“If our MP won’t be of Fidesz, we will suck d*ck“, said the Fidesz mayor of Putnok to his fellow mayors in the region before the general elections in 2018.
The same applies to this year’s local elections a hundredfold. Just to give you an idea ‘why people vote for Fidesz’. And why the non-Fidesz votes are more likely to end up invalid when the local mayors’ offices are counting them.
„I will draw Gyurcsány* on one ass cheek, and Vona** on the other, and let people kick them. It will hurt, but it will be worth it, because they belong there. Fidesz will win – you are of course clear about that – and if our MP won’t be of Fidesz, we will suck dick. They give horse shit to a region where the representative is not of Fidesz. The truth is, neither would I. Those who don’t vote for us – because we will know who they are – they will see what they get.”
“Elections come and go as we all know. Voters are not always thinking correctly. They let people to the honey pot*** who do not belong there, who belong under the guillotine.”
*/the PM until Orbán won in 2010, political weakling but potent Fidesz bogeyman – ed./
**/then leader of Jobbik, extreme right opposition party – ed./
***He means public funds. He doesn’t even pretend that public office is somehow about benefiting the public.
Regions, towns and villages have every incentive to vote for the winning party at the best of times. They get more resources from Budapest and their cronies get to bathe in public funds for the next four years.
Under Fidesz, the pressure got even higher. Not only did the size of the available public funds balloon a hundredfold thanks to EU-funds, the opposition towns’ share of the cake has been set to exactly 0%.
Not only that, but by 2018 everything has been centralized, local authorities are not allowed to keep any revenues, even new chalks for the schools needs to be procured with funds from Budapest – which rarely comes. This is one of the reasons why local institutions stopped bothering to ask altogether and just milk parents for everything, from painting classrooms and building toilets. And that’s just the schools.
It is an oft-repeated and not at all secret policy of Orbán to starve the opposition completely. No one can get or keep a job, get public funds, avoid being hunted by authorities if they expose themselves as dissenters. Towns can see their funding cut for not voting for Fidesz hard enough, even if the Fidesz candidate wins.
One of the reason is political vengeance. The other is dwindling funds to distribute. The politically hand-picked cronies may have been assisted by Orbán to accumulate wealth and assets – but they couldn’t run them to prosperity if their life depended on them. They have simply never known how. Winning billions through sports events and similarly unnecessary but overpriced public tenders may make them rich, but not able to run their newly bought industries – even if they don’t squirrel out the funds to offshore accounts to begin with.
At any rate, every election is a dilemma for the voter, any many choose to guess the winner rather than risking voting for a favored non-Fidesz candidate. And since 2010, guessing is not even needed. The winner will be Fidesz, as our mayor so eloquently put it, and everyone knows that. The election law made sure of that. No media, no funding, nor any livelihood for the opposition made sure of that. Huge fines and penalties made sure of that. An intimidated public made sure of that. Angry, voluntary enforcers of Orbánism made sure of that. A weird election night made sure of that with a last minute plot twist (much like during the election night of Trump, Brexit, and a suspicious amount of other Putin-favored causes and candidates all over the world recently).
So the only thing you can achieve by not voting for Orbán is inconvenience and financial ruin for yourself, your town, your region. You can gain nothing by voting for an opposition candidate. If the opposition wins, your village will be punished for it. If he loses, your village may be punished for not voting for Fidesz hard enough.
It has been 9 years now. Say, between your ages 25-34. Have you had enough of your little tantrums yet? Have you finished being stubborn for nothing? Do you want to start a family or not? Why keep resisting? Change your mind and then voting for an autocrat won’t even feel bad. And if it feels wrong as an individual, imagine how much easier it is to let go of morals and dignity as a collective entity – as a town you represent. And that is the apparent job description of mayors, definitely this mayor.
In this political milieu, the words of Putnok’s mayor are not shocking. Nor is he the only one saying them. Mayors from all over the country panicked after April 2018, when they towns did vote for Fidesz, but not strongly enough. How are we going to get funded after this – they cried out, often publicly. Many mayors openly campaigned for Fidesz, using their own offices and the entire infrastructure of the local offices. Nothing happened to them. They may be outed by the non-Fidesz media for their social media posts about using the company phone to campaign for Orbán, but no prosecutor would ever hurt an over-eager loyalist.
And that, in turn, makes everyone lower their expectations as to what can be done with immunity. Many have no idea that this thing is not legal. Those who were socialized under the near-identical communist regime before 1989 don’t see any difference. You would have to explain it to them why that is not OK to order voters to vote for the government. You don’t have to explain Orbán’s regime to them.
And this mayor received the knighthood of the country from the president on August 20.
Featured image: screenprint by 444.hu