after the first round of the Hungarian elections

Now, you've seen the results of the Hungarian election in my earlier posts, but quite few points have emerged, and some of them I have been addressing in Finnish, but there's more.
So, it's emerged the Hungarians voted:
– for a four-party parliament
– against Viktor Orbán to return the post he held 1998-2002 as the PM
– against national populism.
… even though Fidesz received over 40 percent of the votes in the first round, they effectively lost it. And this is coming through in the media. Ibolya Dávid has been begged by Orbán and by a number of leading Fideszians to join the campaign for the second round. She insists she will not help in neither Orbán nor the current PM Gyurcsányi of MSZP. Crucually, Orbán has declared that he will not become the next prime minister. He wrote a letter to Dávid asking her supports. She wrote another one back outlining the points which have to be changed in order to establish a common ground.

(Picture: HVG, see also an interview on 17 March at the HVG English version with Dávid)
In a TV interview of the national broadcaster MTV he, however, failed to understand and to admit that Dávid was actually not only against his person but of his values. When the journalist tried to explain the situation of different values, Orbán's refusal to understand made one wonder whether in his pragmatic campaigning and the moves around the ideological map he had lost any sense of what values are.
Before the elections Gyurcsányi beated Orbán 3-0 (in football terms, not ice-hockey, mind you) at a live tv-debate. For any point that Orbán would make Gyurcsányi would bring in the past and remind Orbán that either his points have no ground or that they are absolutely the opposite of the policies of his government four years ago.
Now, after years of suppressed dissent even Fidesz people publicly declare that the now Fidesz who wants to guarantee everyone a workplace is quite far from the party and government who promoted the progressive individuals and their chances of success.
Currently, Orbán's desperation equals that of Berlusconi trying to keep his party in power. To stay in power at least as the head of his party, he needs to be able to build up a decent campaing for the second round. Since giving up his candidacy for PM, the left has been asking: how can we campaign against a political force without a PM cadidate and without a program. Fidesz suggested a former head of the Hungarian national bank and MDF's economic advisor to become the common PM candidate. After Fidesz's populist left-leaning campaign, the question emerged on an ironicising web page http://www.index.hu, whether a government of bankers is proposed.
This morning when Dávid was interviewed, she was quite clear in stating that the MDF has achieved what it has promised to the voters: it hasn't helped into power neither Fidesz nor MSZP, it has made it to the parliament, and it has remained the neoconservative party. The Fidesz promises, starting from a two-party parliament are very different from ours, Dávid pointed out.

And why am I focusing on the right wing politics, even if the left won the first round and they now have to prove that they can win the elections?
Well, first of all, there's little that moves on the left at the moment. The focus of the media as well is on the crisis of the right. The situation of polarisation, which is deprimental to democracy and fuctioning demoratic politics, as I have maintained in my PhD thesis and beyond, needs a crisis to resolve itself. The four party parliament itself is improving the situation. However, also since polarisation creates a situation of consensus on both sides of the main political divide, it's important to break the consensus, and demonstrate that there are other political frontiers that can play a role in the articulation of political differences and demands.
Orbán himself pointed out that there are differences in the MSZP and SZDSZ programs, and equally well they covering over these in order to foster cooperation – so why not the Fidesz and MDF. True, but first, it's easier for them to cover over differences as they have been in government together, and they have a clear opposition. For Fidesz MDF has lately constituted the other, the stupid small party that should not be let in the parliament to ruin the chances for Fidesz to win. Second, the SZDSZ has had quite a lot of say in the economic policies of the Gyurcsányi government: would MDF get this?
This morning, Dávid responded to the question of why her party doesn't want the important post of the PM, that one of the reasons for the strength of the PM in Hungary is the backing of the MPs. In this economic situation, Fidesz has been making such promises to their voters which are impossible to maintain and irresponsible (the same applies to the MSZP, though), she pointed out. She doesn't want to be in government to face the demands from the economy and from the population who wants to have these promises kept to continue supporting the government parties. Taking the moral high ground, especially in a situation where it appears convincing is a good strategy.
I believe it would be a good strategy for the MDF to stay independent, spend the next years in the opposition and try their luck in the next elections while the charm of the Fidesz is perhaps fading. In this case the only tactic for Fidesz is to try to make some of the more symphatetic MDF voters to the polls for them, and to gain voters from the Socialists. Seen the chaos in the ranks of Fidesz and the desperate performance of Orbán I guess it will be difficult to beat the confident even triumphant Socialists and Liberals.

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