Attestations of electoral fraud in Hungary

I think we can be quite sure that the next election will be stolen by the government party. There are just too many signs of planned fraud. We’ve already talked about the problems in the electoral law itself: the election procedures were set up in such a way that the forthcoming election might be free, in the sense that most people (though not all) will be able to vote, but it is certainly not going to be fair. Every day there are more and more signs that Fidesz is not taking any chances. They are using everything in their arsenal to thwart the chances of the opposition.

A few days ago I wrote about the absence of election posters for the United Opposition even as Fidesz and Jobbik posters are abundant. Surfaces reserved for campaign advertisement are owned by Viktor Orbán’s most influential and richest friend, Lajos Simicska, who claims that all available space is already taken. Interestingly enough, while the democratic opposition has neither the money nor the opportunity to advertise, Jobbik seems to have both. Moreover, there are no limits whatsoever on advertising by so-called “civic groups.” One such group, Civil Összefogás Fórum, is the creation of Fidesz, financed either by the party or by the government or perhaps by both.

State television and radio bombards the population with government propaganda. One of the major commercial television stations, TV2, keeps running the paid government ad: “Hungary is performing better,” which incidentally is also the slogan Fidesz uses. TV2, for those who are keeping track of Fidesz’s ever growing media empire, was just purchased by a mystery owner who, many suspect, is Zsolt Nyerges, a business partner of Lajos Simicska. The other large commercial station, RTL Klub, opted not to air any campaign ads because, according to the new regulations, they would have had to run them as a public service–that is, without remuneration.

I also mentioned earlier that parties were forbidden to put posters on electric poles. Although the Kúria found that decision unconstitutional, the father of Gergely Gulyás, the bright young legal star of Fidesz, a lawyer himself, challenged the ruling. To reach a final ruling will take weeks if not months. Meanwhile politicians can’t use the electric poles or, if opposition politicians do, Fidesz activists tear them down.

Foreigners visiting the country remark that this is the oddest election campaign they have ever encountered. There are large billboards bragging about Hungary’s great performance, but otherwise a casual visitor to Hungary would never know that the election is only a few days away. A billboard advertising Fidesz’s candidate for the premiership is the oddest of all. No orange, the color of Fidesz, can be seen, only a Hungarian flag in the background with Orbán’s picture with the following words: “prime minister of Hungary.” Clearly the message is that he is more than a party leader seeking reelection; he is the prime minister.

And then there are the small parties whose sudden appearance was greeted with a great deal of suspicion in opposition circles. Although some reporters seemed to know people who witnessed the illegal exchange of signatures among the smaller parties so they could achieve the desired number of candidates, no eyewitness stepped forward. That is until yesterday when a brave soul, an undergraduate who volunteered his services to the Magyarországi Cigánypárt (MCP), decided to tell all. Bertram Marek claims to know about at least five parties that cheated in the gathering of necessary signatures: MCP, KTI (Közösség a Társadalmi Igazságosságért), JESZ (Jólét és Szabadság), SZAVA (Szabad Választók Pártja), and the Party of the Greens. KTI is Katalin Szili’s party, Jesz is a party built on the ruins of MDF. Katalin Szili, earlier an MSZP politician, is indignant and charges her former political allies with “having visions of cheating.”

Practically all organizations connected to the government are involved somehow or other in the cheating that is going on. For example, the post office. Attila Mesterházy sends out campaign literature to the citizens urging them to attend the large gathering that was planned for March 15, but they get it only three days later, on March 18. Local papers published by the municipalities don’t allow opposition candidates any space to air their views. The same is true about municipal television stations.

The chief prosecutor’s office is doing its best to leak information on the Gábor Simon case which may not be altogether accurate. Simon is being kept in jail where most likely investigators are trying their best to get him to implicate one or more of the opposition leaders just before the election. The strategy of leveling corruption charges against members of the opposition worked well in 2010 (it mattered not that the charges were unfounded) and Fidesz seems confident that it will work again in 2014. The Parliamentary Committee on National Security has been called together, and the Fidesz majority insists on a hearing to investigate Attila Mesterházy three days before the election. Perfectly timed.

