! :
    According to your logic, there are no need for democratically elected parliaments, because there are some self-appointed civil organizations who can run the countries…. strange logic.
    And instead of parliaments (and other institutions like the HÖK in universities) the future of a country (or universities) will decide the future on the streets…… Very very civilized
    thought….

    This latest incident is makes it clear, HÖK should be disbanded… it’s obviously a non-democratic institution that clearly doesn’t represent the interests of the students.

  38. KISS and present-day HÖK are not related. The ancient KISS rekated to present day left-liberal parties. Remember MSZP is OFFICIALLY the cessionary of the communist MSZMP party.

    CharlieH :
    London Calling!
    Isn’t HÖK just a post-communist version of KISS?
    Where if you were a good little communist you were allowed further education benefits?
    Where an accumulation of the ‘good-worker’ badges stood your offspring in good stead?
    Where, in conjunction with the ‘informer’ system, it allowed the communist elite to filter out the ‘counter-revolutionary’ elements and reward ‘good-little-communists’ with a few education concessions to keep the population happy?
    Fábri’s interview is interesting in its display of ostrichism – denying that misuse of the information wouldn’t happen here in the best university – our students are just not like that?
    Oh no! Not much!
    Fábri is in self-denial – Post-communist self-deluding, self-denial!
    It will be very interesting, if an analysis is done on the ‘list’, to see if Fideszbikkers were disproportionally rewarded with tuition-fee free university places, and other benefits, such as the best accommodation.
    I think there’s a lot more juice to squeeze from this lemon, Eva!
    Regards
    Charlie

  39. A little OT, but an interesting historical parallel:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21521060

    “Furst-Ramdohr says the group couldn’t understand how the German people had been so easily led into supporting the Nazi Party and its ideology. “They must have been able to tell how bad things were, it was ridiculous,” she says.”

  40. Why? Because you lost the debate? 🙂

    Paul :
    Troll feeding going on again!
    Leave him alone – he’s not even funny like the old ones were.

  41. London Calling!

    Éljen a Fidesz! “KISS and present-day HÖK are not related.”

    I never said it was. Try reading without moving your lips?

    You don’t ‘win’ a debate by being severely brain-cell challenged.

    Regards

    Charlie

  42. Again:

    Can you prove that HÖk incident were made by real HÖK members? No, It is an inner fight and (falsification of ducoments) between HÖK BTK members. There are more than 159 HÖk, which are the institutional and democratically ELECTED advocacy associations of students. However you wanted to disband all 159 HÖK organisation. There are no proof that HÖK BTK leaders created that list, therefore now, it is under invenstigation of prosecution. Nobody know the truth about the list. You tried to prejudice the event.
    You lost the debate.

    CharlieH :
    London Calling!
    Éljen a Fidesz! “KISS and present-day HÖK are not related.”
    I never said it was. Try reading without moving your lips?
    You don’t ‘win’ a debate by being severely brain-cell challenged.
    Regards
    Charlie

  43. Éljen a Fidesz! :
    Why? Because you lost the debate?

    Paul :
    Troll feeding going on again!
    Leave him alone – he’s not even funny like the old ones were.

    What debate? For any chance at all of a genuine debate, both sides have to be open minded and prepared to try to understand the other’s point of view. In my long experience, that is impossible with Fidesz-Jobbik supporters. Debate is something that occurs on the left – the right operates on belief and delusion.

    If I dare to question Orbán/Fidesz I am immediately labelled as a ‘Hungary-hater’, a foreigner who doesn’t understand (as if the natives do!), a Jew-lover, communist, or worse.

    If a system is confident in its own identity and integrity, it is also prepared to be open to debate. The more a system resists any debate or questioning, the more you have to question its own self-belief. What is that self-belief based on? Hot air and wishful thinking, or solid ideas and facts – and if the latter, either they are good enough to be challenged, or they aren’t worth ‘believing’ in.

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