The Hungarian Referendum - Good and Bad
The Hungarian Referendum: And the Winner is ...Apathy
The results of Hungary’s referendum on the EU’s migrant quotas are in: most Hungarians don’t want to allow the EU to force them to accept migrants, but don’t care enough to bother going to the polls to vote against it.
A bit of background: in September 2015, after the scale of the migrant crisis had become apparent, the EU called for all its member states to accept a mandatory quota of migrants in order to attempt to distribute the pain equally. Hungary and Slovakia challenged the quotas in the European Court of Justice on the grounds that the EU has no legal right to impose such quotas.
Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, who has taken the lead in political resistance to the migrant invasion from the outset to tremendous popular support, called for a referendum on the quotas in February, and the National Assembly approved the measure in May, in spite of legal opposition from liberal NGOs. All of the MPs from Orbán’s party, Fidesz, as well as from its Rightist opposition, Jobbik, voted in favor. The minority Left-wing opposition parties, which currently comprise less than 30% of the Assembly, mostly boycotted the session.
Orbán was warned by some sympathizers that this was a dangerous gamble, since Hungary’s constitution requires that a referendum must be voted on by at least 50% of eligible voters in order for it to be considered valid. In fact, since the introduction of Hungary’s post-Communist constitution in 1990, only one referendum has passed this mark, namely the referendum on revoking some of the fees associated with healthcare and tuition for higher education in 2008, which passed with 50.48% of eligible voters participating. Ironically, it was Fidesz which first introduced the 50% requirement in 2011; prior to that time there was no threshold and it was sufficient for 50% of the valid votes, or for at least 25% of all eligible voters to give the same answer, for a referendum to pass. By this standard, the quota referendum’s result would have been a resounding success.
Nevertheless, the referendum was set for October 2, and in recent months the streets of Hungary’s towns and cities have been plastered with government-sponsored flyers and posters, and Hungary’s airwaves were jammed with commercials, warning of the consequences that mass immigration has had on Western European countries. It constituted the largest advertisement campaign in Hungarian history.
Given that most of Hungary’s population has always been opposed to the idea of non-European immigrants being welcomed within their borders, there was little doubt about the result, but crossing the 50% mark was obviously going to be a challenge. This was further complicated by the fact that most of the Leftist parties, knowing that they had no chance of defeating the referendum at the polls, instructed their members to boycott it altogether, with only the Hungarian Liberal Party, which currently holds one seat in the 199-member Assembly, urging its members to vote in favor of the quotas. The Communist Hungarian Workers’ Party, which currently holds no seats, is opposed to liberalism and correspondingly urged supporters to vote against the quotas.
Regrettably, but unsurprisingly, the referendum failed with only 43.89% of eligible voters participating. However, 98.3% (3,226,098) were no votes, with only 1.7% voting in favor of the quotas, and 6.33% of ballots being declared invalid (many of them were filled out humorously by pranksters who were encouraged to do so by the libertarian Two-Tailed Dog Party) – 277,577 in total. Orbán nevertheless has claimed victory, pointing out that more people voted against the quotas than who voted in favor of Hungary’s entry into the EU in 2003, and says he has a mandate to take to Brussels to show them that Hungarians reject the possibility of accepting migrants. Nevertheless, Orbán’s opponents, both domestically and in Brussels, will no doubt use this result to try to show that opposition to the EU’s handling of the migrant crisis isn’t as strong as the Right has been making it out to be. This criticism won’t be limited to the Left, either: although Jobbik had encouraged its followers to vote against the quotas, the party’s leader, Gábor Vona, had regarded the measure as foolhardy and stated before the referendum that Orbán should resign if it failed.
It should be emphasized, however, that the result will not alter any of the policies that Hungary has already implemented regarding the migrant crisis, such as its border fence with Serbia, and that the government will undoubtedly use the overwhelming result among those who did vote as justification for additional measures. Orbán has also called for a change to the constitution which will reduce the 50% threshold for future referendums.
Read the rest at counter-currents.com
Viktor Orban speaks after referendum
The Guardian reminds us what really is going on in Hungary:
Government critics condemned the divisive tone of Orbán’s campaign. He and his colleagues frequently linked refugees to terrorism and relentlessly plugged their message, even during half-time advertising breaks at the European football championships in June.
Zsuzsanna Vajna, a 79-year-old Holocaust survivor who remembers being made to walk up and down the banks of the Danube while Hungarian Nazis shot other Jews into the river, said the stigmatisation of refugees reminded her of the incitement against Jews during her childhood.
“It very much feels like the atmosphere in the 30s before the second world war,” Vajna said. “In the 1930s, we were in a very bad economic situation. People had to be blamed, and then it was the Jews. And that’s what I’m reminded of when I read the Hungarian government’s propaganda. It’s very dangerous. Because it can contaminate all of Europe.”
Read the rest here, if you can stand it.
So there you have it, the Guardian nails it: Hungarian nationalism and self determination in the year 2016 is equal to the "Nazi holocaust." Just so you get it straight, any kind of nationalism is an expression of the desire to gas 6 million jews in homocidal gas chambers. So don't do it, ok? It's supposed to make you feel very, very bad and choose globalism instead, not evil nazi gassing nationalism.