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Opposition ‘lack a grand narrative’

January 4th, 2023

A left-wing political scientist explains the Left’s failure to challenge Fidesz with the opposition parties’ failure to propose a grand vision that matches ‘the Hungarian psyche’.

In an interview with 24.hu, Ervin Csizmadia criticizes the opposition for failing to address issues that seem relevant to voters. The left-leaning political scientist pins the opposition’s failure to challenge Fidesz leadership ever since 2010 on their inability to understand what he calls the ‘Hungarian psyche’.  Fidesz, on the other hand, frames all its policies as part of a grand scheme to retain Hungarian independence and fight Western efforts to ‘colonize’ the country. That message resonates deeply in Hungarians, Csizmadia explains, while opposition accusations that the government’s behaviour is anti-democratic, and that it is mismanaging health care and education, don’t have the same visceral appeal. He acknowledges that these are important policy issues, but believes they cannot replace a grand political vision that would attract voters. As a possible framework concept, Csizmadia mentions the idea of a United States of Europe, noting that the opposition could use such an idea to offer a long-term perspective for Hungarians.

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