Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I have a bit of concern that whilst you list the problems facing the opposition here, your focus on the opposition demonstrations - welcome as they are - are failing to reflect the dismal social, political and economic realities, which are... as the speaker from the NGO said, rapidly worsening.

One important development is that there is no doubting the proximity between Jobbik and Fidesz these days and much of the core rhetoric is not being clearly challenged by a crippled Parliamentary left-wing. The cognitive dissonance on the Right - declaring national pride whilst reducing many Hungarians to penury and neo-serfdom - largely goes unchallenged. Jobbik+Fidesz have a combined 70% of the electorate and this reflects not just turnout but the real balance of Hungarian opinion in 2012. And they both know that this majority exists, and are beginning a dance of political expediency, anticipating a smaller Fidesz turnout in 2014.

Then there is the 'new' opposition. I suggest Milla is probably the best-organised part of this. The Szolidaritas demonstration last week was a huge failure. Anyway, at least the opposition can hold a rally. But does it really go further than this? If we look at the groups comprising the opposition, we don't need to go far before we see monied interests, or more often, a kind of gooey unformed mess of different groups, many of whom are contradictory.

Hungary has a failing health system, a failing system of social support, an education system designed in the early 20th century which is simultaneously elitist and dumbed-down and which perpetuates social division at almost every stage after 7 years old. The growth of the far-right and the actual stupidity of both the Left and the Right which has contributed to the agonies of Hungarian democracy are at least partially attributable to the selective nature of the education system, where so many children receive a poor general education.

I hear no answers to these problems from most of the opposition. The only party I hear beginning to address these problems - in an incomplete and often rather naive way, is the LMP, who remain the most coherent, if barely left-wing, political grouping.

Even the name 'Szolidaritas' reflects a lack of self-confidence and assertiveness. I don't expect the opposition to do much more than holding some kind of democratic line on paper, while the day-to-day realities increasingly reflect a country dominated by a combination of social Darwinism and authoritarianism. Of course, it's better than nothing.

by car05 on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 at 02:31:25 AM EST

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