Sunday, January 22, 2012

Better To Reign in Hell

Another sad post about Hungary's politics by Kim Lane Scheppele via Paul Krugman.  There is no doubt that Fidesz, whatever it claims, is solely focused on perpetuating its rule at the expensive of democracy and the rule of law.  Playing games with the EU, by providing English translations that underplay the nastiness of each new law, didn't work too well, as there are folks who can read Hungarian.

During the one month that the constitution was open for public debate, the Hungarian government sent an English translation to the European Commission, as EU law requires it to do. But the English translation left out the controversial and inflammatory preamble. The preamble asserts that sovereignty rests in the Hungarian “nation” (that is, ethnic Hungarians and not Hungarian citizens of all ethnicities). It also includes potentially destabilizing references to Hungary’s “historic constitution” that implicitly laid claim to territories now belonging to neighboring states.
To be sure, these irredentist claims will not go anywhere.  Hungary does not have the capability to revise the boundaries, but it is clear that the leaders of Fidesz are playing to a vary narrow hunk of its base on these kinds of issues.  And it is abundantly clear that the pursuit of political power within Hungary is bad for the country.  Sounds familiar to me.

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