Viktor Orbán’s rampage to attract more far right voters

von Gábor Halmai

The latest dangerous ideas of PM Orbán and his government to reintroduce the death penalty in Hungary, to legitimate the disclosure of immigrants through the foreseeable result of a ‘national consultation’, and to legalize the segregation of Roma in public education further undermine the democratic values of Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union. This new wave of anti-rule-of-law populism is a direct consequence of the continuous decline of the governing party’s popularity.

In order to secure again the two-third majority of the mandates with only 44 % of the popular votes in the 2014 parliamentary election Fidesz ‘unfairly’ (copyright: OSCE) changed the electoral system making it even more disproportional, and by providing voting rights to newly nationalized ethnic Hungarians living in the neighbouring countries (98 % of whom voted for them), and by abolishing the second round making it impossible for the opposition parties to unite. In two by-elections held in February and April this year Fidesz lost the undeserved qualified majority. The latest defeat to the neo-Nazi party Jobbik, the strongest opposition party, signals that the most serious political opponent to Fidesz in the 2018 election will come from even further right than Fidesz. This is the very reason Fidesz more and more fulfils the agenda of Jobbik, which they had already started before 2010 with a lot of nationalistic, anti-Roma, and anti-Semitic policies. Unfortunately there are voters out there in Hungary who buy these values hostile to those of Europe. Surveys first conducted in 2009 and repeated in 2013 about Hungary’s position on the worlds’ value map suggests that the country’s place on the map is one that the history and cultural legacy has preordained, as a closed-minded, inward-looking society, far from the core of Western culture and close to Orthodox or (in some cases) to Latin-American culture ...

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