It appears Mr. Krugman has created some much needed media momentum with his December 2011 op-ed “Depression and Democracy,”which highlighted the deterioration of democratic values in Hungary. One of his sources, Kim Lane Scheppele, seems to have been given some regular space on the NY Times blog to devote to the situation in Hungary. Her first post, Hungary’s Constitutional Revolution, appeared on the blog on December 19th. Her second post, The Unconstitutional Constitution, went up earlier today. In it, she decimates the new constitution of Hungary, which became law of the land yesterday. You get the picture from the first paragraph…
“On New Year’s Day, the new Hungarian constitution became law. The Hungarian parliament has been preparing for this event by passing a blizzard of “cardinal” – or super-majority – laws, changing the shape of virtually every political institution in Hungary and making the guarantee of constitutional rights less secure. In the last two weeks alone, the parliament has enacted so many new laws that it has been almost impossible to keep up. And to top it off, there was also a huge new omnibus constitutional amendment – an amendment to the new constitution even before it went into effect. By one commentator’s count, the Fidesz government has enacted 359 new laws since it came to power 18 months ago.”
What follows is an extremely clear and detailed description of what has been folded into this new constitution and how the majority Fidesz government is moving at warp speed to centralize power and ensure their reign for generations to come…democratically, of course. Perhaps Orban has Putin on speed dial? Read her assessment.
We like this Kim Lane Scheppele. A lot. Thanks for introducing her to us, Mr. Krugman. We look forward to hearing more of what she has to say.