Hungary

Hungarians Elect Free Market Advocate in By-Election, Right-Wing Ruling Party Loses Supermajority

Zoltán Kész defeated a member of the ruling party, ending its razor-thin supermajority hold on parliament.

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wichitaliberty.org

In Hungary, the right wing Fidesz Party (along with a small coalition partner) lost a by-election after one of its members moved on to a job as a European Union commissioner, and with that election lost their super-majority in parliament, which they've held since 2010.

Politic.hu describes the winner of the by-election, the founder of the Free Market Foundation in Hungary, independent Zoltán Kész:

An entrepreneur and advocate for free-market economics, Kész nonetheless ran with strong backing from the country's major left-wing parties.

Trailing the two were Andrea Varga-Damm of the radical-nationalist party Jobbik with 14.14%, Ferenc Gerstmár of the green party LMP – which had declined to get behind Kész, citing his neoliberal economic beliefs – with 4.57%, and Ferenc B?sze, an independent who received 2.75% of the votes cast…

 "The voters expect me to be a real critic of the ones in power," Kész said following news of his victory. "I promise I will deliver that. We have got the strength to change the power."

Here's the Atlas Network on Kész.

Five years of supermajority control meant the ruling party could push through various constitutional reforms without any problems for the opposition. While the prime minister, Viktor Orban, insisted the constitutional changes were meant to eradicate Communism's legacy in the country, they effectively increased the power of the state and the power of Orban's party over the state. Among the changes, the Constitutional Court, which had previously ruled unconstitutional some of the changes Orban's party was now inserting directly into the Constitution,  lost some of its review power, while election campaigning is restricted to state media.

The ruling party says it's not worried about losing the supermajority, because they've already transformed the country the way they wanted to. 

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47 responses to “Hungarians Elect Free Market Advocate in By-Election, Right-Wing Ruling Party Loses Supermajority

  1. Speaking of Europe:

    ‘It’s treason!’ Greek anger at government u-turn

    Uhh, no, it’s arithmetic.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102445830

    1. Those Greeks – they so cray!

    2. Protesters take part in an anti-austerity pro-government demonstration in Athens.

      And people scoffed when I called the Occupy Movement a pro-government pep-rally.

      1. Every vaguely leftist gathering is a pro-government pep rally. Occupy represents a shining city turd on a hill.

      2. Protesters take part in an anti-austerity pro-government demonstration in Athens.

        Let’s protest air. Food? Water?

        What part of no choice don’t they understand?

      3. Occupy had the right idea — cronyism sucks. The had the solution exactly backwards — increase government power.

        I swear, I do not understand how they could be so ignorant. The usual revolving door between DC and Wall Street ought to be clue enough, but the Obamars made it even more blatant with their financial honchoes coming striaght from the organizations they were going to regulate and tame.

        It would be like picking Jenny McCarthy as Surgeon General. What more clues do you brainless idiots need?

        1. The ones I spoke to were primarily mad about the bailouts…Unfortunately what they were mad about was that they didn’t get the same with their loans.

        2. Occupy had the right idea — cronyism sucks. The had the solution exactly backwards — increase government power.

          Bad ideas occur with more frequency than good ideas. Good ideas require at least a tiny bit of critical thinking, which the occupy wall street types were never prepared to do. Their solution being “moar gubmint power” is what you would expect from people who are unwilling or unable to apply some critical thought to the problem.

          Even supposing that most of them are against cronyism is a stretch, they love cronyism, they just prefer different cronies.

    3. When even the socialists start recognizing economic reality, that’s when you know things are utterly fucked. Usually, it takes mass graves to get to that point, though, so… progress?

      1. It takes years upon years of filling up mass graves before reality sets in. The Czarist government had executed something like 600 people in the previous hundred years, the Bolsheviks were executing over 14,000 per month. Their economic system lasted until for 70 some years. Their ilk are willing to commit an unfathomable amount of murder before they throw in the towel.

        1. People are often ignorant of how murderous the Soviets were, but I think you might have estimated low for the Czars.

          “From 1900 until he was deposed in 1917, Russia was ruled by the last of the Russian czars, Nicholas II. He was an absolute nationalist, an autocrat, and anti-semitic. Under him Jewish pogroms were encouraged, opposition repressed, dissident minorities bloodily subjugated, and in particular, during the First World War, German and other prisoners of war were treated atrociously, many dying as a result. Taking into account all the democide under the Czar, possibly near 900,000 to almost 1,500,000 Russians, subjects of the Russian empire, and foreigners were killed; perhaps around 1,000,000.”

          https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP12.HTM

          1. And Boosh did it first!

            1. There’s a reason why our recent tendency to name ‘czars’in our federal government is so incredible.

              1. As a Russian, I view it as truth in advertising. Czarist bureaucracy was famous for its incompetence, pettiness, and byzantine rules. If US bureaucracy had called themselves Kaisers, they’d at least have some efficiency standards to live up to. Czars? Not so much.

              2. There’s a reason why our recent tendency to name ‘czars’in our federal government is so incredible

                By the way that trend isn’t recent. Unless by ‘recent’ you mean within the last 30 years.

          2. First, I never said the czarist government was good. I said the number of executions taking place under legal auspices numbered less than 1,000 in the previous hundred years. That puts into context the Soviet practice of executing about 14,000 per month under legal auspices, while they were initially setting up the new economic system. If you really want to count the numbers of people murdered extra-judiciously by the state, the Soviets would lose that contest even harder. There’s simply no question that the Bolsheviks were the most murderous group to ever come to power in Russia.

