Some people think the speech of the Prime Minister at Tusnádfürdő (Baile Tusnad) means the start of a new era while others say “there’s nothing new in the sun”. What was said can be interpreted in several ways: it is believed that a dictatorial system is being built on the first hand while others consider this speech which shows the intent to find the right way. Policy Agenda has examined the speech what practical effects it can have from the aspect of the settlement of the power.
So far it has been unorthodox, from now on illiberal
Clearly, the continuous battles and the internal and external conflicts make constant explanations necessary for the loyal voters. The speech of Tusnádfürdő (Baile Tusnad) is a corner-stone for this. At the same time the speech aims at establishing unlimited sweep for daily practising the power. For this, it is needed that a vision of a new system should be offered instead of the current one.
The previous governing cycle could be qualified as unorthodox in one word. This notion was introduced and used by the governing political parties continuously. The keyword of this period might be “illiberal” in a certain domestic interpretation. It is against liberalism as a swear-word.
Was the speech really about anything?
In addition to “illiberal”, the other main notion of the speech was “anything”. According to the Prime Minister, anything may happen. This expresses the whole thesaurus of political sweep. The previous four years were also characterised by this, there is nothing new from this aspect. However, it is worth paying attention from the aspect of what political orbit the speech specifies to the government for the coming four years:
1. It lays the foundation of conflict for the coming four years.Since 1990, the basis of Hungarian democracy has been the continous battle between the right and left sides. Both sides have shown this easily as the battle of good and bad. After the spring elections, it can not be felt authentic if the left side continued to be the main enemy therefore a new enemy is needed.
In order to make non-governmental organisations or some of them enemies, they should be strengthened virtually. The governing party has used two things for this: the accusation of acquiring influence by the aid of foreign money and the extent of the problem that even the Prime Minister must treat.
This element has made the bed for the government to have the enemy against whom position can be constructed.
2. It lays the foundations for the flow of increasing the state wealth then selling it to private individuals. In the world system of Orbán, the ratio of public wealth must be high because the state will be able to counter-balance the damages caused by liberalism and the abuse by dominating power. The recipe of this is further acquiring property by the State in this context (such a thing will be not for profit public services in some sectors), however, it should be admitted that the speech does not mention that the continuation of the State’s accquiring wealth will be transferring the property to private owners (the system of the spare banks, sale of MKB Bank after its consolidation).
At the same time all acquisitions by the State will become legitimate at least in this political interpretation because it is needed for building the new world system.
3. Maintaining the political sweep in order to establish the new power settlement.In 2017 the mandate of the current President of the Republic will expire. It is clear that this will oblige the governing parties to take a step. The current mandating of the President of the Republic for a new 5-year period is an opportunity offering itself, which the governing parties can reason and are able to realise in a grounded way.
This simple scenario can be overwritten by the case where the governing parties would re-tailor the emphasis of State governance among the role-players of the current public law system. This means the strong rights for the president of the republic (strengthened by codification right and veto in sime personal matters), who, for its function, will be able to battle for national interests better in the interpretation of Orbán. This half-presidential system will not be the prisoner of the debates among political parties or the internal conflicts of the government. At least, this narrative can be affixed to this.
If we analyse the effects of the speech on day-to-day politics then it will lay the foundations for the current Prime Minister to cast himself for the part of the President of the Republic – empowered by strengthened rights – in 2017 (the construction of an illiberal state bears this).
The first steps can be taken for making such a scenario true in order that it can be reasoned for their own basis of loyal voters. The concept of a new kind of state, the construction of an illiberal state can result in this and the Prime Minister has made the bed for this opportunity. If the governing parties vote for that, then a question still remains: what unorthodox tools will they use in order to realise this…