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I have no clue.
  • Maybe Fidesz will manage to prevent a(nother) economic meltdown (is that realistic?) and then continue with a Putin-style managed democracy (within or without the EU).
  • Maybe Fidesz will turn to even more nationalism upon economic meltdown and establish a darker semi-dictatorship, exit the EU, and maybe get into armed conflicts with Slovakia and Romania.
  • Maybe the disenchanted will flock to Jobbik and Jobbik will use the powers Fidesz made for itself to establish a fascist dictatorship, which will definitely come in armed conflict with neighbouring countries. (Most opposition people in Hungary I tell this reject that it is a realistic possibility, assuming that Jobbik can't get much above its present 20% figures; but based on the impressions I gained in discussions with Fidesz supporters, I wasn't convinced.)
  • Maybe left-of-Fidesz forces manage to win the next elections, but will lose power soon in snap elections just as Fidesz planned, then back to square one.
  • Maybe the liberal intelligentsia will manage to prop up Gyurcsány or another neoliberal as saviour at least atracting urbanite voters and re-establish the old Republic, repeating Poland's recent history but with greater upheavals.
  • Maybe a real leftist alternative can grow on the union/NGO protest movement, but they will be too naive and the IMF et al will again play them for a fool. After they fall, again back to square one.
  • Maybe a real leftist alternative can not only dispose of Fideszistan but face off the IMF et al.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 12:58:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe the disenchanted will flock to Jobbik and Jobbik will use the powers Fidesz made for itself to establish a fascist dictatorship, which will definitely come in armed conflict with neighbouring countries. (Most opposition people in Hungary I tell this reject that it is a realistic possibility, assuming that Jobbik can't get much above its present 20% figures; but based on the impressions I gained in discussions with Fidesz supporters, I wasn't convinced.)

How can Jobbik get through the safeguards Fidesz set up for itself? Do you envision Jobbik getting a 2/3 supermajority, too?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 01:01:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, and absorbing Fidesz "loyalists" who jump ship. (That is, I think it is more likely for a spineless Fidesz loyalist today to jump ship towards Jobbik than to jump ship towards the left.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 01:05:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can they achieve that in one election cycle, or would there be a priod of Fidesz government with a Jobbik blocking minority? How stable can that situation be?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 01:07:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is Central Europe, majorities can shift pretty fast within an election cycle. In polls Fidesz already lost half of its supporters, while Jobbik regained minor losses over the past year. Some numbers from the last poll by the pollster I see as most independent:

  • certain voters: 40% (record low)
  • unable to choose a party to support: 40% (near record high)
  • Fidesz, total adult population (certain voters): 26% (43%) (record low since election; the highs were 50% (72%) in June 2010)
  • Socialists: 14% (23%)
  • Jobbik: 11% (20%)
  • LMP: 4% (8%)
  • Gyurcsány's Democratic Coalition: 2% (5%)
  • all others: 2% (1%)

Note that even the most popular politician (by the question "would you like to see X in an important role in the future?"), the figurehead President of the Republic (sic!), has only 33% support.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 01:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can imagine a military coup at some point. If Hungary continues on this line it could be temporarily suspended from the EU but I suspect economic meltdown will bring civil strife long before. EU sanctions may be in fast order but of little effect. I can't imagine the EU moving quickly to suspend Hungary from the EU.

The spector of Yugoslavia looms but hardly seems possible with EU sovereign states on its borders. On the contrary the handling of Yugoslavia should be a lesson for the NATO and the EU heavies, notably Germany and France.

The best approach may be to let Fidesz do its best to destroy Hungary to the point that the military step in. It worked in Poland.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 06:34:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Hungarian military is extremely weak, the police would have more infrastructure for a coup (only they are always loyal dogs). But agreed on the EU angles. In Poland, which military intervention are you thinking of?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 06:46:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jaruzelski. Thanks for info on Hungarian military. If they're extremely weak, we can discount unrest with neighboring states.

NATO will have to find the appropriate candidate if Hungary is judged essential to European harmony. Otherwise I guess we're in for another Belarus, a slant for such an ingenious people.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 06:54:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they're extremely weak, we can discount unrest with neighboring states.

Nope, to kick off that, a few dozen fanatics are enough. Like the ones in the incidents I reported in The Slovakian-Hungarian Football War, just better armed and organised. And if serious confrontation comes, the military can be boosted.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jaruzelski

I don't get the parallel. Do you think the Soviet Union let Poland's commmunist party to do its best to destroy Poland to the point that the military step in? At any rate, Jaruzelski wasn't just the military, he was already PM and party secretary by the time he declared martial law, so that wasn't really a military coup.

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

by DoDo on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:07:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I indulged in a logical leap. I'm sure there's an appropriate Greek rhetorical term. Left to its own device tyranny runs the state into the ground, through ineptitude, hubris, paranoia, etc.

The importance was a novel solution in a critical stalemate situation. By  declaring martial law, Jaruzelski was perceived- and perceived himself- as dampening a potentially dangerous situation. His actions saved face in Moscow, Washington, Bruxelles and the Danzig docks.This wrench-in-the-works strategy postponed negotiations to a more amenable setting.

I suppose there is a major problem of negotiating nation building along the Balkans and the Central European fault line that was put on hold during the Cold War. Fidesz is the latest blight.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 07:42:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The importance was a novel solution in a critical stalemate situation. By  declaring martial law, Jaruzelski was perceived- and perceived himself- as dampening a potentially dangerous situation. His actions saved face in Moscow, Washington, Bruxelles and the Danzig docks.This wrench-in-the-works strategy postponed negotiations to a more amenable setting.

Ah, I get it. The trouble is, declaring martial law is something for the powers-that-be, and in Hungary today that's Fidesz.

If we want to discuss the (emphatically hypothetical) military angles, I think the spectre of Yugoslavia you mention warrants more words. Except for the short bigger campaigns by the JNA after Croatia's independence and by Croatia when it reconquered (and cleansed) the Krajinas, AFAIK most of the conflicts were fought with small arms, and often with irregular forces, especially at the start. So in the worst case I can imagine, things would start to go downhill when governments both sides of the border would escalate diplomatic conflicts and fail to hold back extremists on their side, and armed conflict would emerge after the launch of 'self-defense' paramilitaries among ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia and Romania, upon inspiration from Hungary. This may seem pretty far-fetched at present, though it must be noted that a re-run of Bosnia in Transsylvania was a proclaimed fear of Romanian politicians in the nineties.

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

by DoDo on Wed Jan 4th, 2012 at 09:12:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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