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Pros and cons two days before the referendum

October 1st, 2016

Commentators don’t even agree on whether the question to be put to the population at Sunday’s quota referendum makes sense or not, or what it is actually about.

On 444, Péter Magyari describes as ‘murky’ the question whether Hungarians want the European Union to impose migrants on Hungary against the will of the national parliament. It is unclear, he explains who will have to do what, if the nays will have it. In an indirect sense, the referendum may be interpreted as a vote against the European Union, or in favour of keeping Hungary ‘pale-skinned’, or expressing unspecified fears of any kinds of aliens, he argues, but nobody knows exactly. He thinks the real meaning of the referendum is a political campaign in which the government intends to win over masses of people who otherwise would not support it. His problem is that the campaign stokes fear and hatred and thus he concludes that ‘Hungary will be a better place if the referendum will not be valid’, that is, if the turnout will be below the required fifty per cent.

In Magyar Idők, Péter Szikszai asks liberals and his colleagues at 444 in particular what country they want to live in. 444 has just posted a video about a gay pride banner having been lifted into space. The pro-government columnist couples that footage with another one shot by Vice in London where a crowd of Muslim immigrants hail Sharia and snub British law. They also carry banners proclaiming that democracy is dead and a Caliphate is the solution. Szikszai interprets the left-liberal stance about the referendum as an expression of support for the settlement of masses of Muslims in Hungary. He warns them that they cannot have the best of two worlds – gay rights and Muslim immigration. One day, ‘when they wake up from their dream world’ and find their editorial offices in the middle of a ‘no-go zone, in front of a mosque’, with ‘Sharia police confiscating weed and beating up gay activists, they will realise that they should have voted No, after all’.

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