The success of the illiberal vision – Orbán’s rise to power

Most populist parties start out as radicals, and once they have managed to build up a solid base they will gradually shift to somewhat more moderate positions. Hungary’s populist governing party goes the other way: Fidesz, the Alliance of Young Democrats ran as a liberal party on the first free Hungarian elections. At the time their main target audience was educated young people who were looking for a democratic alternative to state socialism. Today they promote “illiberalism,” and their popularity is based on fearmongering.

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