The dissembling campaign mentality seems to permeate everything these days. Members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe arrived in Budapest to talk to government officials and party politicians, but when they announced that they would like to talk to some opposition members, they were sent to the wrong address.

And finally the foreign vote. Several people I know have been unable to register. A friend of mine who lives in the DC area and who has voted dutifully every four years in the Hungarian Embassy in Washington will for the first time not be able to cast a vote. She tried to register online but never received an answer.

Then there are those who are eligible to vote by mail. A friend in the United States received his ballot and was told that his return envelope requires no postage. Well, I wonder how many of these envelopes will actually end up in Budapest. The envelope doesn’t even have the necessary information for the US Postal Service in English. Only in Hungarian and French! He very wisely added postage and wrote “Hungary” on the envelope. He even discussed the matter with the postmaster who confirmed his suspicion that the US Postal Service will not process international letters with a “no postage required” label.

This is a scandal. I almost hope that Orbán’s machinations will result in “overachievement.”  Figures that are unbelievable, results that more closely resemble the electoral outcomes of  Belarus than those of truly democratic countries. Perhaps then the EU will wake up.

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78 comments

  1. The EU will certainly sit up and take notice if Jobbik enters coalition government (perhaps to form a super majority?). Austrian precedent.

  2. “They are going to need to prepare for a showdown that is going to be long, messy and very likely violent.”

    Yes. In my opinion, if defeated democratically Fidesz/Jobbik are not going to accept the result in a democratic way.

    “And they are going to need to gain the trust and the support of a significant part of the population.”

    Not sure about that. A large percentage of the Hungarian population are apathetic, almost to the extent of idiocy as I have written before. A revolution and regime change could occur under their noses and they would not care or even perhaps realize (depedening what dross was on RTL/TV2 that night). The fact that there are not even a small minority of democratic activists prepared to take the fight to Fidesz/Jobbik is the reason why regime change will not take place even if Fidesz/Jobbik commit widespread fraud to get their super-majority.

  3. oneill :
    “They are going to need to prepare for a showdown that is going to be long, messy and very likely violent.”
    Yes. In my opinion, if defeated democratically Fidesz/Jobbik are not going to accept the result in a democratic way.
    “And they are going to need to gain the trust and the support of a significant part of the population.”
    Not sure about that. A large percentage of the Hungarian population are apathetic, almost to the extent of idiocy as I have written before. A revolution and regime change could occur under their noses and they would not care or even perhaps realize (depedening what dross was on RTL/TV2 that night). The fact that there are not even a small minority of democratic activists prepared to take the fight to Fidesz/Jobbik is the reason why regime change will not take place even if Fidesz/Jobbik commit widespread fraud to get their super-majority.

    If it comes to an all-out confrontation, the opposition will need support from a significant part of the population. Why?

    In Hungary, who has the guns? Who has a monopoly on force? Who controls the intelligence services? Fidesz, Fidesz and Fidesz.

    As an example, look at what just happened in Ukraine. The opposition could never have ousted Yanukovich without the support of parts of the police force and the military. If Hungarian uniformed women and men look around and say, “Hey, ya know, I kinda agree with the opposition, but if I defect to their side, then there’s nobody covering my back, because everyone’s at home watching Valo Vilag,” then no anti-government protest effort can ever succeed.

    Same deal in Serbia (Yugoslavia) in 2001.

  4. I was so staggered by Stevan Harnad’s reply to Seal Driver’s excellent posts, that I wondered if it were really him (but I guess the avatar proves it is).

    In what way does pointing out the truth about the so-called ‘opposition’ make anyone a troll? I have been saying much the same for ages (although without SD’s eloquence and detailed knowledge), and several others have voiced similar opinions. Are we also trolls? (Mind you, petofi thinks I am!).

    When the election is hopelessly lost (and does anyone still really think it will be otherwise?) and the analysis begins, we will no doubt start to get others saying the same things about the ‘opposition’. Which will be one of the reasons the ‘opposition’ lost so badly – analysis after the event is too late.

  5. SD – I think the reason why there won’t be any uprising against OV (even when there is far more provocation than at present), is actually a lot simpler than that.

    Most Hungarians actually support Orbán (actively or passively), or simply don’t care.

