Politics Can Be Different

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Politics Can Be Different
Lehet Más a Politika
Leader András Schiffer
Bernadett Szél
Founded 26 February 2009
Headquarters 1136 Budapest, Hegedűs Gyula u. 36.
Ideology Green liberalism
Green politics[1]
Political position Center[2]
Center-left[citation needed]
International affiliation Global Greens
European affiliation European Green Party (member since Nov. 2011)
Colours Green
National Assembly
5 / 199
European Parliament
1 / 21
Website
http://lehetmas.hu/
Politics of Hungary
Political parties
Elections

Politics Can Be Different (alternative translation: 'Another Politics Is Possible') (Hungarian: Lehet Más a Politika, LMP) is a green-liberal[3][4][5][6] political party in Hungary. Founded in 2009, it was one of four parties to win seats in the National Assembly in the 2010 parliamentary election.

History[edit]

Foundation and electoral success[edit]

The party was preceded by a non-governmental organization social initiative founded in 2008, with the purpose of reforming Hungarian politics.[7] LMP shares common ideologies with most green parties. Key issues are environmental protection, sustainable development and the fight against corruption in the current political elite. LMP highlights what they see as the pointlessness of the current partisan division between the left and right-wing forces, and their principle is deliberative democracy, which they believe decreases the distance between the people and the political elite.

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Green politics
Sunflower symbol

The public faces of the organization are currently András Schiffer, a former member of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) and Védegylet, and Bernadett Szél, an economist and NGO worker. At the party's formation, the leading figures also included Benedek Jávor, university professor in environmental law and a founder of Védegylet, Gábor Scheiring, an economist, and Tímea Szabó, a humanitarian worker, who was to head the list presented for the 2009 European Parliament elections. In 2009, LMP received the official endorsement of the European Green Party.[8]

At the 2009 European Parliament elections the party garnered 75,522 votes, (or 2.61% of the total votes), which was less than the 5% needed to gain a seat for the 2009–2014 cycle, though beating the 2.16% received by Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), one of the parties already in the national parliament.[9]

In the 2010 parliamentary elections, the party achieved 7.48% in the first electoral round, thereby clearing the 5 percent electoral threshold, gaining 16 seats in the parliament, though it did not obtain any direct-representational seats.[10] In the local elections of 3 October 2010, LMP gained 54 seats in local city councils, with at least one representative in most of the district councils of the capital, 3 seats in the central council of Budapest, as well as in a few other cities around the country.

Party split[edit]

During the party's congress in November 2012, LMP decided not to join Together 2014, the planned electoral alliance of opposition parties and movements led by Gordon Bajnai. As a result Benedek Jávor, a proponent of the agreement, resigned from his position of parliamentary group leader.[11] Jávor and his supporters (including Tímea Szabó and Gergely Karácsony) founded a platform within the party, called "Dialogue for Hungary" on 26 November 2012. The platform argued in favour of conclusion of an electoral agreement with Bajnai's movement in order to replace "Orbán's regime".[12] Later that day Schiffer, who did not support the cooperation with Bajnai, was elected leader of the LMP parliamentary group for second time.[13]

In January 2013, the LMP's congress rejected again the electoral cooperation with other opposition parties, including Together 2014.[14] As a result members of the party's "Dialogue for Hungary" platform left LMP to form a new political organization. Benedek Jávor announced the eight leaving MPs will not resign from their parliamentary seats. Seven parliamentarians remained in the party, Jávor said negotiations are required for the continued operation of the parliamentary group, according to the house rules, which requires 12 seats. Schiffer did not call the secession as a party split, because, he argued, less than 10% of the LMP's membership decided to leave the party and joined Jávor's new initiative.[15] The leaving MPs established Dialogue for Hungary as an officially registered party in March 2013.[16] After the failed negotiations, the eight MPs also left the parliamentary group which then broken up according to the house rules of the National Assembly.[17]

Recovery[edit]

The 4K! - Fourth Republic! party offered electoral alliance to the LMP. Party leader András Istvánffy called the developments that took place in opposition as "a cleansing process, which will separate those who seek to restore pre-2010 conditions and those who want real regime change."[18] However LMP refused the 4K! party's cooperation offer in September 2013.[19]

Schiffer and Bernadett Szél were elected co-presidents of the LMP during the party's congress on 24 March 2013.[20] The seven MPs of the party were able to re-establish the LMP's caucus on 1 September 2013, after the decision of the Committee on Immunity, Incompatibility and Mandate. The old-new group became the first caucus, where the majority were women in Hungary.[21]

Politics Can Be Different received 5 seats, as barely jumped over the 5% threshold in the 2014 parliamentary election.[22]

Election results[edit]

For the Hungarian Parliament:

Election year National Assembly Government
# of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
2010
383,876
7.48 % (#4)
16 / 386
New party in opposition
2014
252,373
5.26 % (#4)
5 / 199
Decrease 11 in opposition

For the European Parliament:

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/- Notes
20091 75,522 2.61 (#5)
0 / 22
Steady 0
2014 116,904 5.04 (#6)
1 / 21
Increase 1

1 In an electoral alliance with the Humanist Party (HP)

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
  2. ^ Guardiancich, Igor (2013), Pension Reforms in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe: From post-socialist transition to the global financial crisis, Routledge, p. 94 
  3. ^ Wayne C. Thompson (9 August 2012). Nordic, Central and Southeastern Europe 2012. Stryker Post. p. 389. ISBN 978-1-61048-892-1. 
  4. ^ Petr Kopecký; Peter Mair; Maria Spirova (26 July 2012). Party Patronage and Party Government in European Democracies. Oxford University Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-19-959937-0. 
  5. ^ Igor Guardiancich (21 August 2012). Pension Reforms in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe: From Post-Socialist Transition to the Global Financial Crisis. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-136-22595-6. 
  6. ^ Freedom House (24 December 2013). Nations in Transit 2013: Democratization from Central Europe to Eurasia. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 255. ISBN 978-1-4422-3119-1. 
  7. ^ The BpSun Staff (28 October 2008). "LMP to garner protest votes". The Budapest Sun. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  8. ^ Press Release: European Greens Support European Election Campaigns of LMP in Hungary and Zelenite in Bulgaria (EGP News)
  9. ^ "The detailed results of the European Parliamentary elections". 7 June 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  10. ^ http://index.hu/belfold/2010/valasztas/eredmenyek/egyeni/
  11. ^ "Beintett Bajnainak az LMP, lemondott Jávor Benedek". 18 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "LMP fails to elect new parliamentary group leader as split in party continues". 26 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Ismét Schiffer András az LMP-frakció vezetője". 26 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "LMP rejects proposals for new strategy at party congress". 27 January 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "LMP splits over cooperation with Together 2014; caucus may remain intact". 28 January 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "LMP rebels to establish Dialogue for Hungary as a full-fledged party". 4 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Eight breakaway LMP lawmakers to sit as independents". 11 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Small party 4K! seeks alliance with LMP for "regime change"". 7 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "A 4K! önállóan indul a jövő évi választásokon". 29 September 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Szél Bernadett és Schiffer András az LMP két társelnöke" (in Hungarian). Index. 24 March 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "LMP parliamentary group first with female majority in Hungary’s history, says leader". 6 September 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Fidesz wins Hungarian parliamentary election by a landslide". 7 April 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 

External links[edit]