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Friday, October 26, 2012

23 October in Hungary

We are living in challenging times aren't we? To increase the enthusiasm of its followers who staged a demonstration the 21st January to support them and to show that Hungary does not want to be a colony (whoever wants to colonise it - there is a joke that all alliances which were joined by Hungary have collapsed and the EU is also in big trouble now), the rumour was raised that if this "Peace march" had not taken place, the EU (or the IMF, you never know who is the actual enemy) would have caused his demise. So as the January march was a response to the opposition demonstration (the biggest and most successful of its type since long), now they staged a second "Peace march" simultaneously to the opposition demonstration on the anniversary of the 1956 revolution (or was it a late reaction on the also successful March 15 opposition demonstration?). This time Van Rompuy was favouring Orban (last year he called a European Council meeting for the 23rd October and thus Orbán could not speak on the FIDESZ/government demonstration and therefore the whole demonstration was cancelled) and so he could be the main orator on the government festive assembly, which was also the final point of the "Peace marchers". Let me save you - and myself - from commenting on the numbers and on the foreign participants and those who were bussed from the countryside from our taxes. It was more interesting what happened on the opposition demonstration and around it: Gordon Bajnai, the ex-prime minister of Hungary, whose face is like that of a young pioneer, and who never was a big orator, but "blackmailed" the government (socialist and liberal) factions of the previous Hungarian Parliament to support his almost neo-liberal austerity programme - simply putting the Hungarian budget back on track by avoiding the collapse of the budget. It is forgotten that meanwhile he could also set up a programme to collect memories of still living witnesses of the 1956 revolution and the times around it. He was a businessman before, and this makes him vulnerable to "character murder" by distributing rumours that a failure of one of his ventures was pushing his suppliers to commit suicide as he did not pay them. As FIDESZ follows left-wing policies and almost the whole opposition is leftist, quite a number of opposition forces are at most moderately enthusiastic about him as prospective leader of the opposition. Why should he? Because the election laws were thwarted by FIDESZ in a way that - there is no lower participation limit to the validity of elections and - there is no second round. This means that even if most of the voters do not vote, the candidate winning the most votes will take the constituency. Thus the opposition has to have a single candidate and convince those who do not like the present government, but are disappointed with politics as such or do not like the common candidate (who can represent only one of the divergent opposition forces) to go voting and vote against FIDESZ. Additionally, most probably only those will be able to vote, who register in advance. About this another time but this means that only citizens with a strong conviction and ready to take some inconvenience on them will vote which decreases the chances of the opposition. I do not agree, however, with those who look at the divergences and reservations with horror: it is maybe better not to lay all cards on the table. If a strong opposition unity will be visible, the government may change the election system again, quoting the critics, and use the fact that they are formally two parties, to favour themselves again. So challenging times now? Rather ahead of us,