    The rest are just staring wide-eyed at the oncoming disaster, waiting for someone else to do something.

  6. “In Hungary, who has the guns? Who has a monopoly on force? Who controls the intelligence services? Fidesz, Fidesz and Fidesz. ”

    And Milosevic didn’t control the cops and military right up until the last moment in Serbia?

    “Same deal in Serbia (Yugoslavia) in 2001”

    I don’t think it was a widespread popular uprising against Milosevic but there were enough motivated people (and, let’s be honest, several football hooligan gangs) *and* a reluctance on the part of enough of the police and military to fire on their own kith and kin to bring him down.

    Would the Hungarian police obey if (when?) Orban orders them to fire on their kith and kin?
    That’s the question, not whether the majority of population would drag themselves from the TV to see what was going on below their window. And yes, there do need to be enough democrats carrying out civil disobedience for Orban to panic in the first place. That’s also a key.

  7. Paul :
    SD – I think the reason why there won’t be any uprising against OV (even when there is far more provocation than at present), is actually a lot simpler than that.
    Most Hungarians actually support Orbán (actively or passively), or simply don’t care.
    The rest are just staring wide-eyed at the oncoming disaster, waiting for someone else to do something.

    Paul, you are right, but I don’t want to believe that you will be right forever 🙂

  8. Petöfi: “In my opinion, there is a complete mockery of proper government actions and processes.
    What is the point?”

    Because there is now no “proper” way of governing anymore, there is also no “proper” way of government replacement anymore. This “over the top” means confusing and “spamming” the public, while the state is fully in the (fluid) hands of a few. The others (if they wish to understand) have to permanently search for what is really going on, quite absorbing and futile. What has been done is the destruction of predictable state functions, at least as regards the top issues about money and influence.

  9. oneill :
    “In Hungary, who has the guns? Who has a monopoly on force? Who controls the intelligence services? Fidesz, Fidesz and Fidesz. ”
    And Milosevic didn’t control the cops and military right up until the last moment in Serbia?
    “Same deal in Serbia (Yugoslavia) in 2001″
    I don’t think it was a widespread popular uprising against Milosevic but there were enough motivated people (and, let’s be honest, several football hooligan gangs) *and* a reluctance on the part of enough of the police and military to fire on their own kith and kin to bring him down.
    Would the Hungarian police obey if (when?) Orban orders them to fire on their kith and kin?
    That’s the question, not whether the majority of population would drag themselves from the TV to see what was going on below their window. And yes, there do need to be enough democrats carrying out civil disobedience for Orban to panic in the first place. That’s also a key.

    I was a reporter at the time of the 2006 riots in Budapest. On the second night of riots, I was standing with a group of other reporters on the corner of Nepszinhaz utca and Jozsef Korut. Some of the reporters were holding TV cameras, so it was obvious that we were not rioters. I was holding my Hungarian Foreign Ministry-issued press credentials in my hand just in case a cop asked for them. Didn’t matter. The police descended upon us with billy clubs, smacked us around, destroyed our property, and then left.

    When I asked Demszky’s office why we had been attacked, the excuse was “Well, you know, a lot of police are from the countryside, they have never seen reporters before, it’s really not their fault, they don’t know what they’re doing, they were just obeying orders.” etc.

    The reporters in our group got off lightly. All I had was a bruise on my arm, and a cop intentionally destroyed my mobile phone. Other journalists were actually beaten and carted off to jail. And let’s not forget about the innocent bystanders who got brutalized, including homeless people. (I was an eyewitness).

    A few days after these events, Demszky gave the chief of police an award.

    So, let’s imagine that the opposition launches anti-Orban protests that bring Hungary to as standstill. If Hungarian police are a bunch of violence-inclined knuckleheads from the countryside, and they really don’t know what they’re doing, do you think they’re going to disobey their superiors when they get an order like, “Look at those awful people trying to bring down Az Irányító. They are being paid by foreign forces who want to destroy Hungary. They hate Az Irányító because he lowered your utility bills and he’s paying down the debt. Worst of all, I’m pretty sure I saw a Star of David tattoo on one of the protesters’ left shoulder blades. Go get ’em, boys!!!”

