Local Opinion: Mayday Ruminations About Working Class Hungarians

  • 2 May 2018 9:12 AM
  • BudaPost
Local Opinion: Mayday Ruminations About Working Class Hungarians
A left-wing commentator calls on NGO's to enlighten impoverished Fidesz voters about their real interests, and explain to them how the government is acting against them. A conservative columnist, on the other hand, calls the government’s workfare program a huge success.

In 24.hu, Mónika Pál wonders why voters in the poorest rural regions were even more likely to vote for Fidesz than middle class Hungarians. The left-wing commentator explains the popularity of Fidesz in this cohort by the dependency of poor voters on Fidesz and the fact that village dwellers mostly follow the pro-government public media.

Pál thinks that poor voters dependent on public work schemes and other social benefits live in a ‘false consciousness’ and support hierarchical and unfair social norms despite what their own personal interests would dictate. Thus, poor voters ‘identify with their oppressors and do not even want social change’.

She concludes by suggesting that it is the task of NGOs to educate poor people and help them grasp the real issues at stake – which are not immediately obvious to them.

Magyar Hírlap’s Ottó Nagy sees the government’s workfare program as a huge success, especially in the most backward regions where whole families have been unemployed for a generation.

The pro-government columnist claims that workfare programs introduced since 2010 boosted employment and significantly reduced the unemployment rate. Nagy thinks that the welfare program of the Left, which focuses on unconditional subsidies, was firmly rejected by Hungarian voters.

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