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Author Topic: Hungary: A Weimar for the 21st Century?  (Read 6124 times)
Landslide Lyndon
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« on: December 20, 2011, 03:18:08 am »
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Reading these articles has made me literally sick. A dictatorship is being installed at the heart of Europe and nobody gives a damn. EU has failed at so many levels it's not even funny anymore.

http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/press/budapest-experiences-a-new-wave-of-hate/

Neo-fascist thugs attacked Roma families, killing six people in a series of murders. The right-wing populists of the Fidesz Party won a two-thirds majority in the parliament, while the anti-Semitic Jobbik party captured 16.7 percent of the vote, making it the third-largest party in Hungary, next to the Socialists. Unknown vandals defiled the Holocaust Memorial with bloody pigs’ feet. A new law granted the government direct or indirect control over about 80 percent of the media. The television channel Echo TV showed an image of Nobel laureate and Auschwitz survivor Imre Kertész together with a voiceover about rats. Civil servants can now be fired without cause. Krisztina Morvai, a member of the European Parliament for Jobbik, suggested that “liberal-Bolshevik Zionists” should start thinking about “where to flee and where to hide.”

On May 14, 2010, Gábor Vona, the chairman of Jobbik, was about to make an appearance at the Hungarian parliament, whose seat is probably the world’s most beautiful parliament building, a domed, neo-Gothic structure protected by bronze lions. Everyone was concerned that Vona would appear dressed in a fascist uniform from the past. As it happened, he showed up in a black suit, to the relief of many in the audience. But shortly before the swearing-in ceremony, the radical right-wing politician threw off his jacket to reveal a vest reminiscent of the uniforms of the Arrow Cross Party. Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described it as “sort of a Nazi outfit.”

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/hungarys-constitutional-revolution/

Under the new constitutional order, the judiciary has taken the largest hit. The Constitutional Court, which once had the responsibility to review nearly all laws for constitutionality, has been killed off in three ways. First, the government expanded the number of judges on the bench and filled the new positions with their own political allies (think: Roosevelt’s court-packing plan). Then, the government restricted the jurisdiction of the court so that it can no longer review any law that has an impact on the budget, like laws pertaining to taxes and austerity programs, unless the law infringes particular listed rights. Finally, the government changed the rules of access to the court so that it will no longer be easily able to review laws in the abstract for their compliance with the constitution. Moreover, individuals can no longer challenge the constitutionality of laws without first going through a lengthy process in the ordinary courts. The old Constitutional Court, which has served as the major check on governmental power in a unicameral parliamentary system, is now functionally dead.

...

The new election law specifies the precise boundaries of the new electoral districts that will send representatives to the parliament. But the new districts are drawn in such a way that no other party on the political horizon besides Fidesz is likely to win elections. A respected Hungarian think tank ran the numbers from the last three elections using the new district boundaries. Fidesz would have won all three elections, including the two they actually lost.

...

According to a proposed constitutional amendment, the crimes of the former communist party will be listed in the constitution and the statute of limitations for prosecuting crimes committed during the communist period will be lifted. The former communist party is branded a criminal organization and the current opposition Socialist Party is designated as their legal successor. It is still unclear, legally speaking, what this amendment means. But it is probably not good for the major opposition party.
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 05:29:03 am »
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Yes, I've been hearing horrendous new from Hungary for a while now. Didn't imagine the situation was that disgusting though. I really fear for hungarians.

And you're 100% right about the EU. It should have been up to them to stop this authoritarian derive. But after all, they didn't do anything for Berlusconi (who fortunately couldn't go that far, but still did a lot of harm to justice and media pluralism) so it's not surprising.
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HashCAN     americans saw the EP elections and people cringing at Europeans being morons and electing Nazis; so they massively said "NO" and decided to prove that they're still bigger morons



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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2011, 05:32:18 am »
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http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/hungarys-constitutional-revolution/

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In a free and fair election last spring in Hungary, the center-right political party, Fidesz, got 53% of the vote. This translated into 68% of the seats in the parliament under Hungary’s current disproportionate election law. With this supermajority, Fidesz won the power to change the constitution. They have used this power in the most extreme way at every turn, amending the constitution ten times in their first year in office and then enacting a wholly new constitution that will take effect on January 1, 2012.

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The new constitution also accepts conservative Christian social doctrine as state policy, in a country where only 21% of the population attends any religious services at all. The fetus is protected from the moment of conception. Marriage is only legal if between a man and a woman. The constitution “recognize(s) the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood” and holds that “the family and the nation constitute the principal framework of our coexistence.”