    Do you think the cops are going to say, “Hey look! There’s Laci and Zsombi! They are my kith and kin! I can’t bash their skulls in!” I doubt it. If a confrontation occurs, the opposition is going to need high- and mid-level officers on their side, or there will be no hope of success.

    Fantasy situation: Hungary erupts. EU imposes total sanctions and suspends Hungary’s membership. Putin sends in troops to help calm the situation. The Bekemenet people throw roses in the streets and plant saplings on the roadside so the Russian soldiers can march in the shade.

    In any case — this is all hypothetical.

    In response to your question about Milosevic, yes, he was in control of the cops and soldiers until the very last minute. That’s why he got ousted — he lost control at the very last minute.

  10. “Fantasy situation: Hungary erupts. EU imposes total sanctions and suspends Hungary’s membership.”

    Why should the EU impose sanctions when Hungary “erupts”? Are you suggesting that once we eventually get to the “last straw”, people will thrash around without any plan? Making it necessary for the Russians to move in? Wild.

  11. Amongst my circle of colleagues and acquaintances I haven’t heard any expression of support for the opposition in months. Neither have I heard any comment whatsoever on the Fidesz 2006 speech debacle (though there has been plenty of nudgenudge chat about Simon and MSZP).

    So I am extremely confused by the sheer amount of apparent electoral misconduct. It’s clearly happening, but WHY, since they were so clearly going to win hands down anyway? I agree with what others have said: Orban enjoys phenomenal support in Hungary, despite everything. Some of us have been saying this for years and have been repeatedly dismissed as overly negative. Surely it’s time to start properly analysing why that support exists (I think it has its roots in Fidesz appropriation of national myth, with all its attendant falsification … but it’s a long debate)?

  12. Apparently my first try in the answer to Petofi was of no use. Ivan, my guess is that they do not have any idea for the state or the nation, they are just thinking in terms of their personal gains. And because they have no idea relating to the well-being of the nation (the programme is subsistence level for most people, and affluence for the chosen few) while they concentrate on themselves, they have destroyed proper government functions. Everything serves their purpose, there is no “state” in the abstract. Spamming the country with advertisements is their idea of “government”. Brings money into the hands of the chosen few, provides people with “love and encouragement” (Szereto kijatszas), and creates the appearance of activity (they care, they can, they do). Discourages people who might otherwise think that there is a chance of confronting these people. With such spamming, you might feel exhausted and discouraged from the start (“it’s just too dull”). And confused, as you and Petöfi have also been. As an additional bonus it absorbs the minds, which is fine because you cannot campaign while being absorbed thinking about what the heck they mean by that, and what plan is behind that. It is no plan, this is their style of “government” by creating confusion.

  13. Paul :
    I was so staggered by Stevan Harnad’s reply to Seal Driver’s excellent posts, that I wondered if it were really him (but I guess the avatar proves it is).
    In what way does pointing out the truth about the so-called ‘opposition’ make anyone a troll? I have been saying much the same for ages (although without SD’s eloquence and detailed knowledge), and several others have voiced similar opinions. Are we also trolls? (Mind you, petofi thinks I am!).
    When the election is hopelessly lost (and does anyone still really think it will be otherwise?) and the analysis begins, we will no doubt start to get others saying the same things about the ‘opposition’. Which will be one of the reasons the ‘opposition’ lost so badly – analysis after the event is too late.

    ETHICAL BLINDNESS

    Ethical blindness, here, means treating the peccadillos of the democratic opposition as if they were in any way commensurable with the criminal (sic) depredations of the current government.

    I do think that there is an element of paranoia and conspiratorial thinking in the air (I am not immune to it either) owing to the immense frustration of the democratic side with the breath-taking and unending abuse of the government’s supermajority power. When this abuse is dubbed “legal” by an anonymous poster dispensing demerits and advice to the opposition, it does not inspire ethical admiration.

    If “Seal Driver” is a democrat (rather than merely a Monday Morning Quarterback, chiding the home team for not emulating the adversary) then he or she is consuming his or her own flesh.

    Yes, the opposition was corrupt when in government, and no, they did not govern well. But the very same is also true of every other Hungarian post-soviet government — and of a number of western european governments as well (not to mention the one here in Quebec). In no way is this comparable to the amoral abominations of Fidesz, whose “success” is hardly grounds for any kind of emulation.

