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Up and downsides of the new electoral procedure

September 19th, 2012

An independent conservative analyst compares the advantages and drawbacks of the new bill regulating electoral procedures, and believes the final scoresheet is positive.

The new rules of electoral procedure were submitted by leading conservative MPs on Monday. The bill expects voters to register in advance but keeps the registration process open until a fortnight before Election Day. It also abolishes the system requiring 1000 recommendation-slips from local residents and expects candidates to submit a mere 200 signatures to get their names on the ballot instead.

On Mandiner, editor Gellért Rajcsányi believes all in all the new rules will make it easier for citizens to run for seats in Parliament. He argues that Parliament should become more multi-faceted in order to represent more layers and political opinions. He regrets that the new draft does not lower the 5 per cent threshold, which he believes keeps several valuable parties out of Parliament.

Rajcsányi welcomes the fact that the conditions for voter registration have become more flexible than originally planned, although this new system is still likely to limit the final voter turnout. “On the other side of the democracy balance”, he remarks, is the abolition of the tough recommendation-slip rule, which is replaced by the easy requirement of only 200 signatures. He dismisses opposition complaints that Fidesz is making running for mandates easier in order to pulverise the left wing and prevent a strong alliance emerging to challenge it. “So Fidesz is said to be the winner in any case, no matter whether conditions are getting stricter or looser”, Rajcsányi comments, ironically. As if no electoral system were acceptable, short of one which automatically yields an opposition majority in the new Parliament”.