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The new constitution makes huge swaths of public policy changeable only by a two-thirds vote of any subsequent parliament. From here on, all tax and fiscal policy must be decided by a two-thirds supermajority. Even the precise boundaries of electoral districts cannot be changed by simple majority vote, but only by a two-third supermajority. If a new government gets a mere majority, policies instituted during the Fidesz government cannot be changed.

This is exactly what our conservative friends would love to do here in the US. Supermajority requirements for everything they want to block and an election system that gives disproportionate representation to the vote. They've already got one of two (let's not forget the Senate's filibuster either).

Three cheers for minority rule! We'll never adopt proportional representation because we love our unfair electoral system that constantly fcks us in the ass because it has been with us so long. Tradition is sacrosanct.

People need to embrace change when it is reasonably and fairly justified. God damn idiots

It's sad to see another country being spit upon by these authoritarian fools
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2011, 06:48:17 am »
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Hungary is pretty worrisome indeed.
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 06:57:53 am »
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The blog to read is here:

http://esbalogh.typepad.com/

Yeah, I've been following this for a while. Really worrying.
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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 09:41:13 am »
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Technocratic governments in Greece, then Italy, and now this happens.

A dark time for democracy in Europe.
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 10:08:57 am »
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Interestingly, one part of nationalistic scum is the refusing to accept the scientific fact about Finno-Ugric languages.  They want departments in universities of for their pseudo-science of Scythian origin of Hungarians. They argue that the Finno-Ugric theory of Hungarian language is Habsburgian co-operativism.
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2011, 10:40:43 am »
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Because the left wing parties are too hollowed out spiritually to oppose neo-liberalism, you get situations like this.
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 10:46:14 am »
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Hungary is one place where a EU-imposed technocratic government might actually be an advance. Yeah, I can't believe I just said that either, but all means are justified when it comes to getting rid of Orban and Fidesz.
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2011, 12:13:23 pm »
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I have been waiting for true, effective Transitional Justice in post-communist countries for a while, but the way those Hungarian politicians seem to be trying to do it is appalling.
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Insula Dei
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2011, 12:28:26 pm »
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I have been waiting for true, effective Transitional Justice in post-communist countries for a while, but the way those Hungarian politicians seem to be trying to do it is appalling.

It's not transitional justice they seem to be after, but a way to completely outmanoeuvre the opposition. Also Orban's anti-communism borders on the ridiculous when it appearantly is a sufficient reason to throw Imre Nagy (Imre Nagy!!!!!!1111111) out of the national Pantheon.
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Boris
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 04:02:35 pm »
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Has anyone here been to the Jewish quarter of Budapest (iirc it's in the 'Pest' part)? It's pretty vibrant and fun. Short of reading this forum/wikipedia/or actively searching for the topic on like JSTOR, there's no way you'd ascertain that a non-negligible percentage of parliament seats are controlled by people who harbor anti-semitic beliefs.

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The new election law specifies the precise boundaries of the new electoral districts that will send representatives to the parliament. But the new districts are drawn in such a way that no other party on the political horizon besides Fidesz is likely to win elections. A respected Hungarian think tank ran the numbers from the last three elections using the new district boundaries. Fidesz would have won all three elections, including the two they actually lost.

I don't really understand the incentive behind this. Fidesz and MSZP basically alternate election victories, no? No party ever remains perpetually popular if they're in office perpetually. People will start to get pissed off if the can't replace the incumbents. So why not simply sit on the status-quo? I realize people are protecting their jobs, but is it really that difficult to find work if you have "Member of Parliament, Hungary" on your resume?
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 04:50:34 pm »
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The problem is that MSZP have basically collapsed as an organized entity... iirc polls have them behind or level with Jobbik.

Last Election
Opinion Poll
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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 05:01:21 pm »
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Wow, this is what you get for stopping paying attention between elections. I had no idea this was happening. I presume the kind of power is similar to Putin?
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 05:04:39 pm »
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The problem is that MSZP have basically collapsed as an organized entity... iirc polls have them behind or level with Jobbik.

Last Election
Opinion Poll

Is it due to Fidesz' policies, or did they just kill themselves ?
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HashCAN     americans saw the EP elections and people cringing at Europeans being morons and electing Nazis; so they massively said "NO" and decided to prove that they're still bigger morons



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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2011, 05:05:01 pm »
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Current standings in Parliament:

Government Coalition (263)
     Fidesz (227) -- Conservatives with an Authoritarian streak
     Christian Democratic People's (36) -- Christian, Social, and National Conservatives
Last Election - Ran as a coalition, winning 263 seats
Opposition parties
     Socialist Party (48) -- Ex Communist, current moderate Social Democrats 59
     Jobbik (46) -- NAZI, NAZIlike, NAZIish, neo-NAZI, (claims to not be NAZI) 47
     Politics Can Be Different (15) -- Soft Liberals, Progressive, Greenish 16
     Independent (14) -- Probably former Socialists 1
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 05:07:37 pm by Parson Brown (TEDDY) »Logged

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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2011, 05:06:03 pm »
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The problem is that MSZP have basically collapsed as an organized entity... iirc polls have them behind or level with Jobbik.

