Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm not sure what you want to know in addition to the answers to those questions in the diary and the comments, but I'll sum those up again, and for more detail link my pre-election diary Delayed Warsaw Express arriving in Budapest.

On why Fidesz and Jobbik got so many votes in 2010 (and the 2009 European elections if that counts): First, the previous government parties eliminated themselves. Above all, with austerity measures that hurt a lot of people and created a general negative outlook at the future (I can add that the hardest austerity package prior to the 2006-2010 ones was also implemented by a Socialist-liberal government in 1995, while Fidesz's 1998-2002 reign was a more tranquil period), which Fidesz opposed with social populism. The Socialists and the liberals were also mired in an undending series of corruption and trustworthyness scandals (both genuine and ones made up by the Fidesz media), internal conflicts, and general ineptness both at governing and at confronting Fidesz's tactics in opposition. (I'll add one more point in a separate comment.) Then for many people, the choice was binary between the two major parties, and there was a feeling that it can't get worse than this – these votes went for Fidesz. The diary doesn't say much about the reasons for Jobbik's rise; they could be summed up as a combination of the use of the internet, the successful nurturing of Gypsy-hate, and the establishment of a local presence in villages with their paramilitary (for more details again see here).

Why so few protest: most of those who didn't vote in 2010 or got disillusioned with Fidesz since (altogether some 60% of the population) are in a state of apathy, (at least subjectively) experiencing that their economic situation gets worse with each successive government, and don't see a point. Also, Fidesz controls most of the media, and timed their worst legal reforms to just before Christmas and just before New Year, when people are least attentive to politics. Perhaps I can add that there is a widespread notion of people seeing themselves as the "little man", a powerless subject who is content if he is only allowed to get by and doesn't want to interfere in the greater schemes of powerful people (a common notion with origins in the times of Austria-Hungary), so there isn't a sense that all these laws and high institutions are relevant to your daily life.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 02:59:51 PM EST
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