Saturday, April 10, 2010


. Saturday, April 10, 2010

This is usually The Monkey Cage's purview, but I wanted to call readers' attention to some international election coverage. First, a student of mine called to my attention the fact that Hungary is having elections tomorrow. (Full disclosure: he is the English-language translator for the web site of one of the parties, the LMP.) I know nothing at all about Hungarian politics, but here is how the LMP, tagline "Politics can be different", is describing the issues:

In April of this year, The Republic of Hungary will hold its Parliamentary Elections. The center left party (MSZP) is likely to lose its governing position, while the center right party (FIDESZ) could gain a two-thirds supermajority. Over the past couple of years FIDESZ has been slowly gaining support. Most recent polls have placed FIDESZ at around 60%. Concurrently, a radical right and semi-racist party called “Jobbik” started exhibiting terrifying results in these polls. It is entirely within the roam of possibility that Jobbik will obtain over ten percent of the votes this year. Jobbik is promising to fight “gypsy crime”, openly opposes many of the ideals and basic structures of the European Union, and some of the Jobbik leaders' policies could exasperate tensions between Hungary and neighboring countries. The party commonly uses racial slurs against the Roma and Jews. It is not uncommon to encounter "Árpád sávos" flags at their rallies, the same flag that was used by the Hungarian fascists during the 1940's.

The LMP promises to fight corruption and extreme nationalism, and emphasizes environmental and social justice goals on their site, where the election results can be followed as they develop.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Carvin has a good post at the Duck on the just-declared UK election. Notably absent from the campaign: foreign policy. As she writes, “By Jove! It’s the Economy, Chaps!” that everyone's talking about. Well, that and the usual: corruption, health care, and the sclerosis of the Labour Party.


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