Last Election
Opinion Poll

Yeah, their credibility took a huge hit for obvious reasons. And, for obvious reasons, it's harder for a postcommunist party to recover credibility than a normal social democratic party. So while they don't seem to have fallen any further, discontented voters seem to be moving towards... urgh.
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2011, 05:08:24 pm »
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This does seem to be similar to Russia, with the three top parties being unpalatable?
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2011, 05:08:44 pm »
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The problem is that MSZP have basically collapsed as an organized entity... iirc polls have them behind or level with Jobbik.

Last Election
Opinion Poll

Yeah, their credibility took a huge hit for obvious reasons. And, for obvious reasons, it's harder for a postcommunist party to recover credibility than a normal social democratic party. So while they don't seem to have fallen any further, discontented voters seem to be moving towards... urgh.

You're saying that saying "We have lied morning, noon, and night" is bad for a party's credibility?  Huh
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2011, 05:11:01 pm »
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The problem is that MSZP have basically collapsed as an organized entity... iirc polls have them behind or level with Jobbik.

Last Election
Opinion Poll

Yeah, their credibility took a huge hit for obvious reasons. And, for obvious reasons, it's harder for a postcommunist party to recover credibility than a normal social democratic party. So while they don't seem to have fallen any further, discontented voters seem to be moving towards... urgh.

You're saying that saying "We have lied morning, noon, and night" is bad for a party's credibility?  Huh

That's far from the only reason...

I note that, unnoticed to the rest of the world, the Hungarian government went to the IMF requiring assistance about a month ago.
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Quote
Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
Antonio V
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2011, 05:12:01 pm »
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The problem is that MSZP have basically collapsed as an organized entity... iirc polls have them behind or level with Jobbik.

Last Election
Opinion Poll

Is it due to Fidesz' policies, or did they just kill themselves ?
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HashCAN     americans saw the EP elections and people cringing at Europeans being morons and electing Nazis; so they massively said "NO" and decided to prove that they're still bigger morons



"A reformist is someone who realizes that, when you bang your head on a wall, it's the head that breaks rather than the wall."

Peppino, from the movie Baaria
Insula Dei
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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2011, 05:13:34 pm »
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The problem is that MSZP have basically collapsed as an organized entity... iirc polls have them behind or level with Jobbik.

Last Election
Opinion Poll

Yeah, their credibility took a huge hit for obvious reasons. And, for obvious reasons, it's harder for a postcommunist party to recover credibility than a normal social democratic party. So while they don't seem to have fallen any further, discontented voters seem to be moving towards... urgh.

You're saying that saying "We have lied morning, noon, and night" is bad for a party's credibility?  Huh

That's far from the only reason...

I note that, unnoticed to the rest of the world, the Hungarian government went to the IMF requiring assistance about a month ago.

Yeah Gully, that blog you posted is very, very interesting and well worth a read, even if it's ever so depressing.
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Tetro Kornbluth
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2011, 05:15:07 pm »
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The problem is that MSZP have basically collapsed as an organized entity... iirc polls have them behind or level with Jobbik.

Last Election
Opinion Poll

Is it due to Fidesz' policies, or did they just kill themselves ?

Self-suicide and economic crash of 2008 (which hit Hungary very hard). Plus as Al pointed out the MSZP is a "post-communist" party and so has all the baggage that goes with that and as post-1989 East European politics has shown, ex-commie parties even reformed as the most neo-liberal social democrat, can fall pretty hard if things go wrong.

@Belgiansocialist: Have you seen post about the "art of the new constitution"... that says everything really.
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Quote
Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2011, 05:19:27 pm »
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@Belgiansocialist: Have you seen post about the "art of the new constitution"... that says everything really.

Someone ought to upload that painting on the 2006 riots.
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2011, 05:24:53 pm »
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You mean, like this?

Here's more government sponsored art - Shall we call it "Orbanic Surrealism": http://esbalogh.typepad.com/hungarianspectrum/2011/11/horror-fourteen-pictures-to-accompany-the-new-hungarian-basic-laws.html
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Quote
Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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