Politics

Justin Trudeau appearing in brownface in a 2001 Yearbook.

Some thoughts on Justin Trudeau’s brownface controversy and saying sorry

By Hungary’s exceedingly low standards when it comes to accountability and political civility, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be commended for what did seem like a heartfelt and unequivocal apology for having appeared in brownface in 2001, when he was a teacher at Westpoint Point Grey Academy in Vancouver. It is nearly inconceivable to imagine that a politician in […]

by · September 19, 2019 · Politics
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós (left) and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán share a light moment.

Budapest Mayor István Tarlós shamed America with the removal of Roosevelt’s name

In 2011 the Budapest City Council led by Mayor István Tarlós renamed one of the most beautiful squares in Budapest. After 64 years Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s name was stripped from the oblong square in front of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. This decision was a slap in the face of the United States, Hungarian Americans were offended and the Roosevelt […]

by · September 16, 2019 · Politics
Congressman Andy Harris is giving his speech at the 3rd Budapest Demographic Summit on September 5, 2019.

Rep. Andy Harris takes discreet trip to Budapest to attend far-right Demographic Summit

On September 5 as Hurricane Dorian was approaching the US East Coast, Congressman Harris’s office sent out a message: “Update on the planned flood insurance workshop scheduled in Crisfield this evening: due to pending weather, the event is postponed to a later date. My office will gladly provide updates on rescheduling when they become available.” Since Congressman Harris represents Maryland’s […]

by · September 11, 2019 · Politics
Family photo - Lord Ashcroft (left), Mr. Harper, Mr. Orbán, Ms. Novák and Mr. Rogán.

Orbán’s new pals – Stephen Harper, Lord Ashcroft and Robert Lantos

The International Democrat Union (IDU) is an alliance of right wing political parties, headquartered in Munich, Germany and currently chaired by Stephen Harper, the former Prime Minister of Canada. Mr. Harper and his friend, Hungarian-born Canadian film producer, Robert Lantos travelled to Hungary to spend the August 20th National Holiday with far-right authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Lord Ashcroft, conservative […]

by · August 29, 2019 · Politics
Paul Anka (left), Ambassador Cornstein and Prime Minister Orbán enjoying the show.

Bizarre US Embassy Independence Day extravaganza with 800 guests in Budapest

Every year on July 4 the US Embassy in Budapest has a garden party with a couple of dozen invited Hungarian guests to celebrate Independence Day. This has become a decade-long tradition. It seems that Ambassador Cornstein likes to give big parties, I mean giant parties. On July 9 he invited 800 guests (yes, eight hundred) to a sit down […]

by · August 10, 2019 · Politics
Ex-US Ambassadors Nancy Brinker (far right) and April Foley (far left) with Ms. Klára Dobrev current Vice President of the European Parliament.

Republicans discover that Orbán is an unreliable US ally

According to Nancy Goodman Brinker, the former US Ambassador to Budapest, Hungary is now a “former ally.” In a recent opinion piece at the über-conservative media site Newsmax.com, Brinker, a 72-year-old Republican concludes that Hungary’s alliance with the US has turned “unsavory.” (Read Brinker’s opinion piece here.) Brinker writes: “Two decades ago, Mr. Orbán was a centrist who praised the […]

by · August 3, 2019 · Politics
Whitewash — Assessing Robert Mueller’s Testimony Before the House Committees

Whitewash — Assessing Robert Mueller’s Testimony Before the House Committees

On Wednesday. July 24, 2019, tens of millions of Americans and others around the world were given an opportunity to hear directly from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the man in charge of the investigation into the relationship between the Trump Campaign and Russia. Thanks to his 5 hour testimony, we now know that crime pays in America. Mr. Mueller agreed […]

by · July 25, 2019 · Politics
Ágnes Bátory (left) and Sara Svensson

The use and abuse of participatory governance by populist governments

Ágnes Bátory and Sara Svensson both from the Central European University Budapest co-authored a remarkable paper about public consultations. They analyzed Viktor Orbán’s national consultations in Hungary, these are probably the most wide-scale consultative exercises in contemporary Europe. Some of our readers might not know that the Orbán government repeatedly sent questionnaires to every household in the country in some […]

by · June 24, 2019 · Politics
Mr. Levente Magyar (middle) with a member of the Vitézi Rend at the podium of the HungaroFest in Toronto.

Orbán government politician is lobbying against Trudeau in Toronto

According its official description HungaroFest, a two-day festival recently held in Toronto, was meant “to recognize and celebrate the history, existence and integration of the Hungarian people within Canada.” The festival included Hungarian music, folklore and dance. Local artists were invited along with performers from Hungary such as Republic, Budapest Bár and Tom White & the Mad Circus. The festival […]

by · June 12, 2019 · Politics
Sándor Kerekes’ exchange with Lord Peter Lilley on the deception of Brexit

Sándor Kerekes’ exchange with Lord Peter Lilley on the deception of Brexit

In January this year Lord Peter Lilley, member of the Upper House, came to Budapest to the invitation of the Danube Institute to give a lecture about the Brexit and its prospects. (The video of the lecture can be seen here.) It was early days to form any judgement about it, but there were questions abound already. His presentation was […]

by · June 4, 2019 · Politics