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Bucket challenge as a campaign tool

August 28th, 2014
Commentators across the political spectrum find Dr Falus’s ‘bucket challenge’ video show pathetic, while a liberal commentator thinks that he thus extinguished the last rays of hope on the Left for the municipal elections to be held in October.
The Bucket Challenge, originally a movement designed to raise money to combat the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations for research, has several backers among Hungary’s celebrities, including candidates for various posts in the forthcoming municipal elections. Dr Ferenc Falus, the left-wing candidate for the post of Mayor in Budapest posted an amateur video on Monday, in which he challenges several fellow candidates to donate for handicapped children, before his daughter pours a bucket of icy water on his head. Frightened by the scene, his two year old grandson bursts into tears, while his his wife can be heard laughing loudly behind the camera.
In the headline of his article on HVG online, Tamás Gomperz writes that the awkward video was a cold shower for those who were still harbouring hopes /of a good showing by the Left in the elections and beyond/. Doesn’t that man have a campaign staff? he asks. Or if he has, “is it composed of half-wits?” What is frightful is not the video itself, he explains, but the fact that it was posted in the first place. From this point on in his article, Gomperz refuses to take the incident seriously and throws in one ironic remark after the other. He quotes Dr Falus as saying that he has no political ambitions. He must be an avant-garde artist then, and is running for the post of Mayor in order to show how hypocritical the world of politics is. This explains why he posted that ridiculous video. If he did have political ambitions, he wouldn’t wear socks and slippers in public, nor would he campaign with a weeping little boy.  “And this was only the first day of the campaign!” he exclaims. Finally, Gomperz exhorts his readers to rejoice, because “fortunately this attractive avant-garde company will not risk being distracted by mayoral responsibilities from its artistic activities”.

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