Hungary’s Political Parties

Another student blog, this time on Hungary’s recent political shift into a more radical direction.


There are four main parties in the National Assembly in Hungary, two which have remained at the top of the voters list and two new parties. These new parties are at the end of the political spectrum, one left and one radical right, and what is interesting about these new parties is that each took votes from mainly the middle and middle left parties. As seen in the 2010 election, it seems Hungary is transitioning to more radical politics and dismissing the middle liberal ideologies.

FIDESZ-KDNP

The main ruling party is the Magyar Polgári Szövetség (FIDESZ)or Hungarian Civic Union party who made a coalition party with Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt (KDNP)or Christian Democratic People’s Party which is a Christian Democratic party. The two parties together is called the FIDESZ-KDNP party. FIDESZ-KDNP covers quite an array of ideologies (a catch all party if I do say so myself). The two parties ran together as the coalition government and together achieved 52.7% of the vote but received a total of 163 of the 386 parliamentary seats giving them 68% of the parliamentary seats as a whole. This is due to their huge victory in the first past the post elections, where all but 3 of the 176 constituencies voted for the FIDESZ-KDNP coalition party.

 After the super coalition party between the FIDESZ and KDNP the Magyar Szocialista Párt (MSZP) and the Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom (JOBBIK)come in at the second and third most represented parties in the National Assembly.

 MSZP

 The  Magyar Szocialista Párt (MSZP)or Hungarian Socialist Party is a party that practices social democratic ways and considers themselves part of the “Third Way”. While gaining 19% of the national vote the MSZP gained 59 seats in the parliament which translates into 15% of the seats in Parliament. The MSZP took the largest hit of all the parties as their national votes from 2006 were at a 43% high and held 190 seats. Their failure to give the Hungarian people their equal wealth through governmental subsidies was well noted in these elections. This 14% drop in votes almost went all to the…

 JOBBIK

 Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom (JOBBIK)also known as the Movement for a Better Hungary. This Far-right Nationalist party harnessed almost 17% of the national vote in 2010, which was a grand improvement from their lackluster showing of 2.2% only 4 years before (which did not get them past the 5% thresh hold). Although receiving 17% of the vote they received 47 seats in the National Assembly, which equates to 12% of the seats in parliament. Their main ideology rests on maintaining Hungarian values and traditions, but in doing so have been criticized as “homophobic” and “neo-fascist”. Gaining 17% of the vote not only says a lot about JOBBIK but also about the other parties, who do not seem like they are keeping the Hungarian people satisfied.

LMP

 The final party represented in the National Assembly is the Lehet Más a Politika (LMP)or the Politics Can Be Different party. This party represents the left and proclaims they focus on “Green Politics” which is a form of social liberalism. The LMP received 7.5% of the national vote and received 16 seats in the National assembly which equates to about 4% of the seats available. This party was newly formed in 2009, and received a respectable vote considering its newly adapted leftist tendencies, including environmental protection and stopping corruption from political elites.

The mass exodus from the MSZP socialist party to the more radical JOBBIK nationalist and leftist LMP Green party may be a indication that many people were not happy about the way the socialist (who are usually welfare oriented) dealt with the financial crisis. It looks like many, well about 1 in every 5 Hungarians, are requesting radical change in the countries political system, and although the FIDESZ-KDNP coalition does have the great majority of seats and votes, the smaller parties will soon have some influence on the policies in the National Assembly. The Hungarian people were not happy with the status quo, and most wanted not to have radical progress but rather conserve the Hungarian identity. Although the people made a difference by their vote, some may be regretting their over confidence in the FIDESZ-KDNP government as new amendments to the constitution is creating an authoritarian like environment for Hungarian politics. Only time will tell how this Eastern European political carnival ride will end up.

Resources

 Center-right Fidesz wins big in Hungary elections, Guardian, (2010 April, 12) retrieved 6 March 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/9027152

 Gyurcsány announces departure from socialists, formation of new “western, civic center-left” party. (2011, October 22). Politics.hu, Retrieved from http://www.politics.hu/20111022/gyurcsany-announces-departure-from-socialists-formation-of-new-western-civic-center-left-party/

 Hungay. (20 January 2012). Retrieved from the Interparliamentary Union PARLINE Database at http://www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2141_E.htm

 Lisiak, A. (2010). Urban cultures in (post)colonial central Europe. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=4e_nWwUBhSoC&pg=PA18&dq=jobbik+fascist&hl=en&ei=fQiDTd6ROM-84AbZqoTDCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22numerous%20homophobic%2C%20anti-Semitic%20and%20anti-Roma%20incidents%20in%20Hungary%22&f=false

 News in English. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.fidesz.hu/index.php?Rovat=10035

 Parties and elections in Europe. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.parties-and-elections.de/hungary.html

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