Unequal Nation Building Project? – Hungary’s Biased Electoral System
A restructured and modified paper based on this was published in 2019: Nagy, Alíz, and Péter Kállai. „Parliamentary Representation of Nationalities and Kin-Minorities – Hungary’s Biased Electoral System”. European Yearbook of Minority Issues 17 (2019).
35 Pages Posted: 6 May 2022 Last revised: 9 May 2022
Date Written: 2019
The present paper unfolds the inequalities of the Hungarian parliamentary electoral system and their consequences for Hungarian politics and the definition of the political community. It identifies main elements of a strategy: majoritarian bias, differentiation based on ethnicity or residency status of citizens and potential misuse of power encoded in the system. Through the joint examination of these elements, a comprehensive analysis of the definition of the Hungarian political community – realized by the Hungarian electoral system and expressed in Hungary’s Fundamental Law (i.e. Constitution) – as an ethno-cultural community of unequal citizens is offered. It is shown that the distortions built into the system are significant not only because they embody a nation building project in which one citizen is worth more than another, but also because they offer fertile ground for political manipulation and misuse for the government in order to retain power.
Keywords: electoral system, nation concepts, citizenship, national minorities, transborder Hungarians, voting rights
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