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Opposition strategies for 2014

August 27th, 2012

A conservative pundit predicts that in the next 18 months left until the 2014 election, both the Socialists and far-right Jobbik will launch a fierce and aggressive campaign against the governing centre-right party in order to mobilize undecided voters. A left-wing intellectual believes that anti-government civil rallies have been a disappointment.

The Socialists and Jobbik are to change their course of action. The left-wing and the far-right opposition parties will try to mobilize undetermined voters by organizing anti-government rallies, Gábor Borókai, editor in chief of the conservative Heti Válasz predicts. Borókai points out that although the number of undecided voters has grown significantly, the opposition parties could not increase their popularity through criticizing the government in Parliament.

According to the latest poll by Ipsos, Fidesz is supported by 17 per cent of the voting age population, while MSZP stands at 14 per cent. Jobbik’s support is at 8, LMP’s is at 3, and Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition is at three per cent. Over half of the respondents, however, are undecided.

Borókai believes that the opposition parties will resort to street politics to boost their support. The Socialists will primarily target those Hungarians who are now compelled to take up public work in order to receive unemployment benefits. Far-right Jobbik, on the other hand, will continue its harsh anti-Roma marches in order to strengthen its law and order image, Borókai contends.

In Népszabadság, looking back on the NGO demonstrations of the past two years, sociologist Pál Tamás notes that no alternative platforms independent of the existing parties have emerged from those anti-government protests.

Tamás thinks that the anti-government NGOs have not managed to gain public support because they lack a coherent political vision. Instead, they try to compensate the lack of vision by theatrical public action. Protesters seem to criticize the Orbán government, but do not offer a comprehensive ideology similar to that of the 1989 opposition demonstrators in the former Socialist countries, the US Occupy movement or the anti-Putin intellectuals in Russia, who all protest against the power structure as such, and not only against the currently ruling party.

If the Hungarian anti-government civil groups want to become important political actors in the 2014 election, they either have to give up their independent image and align with one of the opposition parties, or form a common platform around shared principles, Tamás concludes.

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