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2011-05-02

Cutting on the stealth

With the presentation of the Convergence Programme, Fidesz is adding more specifics to its economic policy approach. In an extraordinary feat of communication, it has successfully embedded austerity measures within its economic programme and used the hubbub surrounding the constitution to divert attention from the less savoury specifics of said programme.
Cutting on the stealth

With the presentation of the Convergence Programme, Fidesz is adding more specifics to its economic policy approach. In an extraordinary feat of communication, it has successfully embedded austerity measures within its economic programme and used the hubbub surrounding the constitution to divert attention from the less savoury specifics of said programme. This worked, and Fidesz is unlikely to face a backlash on account of implementing budget cuts that appear inconsistent with its rhetoric in opposition.

With all the justified commotion surrounding the new constitution, the boringly titled Convergence Programme 2011-2015 flew almost under the radar. While it did not pass entirely unnoticed, it did get less attention than it ordinarily would have, had it not been timed to fortuitously coincide with the adoption of Fidesz’ controversial basic laws.

If you look at the standard calculus of political communication - i.e. pocketbook issues trump symbolically charged, but seemingly less important issues - then this whole scenario was inspired by genius. This is not to say, of course, that the constitution is only a symbolic issue. In fact, it is most likely the most important substantial piece of legislation adopted by Fidesz during this term, and it may shape the Hungarian polity for decades to come.

Policy Solutions' analysis of the government's economic measures, detailed in the Convergence Programme can be downloaded from here.



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Policy Solutions is a progressive political research institute based in Budapest. It was founded in 2008 and it is committed to the values of liberal democracy, solidarity, equal opportunity and European integration. The focus of Policy Solutions’ work is on understanding political processes in Hungary and the European Union. Among the pre-eminent areas of our research are the investigation of how the quality of democracy evolves, the analysis of factors driving euroscepticism, populism and the far-right, and election research. 

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