    (It’s hard to know what to make of the moral indignation — and immediate recourse to coarse ad hominem invective — on the part of anonymous pundits. Who or what do they feel is being attacked? I don’t believe “Seal Driver” is a troll, but this is definitely something he or she seems to have in common with them!)

  14. But let me add that Hungarian voter apathy (or worse) is every bit as culpable as Fidesz criminality: One could never have succeeded without the other.

  15. Ivan :
    Amongst my circle of colleagues and acquaintances I haven’t heard any expression of support for the opposition in months. Neither have I heard any comment whatsoever on the Fidesz 2006 speech debacle (though there has been plenty of nudgenudge chat about Simon and MSZP).
    So I am extremely confused by the sheer amount of apparent electoral misconduct. It’s clearly happening, but WHY, since they were so clearly going to win hands down anyway? I agree with what others have said: Orban enjoys phenomenal support in Hungary, despite everything. Some of us have been saying this for years and have been repeatedly dismissed as overly negative. Surely it’s time to start properly analysing why that support exists (I think it has its roots in Fidesz appropriation of national myth, with all its attendant falsification … but it’s a long debate)?

    There is NO debate at all and that’s the beauty of it.
    You see, Orbán only speaks when its clearly a monologue, his worshippers listen to his sermons with utter awe, while the rest of the people is truly overwhelmed with the shear amount of misconduct what goes down in hourly basis, among them the political opposition obviously clueless, sitting ducks in a shooting gallery.
    NO, there is no debate, and as things standing today, there will be NO debate in the coming couple of decade.
    ———————-
    By the way, someone should tell Orbán to start wearing clothes of a right size – its really embarrassing to watch his potbelly through his ill-fitting jacket worldwide, as it happened today again at the unveiling ceremony of those “ol’ family’ silver”… He is the Hungarian PM, for heavens sake, and the place isn’t the Felcsút Soccer Club!
    (The same view came as added value at the 15 March celebration, right along with the “Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, my Compatriots and all Hungarians throughout the world..” Oh my…!)

  16. Spectator and Ivan, there never will be a debate. Get used to it.

    In Orban’s world a prime minister does not do debates. People have to accept that and they do.

    Debate is for beginners, for people without power who want to attain power (aka nobodies).

    But those who are already powerful, they do not have to participate in debates.

    In fact it is one of the most important signs of being powerful that one does not have to participate in debates.

    Interestingly, Nassim Nicholas Taleb had a recent observation: “the ultimate test of freedom is whether you *have to* explain why you did something”.

  17. Paul :
    SD – I think the reason why there won’t be any uprising against OV (even when there is far more provocation than at present), is actually a lot simpler than that.
    Most Hungarians actually support Orbán (actively or passively), or simply don’t care.
    The rest are just staring wide-eyed at the oncoming disaster, waiting for someone else to do something.

    This may or may not be so (Orban’ secret support).

    But the most important thing is that lefties and liberals do not go out and rise up. Just because communists did have revolutions decades (almost centuries) ago you still think that lefties are capable of a revolution or uprising. Wrong.

    The discipline, extreme commitment, military style operation all these which are necessary to a successful uprising are the characteristics of the current right wing. They could indeed do so at any time against a lefty government, I have no doubt, especially as most of the security branches contain people leaning towards Fidesz and Jobbik, and emphatically hating the wussy liberals.

    In Ukraine a very strong part of the action were thugs who wanted to go out and fight and did not care about the shootings of the police. It is important that the average joes also participate in many ways, but there must be a tough, hard core group — given that they ae up against the police/military/secret services. That hardcore committed group would simply be lacking on the left. It does not exist anymore and probably had been in a decline since the 1950’s.

    Also, in an uprising you do not negotiate with the incumbent power, because you are sure as shit about your moral superiority — whereas the left these days, in order to show how cultured and gentlemanly it is, as well as because it is fundamentally divided and unsure about itself and about what it wants to achieve (ie. lack of vision) would start to enter into negotiations. But then obviously nothing would happen because those would drag on. But it would be an excuse for the left not to go out and risk their lives, which is kinda understandable.

