Hungary: Polarisation at the polls

2014 will be a hot year for Hungary from a political point of view. There are three elections to look forward to this year: Parliamentary, European and local elections. Everyone who ever experienced an election campaign in Hungary knows: in the local political arena it is a life-and-death battle. The left and the right sides are enemies for life, with the two large political sides almost hermetically separated from each other. This also casts a shadow on the social interactions of the Hungarian people; in this country there are practically two publics and therefore also two realities.

While one part of the country only looks at media that supports the ruling national conservative government of Viktor Orbán, the other part directs its attention only to the left media – even the so-called intellectuals and opinion leaders from both groups are no exception to this self-imposed blindness. The result is that instead of trying to converse with each other, the people only speak – mostly in a defamatory, hateful tone – past each other.

For the full story, please visit The Budapest Times.

(Photo of Orbán: European Parliament)