Viktor Orbán's season opening keynote speech had a number of parts. One part of the speech was delivered – rather curiously – not by the prime minister himself but by János Lázár in Berlin: the leader of the Fidesz parliamentary group stressed the importance of democratic commitment and consensus seeking, and spoke rather self-critically about the government's international performance. The prime minister then delivered his usual speech on assessing last year's performance at the 'Millenáris' convention center, and the day after he spoke to the government groups behind closed doors. These speeches together draw us a picture of the government's political aspirations.
These season opening speeches showed Viktor Orbán's political strategy with unusual openness. Try to retain your key voters, make it obvious to them that your policies will favour them, and strengthen them in their belief that, morally, they are on the right side. Try to occupy the political center stage by stigmatizing your opposition – one on the right (Jobbik) because that is unable; and one on the left that is not worthy of consensus. And if consolidating their new power will be successful, then, in the end, you may say that the ability to govern is yours.
As the opposition parties are unable to offer an alternative to voters leaving Fidesz behind, then one can hardly challenge the strategy of strengthening your base of key voters, and leaving everybody else behind. The consolidation of new power, and the more predictable government offers the benefit of blocking the mood for replacing the current government, and would reduce the next elections to one simple question as to whether or not Orbán has to go.
If it happens this way, then the majority will not find any joy in this.
András Keszthelyi, Vasárnapi Hírek; February 19. 2012.