    But the bottom line is that the left, both the parties and its supporters are just incapable of staging any uprising even if the hated Orban, and I think most Budapest-living people already do not like Orban, Orban will win despite them.

  18. Hajdu2:

    “Also, in an uprising you do not negotiate with the incumbent power, because you are sure as shit about your moral superiority — whereas the left these days, in order to show how cultured and gentlemanly it is, as well as because it is fundamentally divided and unsure about itself and about what it wants to achieve (ie. lack of vision) would start to enter into negotiations. But then obviously nothing would happen because those would drag on. But it would be an excuse for the left not to go out and risk their lives, which is kinda understandable.”

    And let’s remember that Orban never, repeat never negotiated with its opposition. It’s all or nothing. There was the egészpályás letámadás in 1998 and now the coup de etat by formally legal means.

    There has never been any negotiation with the enemies. Because the opposition was never treated by Fidesz as anything else than enemies to be eliminated, to be destroyed completely, and then the few remainder to be humiliated.

    Negotiations, generosity, behaving like a gentlemen (like someone who had an own kid room) or even just talking to the other side are for losers — and Orban has been vindicated. His style works, the impotency of the left does not.

    But the left is like that, it attracts these kinds of weak people and they will forever lose against the aggressive style of Fidesz, Orban, Lázár, Kósa, Simicska, Garancsi and their pals.

  19. I hate to agree with Hajdu2 and Lazlo, but they’re right!

    I remember from pol.hu how Fidesz supporters rage about every institution “on the left” (and that includes liberals and moderates too …) that they should be destroyed, eradicated, stamped out …

    And I just had a similar experience on a totally different German forum about the USA (tourists and people working there) where one of the NRA fans went off about “Liberale Weicheier” like a southern slaveowner.

    Maybe the situation has to become really bad again economically and political – then the “Damned of the earth” might rise again (like they did in 1917 everywhere, even in Germany …).

    But that of course is nothing to wish for!

  20. Stevan Harnad :

    ETHICAL BLINDNESS
    Ethical blindness, here, means treating the peccadillos of the democratic opposition as if they were in any way commensurable with the criminal (sic) depredations of the current government.
    I do think that there is an element of paranoia and conspiratorial thinking in the air (I am not immune to it either) owing to the immense frustration of the democratic side with the breath-taking and unending abuse of the government’s supermajority power. When this abuse is dubbed “legal” by an anonymous poster dispensing demerits and advice to the opposition, it does not inspire ethical admiration.
    If “Seal Driver” is a democrat (rather than merely a Monday Morning Quarterback, chiding the home team for not emulating the adversary) then he or she is consuming his or her own flesh.
    (It’s hard to know what to make of the moral indignation — and immediate recourse to coarse ad hominem invective — on the part of anonymous pundits. Who or what do they feel is being attacked? I don’t believe “Seal Driver” is a troll, but this is definitely something he or she seems to have in common with them!)

    Professor Harnad, I wrote an opinion about the feckless opposition. You apparently didn’t agree with my opinion. You were the one who responded with ad hominem invective, not I. I pointed out that this is unbecoming for an academic of your stature. Despite your baseless attacks, I invited you to communicate with me via email, if you so desired. You have not responded to my offer.

    You take issue with people who comment anonymously. This is certainly understandable. But please know that some of us have jobs that do not allow us to express private opinions with our names attached to them. We take advantage of the opportunity to comment anonymously because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to comment at all.

    I am highly critical of Hungary’s opposition. You interpret this criticism as a betrayal of democratic principles. No such thing.

    Too many democrats in Hungary think the top goal is to get rid of Orban at all costs. I take a longer-term view: If the opposition were, by some miracle, to win the election on April 6, what happens next? They erect a fractious cabinet whose members spend more time settling petty scores with each other than governing? They attempt to deliver on dotty and irresponsible promises, such as Bajnai’s “guaranteed job for everyone under 30” scheme, and send the budget deficit to hell? A Mesterhazy-Bajnai government would be too weak to respond effectively to harassment from the Bekemenet people. Meanwhile, Orban will be making full use of the “poison pills” he planted in the Constitution to undermine the new government’s rule through legal means. (If you wonder how he could do this, please read Szabolcs Kerek-Barczy’s analysis on the potential for single-party rule under the new Constitution.) I simply cannot see a Mesterhazy administration lasting until 2018.

