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A liberal explanation of the weakness of the opposition

October 10th, 2012

A liberal commentator worries that a two-party system is solidifying, with the MSZP as the counterpart of Fidesz, and both wanting basically the same thing: popular measures, at whatever cost.

On HVG.hu, a centrist pundit writing under the pseudonym Elek Tokvalfi (a playful tribute to Alexis de Tocqueville) finds it both sad and ridiculous that : that two extra-parliamentary movements agree to demonstrate together, and that the MSZP won a councillor’s seat in a local election in Sopron.

Several left-wing organizations plan to join the rally organized on October 23rd by the Facebook-group „One Million for Press Freedom” (Milla), which drew tens of thousands last year. Former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai is expected to address the demonstration. Another former Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsány attacked the planned demonstration as ’harmful’ to the cause of the political opposition.

The real problem of opposition groupings, Tokfalvi suggests, is that deep down, they are not any different from those which now govern Hungary. Parties on both sides of the barricades compete with ever higher promises of state benefits, instead of representing particular social groups and their interests. While in other post-communist countries, the author claims, capitalism and the free market became hallmarks of democracy, in Hungary a democratic system is defined as one that represents the interests of the majority at any given moment – thus denying „ugly” capitalist principles. Under these conditions the MSZP does not stand a chance, as it tries to sell the same socialist values which Fidesz is campaigning with. As long as all political actors demand that the „voice of the people be heard”, he concludes, the country will continue its path down the slope.

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