Hungary continued…

Hungary continued...

Finally there’s a good English language video, courtesy of BBC, that clearly summarizes recent Hungarian events. If you care about the topic I urge you to watch it!

Hungarian democracy and prosperity

‘in question’

To my Hungarian friends and family: I’m just hopeful that more publicity and shared knowledge outside Hungary can only lead to more attention and eventually solutions for Hungarians.

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In the meantime the latest Sonda Ipsos national survey is just out:

Fidesz: 16% ↓ (right-wing current government party)
MSZP: 11% –   (Socialists)
Jobbik: 8% ↓   (ultra-right)
LMP: 4% ↑      (new party, most commonly called the H. Greens)
DK: 2% –
no party preference given (!!!): 57% ↑
those who think the country is going in the wrong direction: 84%
Score card for the government: 19/100
Score card for the opposition: 19/100
Perhaps the biggest question is how to gain the support of the 57% and what will happen next in this complete vacuum of legitimacy?

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Update: currently the IMF is in negotiations with the Hungarian government for an urgent injection of loans without which Hungary might be bankrupt very soon. The basic conditions from the IMF is that Hungary ‘resolves’ its outstanding bank-related issues with the European Union. What democratic pressure cannot achieve, financial pressure can! I’m not hoping for a lot, the Hungarian govt is playing hardball, even at this point, at least to its national audience. Yet, some elementary changes will have to occur that can only push the govt’s anti-democratic stance back a few notches. Unfortunately the loans will come with strict conditions and guess who is going to pay the prices for those? The Hungarian people. So I have mixed emotions: relieved that finally there’s a mechanism to make the Hungarian govt change some of its position, but sad that for all this eventually the Hungarian people will have to pay, and pay for decades to come.

*  *  *  *  *

Paul Krugman in the NYTimes explores beautifully how and why Fidesz’s intentions and use of the Parliament differs from that of other EU governments despite its arguments that it is acting in accordance with other democracies.

There’s a lot more in his writing here in Krugman’s ‘The conscience of a liberal’. But let me quote a bit from him:

“So why, then, did the Hungarian government adopt this new constitution? It is not because the public demanded it. It is not because the new constitution replaced a communist constitution. It is not because the religious beliefs of the public urged it. And it is not because it is within the European mainstream.

The Fidesz government, facing ever-sharper criticism from abroad and from within its own public, insists that Hungary is simply misunderstood. And it repeats that it had a popular mandate, that it is ending communism, that it respects the religious sensibility of Hungarians and that it is well within the European mainstream.

But some of us still live in the reality-based community, where it is normal to work forward from evidence to conclusions rather than the other way around. When one looks at the Hungarian government’s explanations for why this new constitution was necessary, none hold up under scrutiny.

Yes, the Hungarian government is misunderstood – by itself. It misunderstands its own position in the world and with the citizens of Hungary. “

ConFest and camping trip

ConFest and camping trip

Chris and I are back from our camping trip around NSW. We are dirty, tired and happy to be back home.

We started out by driving to Mulemein for two days in a hired campervan, which was more promising in comfort than turned out to be. Still, was good to have a small mobile home.

Mulemein is 80km South-West of Deniliquin which is in the SW corner of NSW, closer to Melbourne than Sydney by many hours. After a La Nina cold wet beginning to summer we didn’t expect ferocious heat, but that’s exactly what we got! Each day got hotter by a few degrees, finally reaching 41C for the campers, but not for us… we left the site before all hell broke loose and headed towards Canberra to chill out in a state forest before returning home.

ConFest was marvelous in lots of ways: wonderful alternative people, a great spirit, gorgeous if utterly badly placed campsite, lovely Edward river and all the community spirit you could want. Unfortunately our car battery died straight after leaving home and it took several days to get new batteries. By then we were short on essential supplies and in danger of landing the most uncomfortable trip… so we changed plans.

Left ConFest, started driving towards the coast, got new batteries and supplies and sought refuge in camping sites and state forests. The sites were varied but all very hot still! We spent NYE under the stars in a lovely camping ground, which however turned into wildlife hell at 5am with hundreds of birds descending on the nearby river. By 7am black and white cows were licking our windows (from a guy who lives on those grounds with livestock). The comic relief wasn’t enough compensation for lost sleep and discomfort.

Billapaloola state forest near the ACT provided much better shelter with less heat, fewer bugs, no fellow humans and certainly no cows. We spent the last two days there finally catching our breath, going on walks, watching the stars, cooking food and chilling.

No more ConFest during summer, but I’m eagerly preparing for our Tassie trip in 3 weeks already! 🙂

Happy New Year + 2010 in my life

Happy New Year + 2010 in my life

Wanted to wish you a Happy New Year, let’s hope 2012 will be an awesome one for all of us!

Looking back on 2011, for me it was a mostly lovely and fruitful year with the occasional serious difficulty and hardship…

January – lots of birthday celebrations, especially around Chris turning 30 and my mum turning 60! Poly socialising, summer catch-ups, yummy reading and getting my owl!

February – Melbourne shenanigans, gearing up for teaching and research and Chris moving in with me in Randwick 🙂

March – first poly float in the Mardi Gras parade!! The rest is a blur from teaching :/

April – visits at friends’ places, NVC practice, Xplore workshops, and presenting a paper on polyamory at the Unacceptable Conference.

May – deepening of a beautiful secondary relationship.. even though it didn’t work out I cherish it very much still. Lots of yoga, preparing a teaching award application, guest lectures, concerts… and then finishing the month with a nasty cold and flu that floored me for weeks.

June – lots of essay marking, doctors, coffees with friends and the Sydney Film Festival with Chris!

July  – both awesome and awful: amazing trip to Far North Queensland with Chris and a brief but very unpleasant stint at the local hospital.

August – heaps of teaching and Open Day work at MQ, getting into e-readers, watching our poly segment on SBS, plotting for better poly representation.

September – lots of work, poly discussions and NVC, Jamberoo rainforest and Kiama.

October – taiko drumming, Columbian airlines party, getting my article published (‘Polyamory and the media’), getting rings with Chris 🙂

November – Sculpture by the Sea, dinner parties, Centennial Park, workshops at uni.

December – wrapping up work, my birthday cocktail party, catch ups, Xmas at Chris’ family, ConFest and camping trip with Chris!

My hopes for 2012: in my work life: steady work and plotting for new collaborative research, learning some new skills and hoping to get tenure at MQ soon. In my private life: some great surprises, ease, joy and growth with beautiful people around me, celebration and mourning as they are needed, plotting to move to a different area, and lots of awesome moments of understanding, connection, acceptance and love.

(artwork by aherming on DeviantArt)