    The end result is: Mesterhazy’s government collapses, the so-called “left” is utterly discredited, new elections are called, and we get a third Orban administration, more populist, more communist, more heavy-handed, more nationalist, and less democratic than the current one.

    Getting rid of Orban and his mean-spirited governance will require no less than a cultural revolution in Hungary. A single election simply will not do the trick. Especially not with the effete leadership currently on offer in the Osszefogas column.

    Yes, I criticize the opposition because they are worthy of criticism. They have done nothing to instill the kind of public confidence that Gyurcsany enjoyed in April 2006. You say I am “eating my own flesh.” I recommend you consider whether your thinking betrays the “he who is not with us is against us” mentality that you despise about Orban.

  21. SD described his personal experience with the Hungarian police at October 23, 2006, and lost lots of his credibility.

    The rest of his theories are not transparent enough to understand it.

    Let us get simple.

    Let us get on the side of moral.

    Let us oppose Orban more than Gyurcsany.

    Let us win this election against Orban.

    Let us be better than SD.

  22. Kirsten :
    “Fantasy situation: Hungary erupts. EU imposes total sanctions and suspends Hungary’s membership.”
    Why should the EU impose sanctions when Hungary “erupts”? Are you suggesting that once we eventually get to the “last straw”, people will thrash around without any plan? Making it necessary for the Russians to move in? Wild.

    Don’t misunderstand: In this fantasy situation, Fidesz uses brute force to put down anti-government protests and restore order. That’s why the EU imposes sanctions.

  23. “The reporters in our group got off lightly. All I had was a bruise on my arm, and a cop intentionally destroyed my mobile phone. Other journalists were actually beaten and carted off to jail. And let’s not forget about the innocent bystanders who got brutalized, including homeless people. (I was an eyewitness).”

    Seal Driver,

    There is no excuse for innocents being hit by the police.
    Correct me if I am wrong on this occasion- several journalists and homeless folk got clumped by cops in the middle of a neo-nazi riot instigated by football hooligans a riot during cops and police property were being attacked.

    As has been pointed out on this thread and previously the left/liberal democratic opposition do not have the inbred violent verbal and actual physical violent viciousness of the Fidesz/Jobbik/football hooligan right-wing.

    Any civil disobedience which originates from the democratic element would, I am almost 100% sure, not involve attacks on police, their dogs, their cars and private property.
    Do you genuinely still think police (whether rural or not) would aim guns at such innocent people and shoot them on the orders of Orban?

    I am 100% sure that Orban, if put in the corner, would give such order- I am, thankfully, also pretty sure that the police would not carry them out- call me an idealistic opportunist;)

    As you said, this is all pretty hypothetical anyway. There is little chance of any kind of meaningful democratic opposition arising to put Orban in such a position. The only violence we’ll continue to see in Hungary in the near future will be carried out against random rabbis and Roma.

  24. Seal Driver is , I’m sorry to say, 100 % correct! A win by the “united” oppostion (without a two thirds majority of course) would be deadly.

    So the only way is for Fidesz to continue and hoping that people will wake up soon – i e in four years time – and realise what that strange breed of oligarchism aka feudalism and communism, all relying on “traditional Christian family values” will bring in the end.

  25. I think Seal Drivers’ account about his experiences in 2006 is likely correct. Police when put into situations like the one in 2006 is known to become from offensive. In Canada under a liberal government in 2010 some members of the police became needlessly violent. Those officers were charged later. The problem with 2006 is the Orban and the Jobbik mixed in so much lies into the story that it is very hard to separate the truth from all the fairytales Orban’s PR created in order for him to push out the government at the time. History will characterize the whole Orban era as the most divisive, and disintegrated era for Hungarian society’s modern history. I believe SD is telling the truth, as we all know people did get hurt, but not because the police was told by Gyurcsany to attack people but because the mayhem created by Fidesz creating hate, spreading lies and likely calling in the football hooligans to attack, the same hooligans who they called in again under their own government to “protect” their headquarters from peaceful sit-down university demonstrators.

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