In Part 1 of this post, I outlined the basics of Hungary’s new electoral law. Now I turn to the question of what we should make of the changes introduced.
Before I get going, I should say that others have been following Hungary’s electoral reform debates over recent months and years more closely than I have. I offer my impressions here partly because I know many non-Hungarian-speakers want to know more than they can at present about what has happened, and partly in the hope of initiating conversation with those in Hungary who know much more than I do. I hope you will point out errors, omissions, and points that I ought to think about in more detail.
The key question in thinking about an electoral reform concerns whose interests it is designed to serve. Is it imposed by the government to protect its own interests (what I have elsewhere called elite majority imposition)? Is it agreed among politicians more widely (elite settlement)? Or does it reflect pressure from below, which politicians feel compelled in greater or lesser measure to accommodate (elite–mass interaction)?