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Bizarro world politics

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John Quggin has a guest post by James Farrell on the Hungarian elections. What struck me was this bit:

In most countries, at least Anglo-Saxon ones, your average person in the street is averse to characterising his politics as left or right. Hungarians, however, if they divulge their views at all, will tell you they vote for ‘The Left’ or ‘The Right’. The left means the Socialists, who are essentially the party of European integration, trans-national capital and tax churning. The right means FIDESZ, which, depending on whom you talk to, is either a conservative party, a radical right party, or the only real left-wing party. The last characterisation seems mainly due to the party’s opposition to privatization, especially recent government proposals for hospitals. But as far as I can gather, this was pure opportunism, in line with most of their policies. The one element of their platform that is consistent is nationalism

Also see this summary from a Hungarian reader at Crooked Timber:

1. The red party: Mr. Gyurcsany is one of the richest man in Hungary. He was one of the last leaders of the communist youth organisation, and was very very “clever” to turn his political connections into monetary gains. As a great reformer of the leftist politics, he declared that elites have to be assisted. Despite the the looming financial crisis he managed to lower the tax-burden of the richest.
2. The blue party: An interesting alliance. The far-left (human rights, identity politics etc.) of the Democratic Party and the far-right (economic and social policy) of the Republican Party in one party.
3. The green party: Financed by the socialists (800 milliom forints in cash). Heavily backed by a former socialist politican/businessman. Ideological munition provided by two members of the Hayek Society of Hungary (close allies of Mr. Gyurcsany).
4. The orange party: Originally they have a clear strategy. They spoke about a work-based society, about christian socialism and humanism, and against extreme capitalism, against luxus profits. (Targeting socialist voters). At that time their party had a 20% lead. But their campaign turned into other directions, targeting right-wing voters

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Written by Admin

April 28, 2006 at 9:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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