            Moreover, democide, as used by the coiners of the term doesn’t include POWs and non-civilian causalities in war.

            1. When you’re talking about “filling up mass graves” I don’t know why only deaths via “legal auspices” would be relevant. It’s a disingenuous comparison that is completely unnecessary. One doesn’t need to whitewash Czarist Russia to criticize the Soviet Union.

      2. Look. You don’t understand. There is only so much wealth out there, so when the rich get richer then the poor must get poorer. Besides that, everything is money. People are worth X amount of dollars, right? So that means they have X amount of dollars to take and put to good work like feeding hungry children. And stop with all this nonsense about businesses creating wealth. Wealth is measured in money, and the government prints the money. That means that government is the only source of wealth. That’s economic reality, instead of this fantasy that libertarians concocted so they can apologize for the rich and the corporations. Duh. All thinking people know this.

        1. Well, of course. Saying that businesses don’t create jobs will get you elected president these days.

        2. That’s some mighty fine prog derp, sarcasmic. In a blind test I likely wouldn’t be able to distinguish it from my idiot cousin’s Facebook blatherings. Color me impressed.

          1. I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to pinch the waitress’ ass.

    4. It’s just a shame the Krauts won’t give the Greeks exactly what they deserve.

  2. I had a friend who worked at our Hungarian plant for a few years back in the 90’s. Fascinating stories “from the front”. Interesting country that’s not doomed, I think, like the US and Britain.

    Good luck, Hungary!

  3. In Hungary, the right wing Fidesz Party (along with a small coalition partner) lost a by-election after one of its members moved on to a job as a European Union commissioner

    The EU may have just accidentally made a constituent country freer, statists seek out the bureaucracy like a moth to flame.

  4. The ruling party says it’s not worried about losing the supermajority, because they’ve already transformed the country the way they wanted to.

    I wonder if the same sentiment exists within certain factions here in the States.

    1. I was thinking the same thing.

      1. I thought the same thing as well.

  5. This guy must be one of those radical extremists.

    1. Worse, a Neo-Liberal!

      1. I don’t know any so called liberals in this country who advocate free markets, and European politics are bizarre to me. I don’t even know what liberal means over there.

        1. I think over there ‘liberal’ is still something close to the classical sense.

          ‘Neo-Liberal’ is usually a term of derision for anyone who thinks even a modicum of markets might be a good thing when used by US leftists.

        2. Hyp

          There has been a concerted effort the last few days to attempt to starve it of the attention it requires.

          I would invite you to join us.

  6. Were they, perhaps, Dirty Hungarians?

    1. His hovercraft is full of eels.

  7. “The ruling party says it’s not worried about losing the supermajority, because they’ve already transformed the country the way they wanted to. ”

    You know who else wasn’t worried about losing supermajority because he has already transformed the country the way he wanted to?

    1. Caligula?

    2. Jerry Springer?

      1. Maury Povich.

    3. Henry VIII?

    4. And he’s not finished yet!

  8. In a short visit to hungary in the 1990s, i was left the impression that natives had a strong dose of ‘crazy’, but in the good, Czech-style way, and not so much the ‘suicidally cynical’ Serbian way.

    Which is to say, ‘generally good’, but still prone to occasional lapses. Nice people!… just that 1% turn out to be Kaiser Soze.

    Welch I’m sure could elaborate on what makes Hungarians quirky.

    True story = there was a place on the side of the river where there was a rusty old tap directly into one of the thermal springs, which emitted highly-sulfuric, incredibly stinky, and slightly radioactive water.

    Locals routinely stopped to have a drink once a day. The rumor was it was ‘healthy’. This, when 30yr old hungarians looked like they were 65. And kids chainsmoked. Yeah, i guess it probably couldn’t hurt.

    Also = This place was one of the coolest (*technically ‘hottest’) things in the world, hands down. Back when I went (92) it was all-male, and you had to be fully stripped to enter (*mostly no homo! I swear). You were given a little smock to cover *your ass* with (because if you sat naked on the rock you could cut yourself and get a nasty infection)

    It was cool that they had “public utilities” from the 16th century still open for business, and pretty much still used them the same way.

    1. and slightly radioactive water.

      All water is slightly radioactive, unless you’ve been using a centrifuge to separate the D2O.

      1. I thought it was Tritium that’s radioactive, not Deuterium.

      2. Thank you for the input, Professor Frink

        Apparently there’s some substance to this

        “A radium-laced spa in Budapest provided one of history’s more questionable quaff”

        Apparently there’s a high(ish) concentration of radium/radon in the thermal springs of Budapest

        I don’t think it was significant. just one of the odder cultural things I’d come across.

  9. the right wing Fidesz Party (along with a small coalition partner) lost a by-election after one of its members moved on to a job as a European Union commissioner ….

    An entrepreneur and advocate for free-market economics, K?sz nonetheless ran with strong backing from the country’s major left-wing parties.

    I have to laugh at the irony. But it’s a good kind of irony.

  10. Someone here (either a blogger or commenter) explained (or pointed to an explanation) a few yrs. ago how Fidesz changed from having been a fairly radical libertarian party.

  11. What does “right wing” actually tell us? Not a whole lot really.

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