Hungary is holding the so called quota referendum on Sunday over the EU’s controversial refugee numbers policy. The question is: Do you want the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary even without the approval of the National Assembly? The government initiated the poll and want a big ‘no’ vote.
“We want more people to go and clearly give their opinion as to whether they find it possible that the institutions of the EU can decide without asking the Hungarian Parliament in a decision that is about who do we want to live with in our country,” said Zoltán Kovács government spokesman
The Hungarian opposition is split on this question. The far-right Jobbik also says no, it is only the Hungarian Liberal Party (with 1 MP in parliament) which backs a ‘yes’ vote. Each of the left-wing parties have urged voters not to take part in the referendum. It’s a stance supported by some NGO’s which are calling on voters to spoil their ballots.
With the help of community funding, the Two-Tailed Dog Party is the second biggest spender on advertising during the campaign. They use ample doses of humour on their billboards like this whicha says.. Did you know? An average Hungarian sees more UFOs than migrants during his lifetime.
Gergo Kovacs is leader of the Two-tailed Dog party: “If there is a serious number of invalid votes that can best show the government that there is no need to make hate campaigns like this.”
Polls suggest the ‘no’ camp will win Sunday’s referendum as some government critics agree with it over migrant politics.
The question is whether enough people will take part in order to validate the ballot. and then of course what happens after that.
According to political analyst Attila Juhász, the referendum has significance well beyond Hungary’s border: “The domestic question is how much Viktor Orbán can strengthen his power with this referendum and sweep away this already weak opposition, and the international question is how far can he go with his politics that destabilise the European Union, and try to – let’s say – divide member states, as this is what the Hungarian government has been doing in the last one and a half years regarding migration.”
According to one recent survey, negative feelings about refugees have increased since last September. Now some 44 percent of Hungarians think that migrants should be treated with more humanity, a drop of eight percent.
However a third of Hungarians also say it is not their duty to help refugees, while less than a fifth believe the country should show more solidarity.