BRIEFLY ABOUT US, BUT NOW SERIOUSLY
The Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party is a creative grassroots community that likes humor and believes in direct actions. Not your ordinary political group yet already much more than a joke party.
In 2016, we realized that there’s more to life than creating sociocritical art. Since then, we are introducing and reintroducing people to public life. Everything we do stems from ideas and expectations of the members of our community.
This community is growing and there’s a real need for us in Hungary. This is why we’ve been frequently participating in elections and why slowly people started to label us politicians.
No party in Hungary has ever tried anything even similar to what we are doing…well, actually, not even abroad so we don’t really have any examples to give you.
We always have to figure out the next step as part of an organic process. On top of that, we also have to stand up to criticism from conventional politicians, criticism like we don’t have any vision of today’s Hungary.
HOW DO WE SEE TODAY’S HUNGARY?
The Fidesz (Hungarian Civic Alliance, Hungary’s ruling party since 2010) government’s greatest crime, besides the endless stealing, is that it made hatred the center of its politics to stay in power. In the meantime, it’s establishing within the EU a Russian-style dictatorial establishment – and it’s hard to get any more dictatorial than Russia.
Many thought we left these sorts of systems behind once and for all with the system change in 1990. Yet this government’s power techniques made this country sadder and more vulnerable with each year.
We consider today’s so-called political opposition a part of the system. Regardless of whether they know it, they are aiding the survival of this system by acting the same way they always did these past decades. They are mostly concerned about positions and don’t learn from anything. This supposedly traditional way of politicking has lost its meaning – it just doesn’t fit the nature of the system that’s taking form since 2010. Now really, why would anyone be interested in whatever any talking head from the opposition has to say about how they’d govern when there is not even a minimal chance for them to get there after 14 years of Fidesz?
At the same time, we strive not to define ourselves against something since no matter what government we have, it still makes sense to turn our country into a better place.
THE SITUATION IS HOPELESS, BUT…
After the great collapse of the opposition coalition at the 2022 elections, we’ve been listening to the following “explanations”:
- We must stop with civil-war logics. Most voters aren’t satisfied with having to choose between “Fidesz-Notfidesz”.
- The goal is to make people vote for, and not against something.
- Focus should be on free and meaningful civil cooperation.
- An alternative should always be presented both inside and outside the Parliament.
- Attention should be given to local issues and active citizens should be organized into a national community.
We think the Dog Party is doing exactly this. And we will show you how, point by point.
There’s more than a choice between two evils. Politics shouldn’t be about hating the other camp but about solving our common problems. Everyday good deeds performed communally, let them be repainting a bench, renovating a bus stop, or organizing a book-club – all these already contribute to building a community. Thus, they all constitute political acts and public issues.
Once more and more citizens make this philosophy their own, that will turn this system inside out.
“ALL I NEED IS THE VISION DIVINE”
It’s customary to hold us accountable for not having a vision, while we actually could say a lot of things that would make us look like a serious people’s party. Things like that in a Hungary led by the Dog Party, the 16th month pension is going to be made of sausages…or that humans should be placed into the center of the economy.
We have a different strategy: our actions speak for our principles, and we only talk about what we can truly influence. We distance ourselves from self-serving parties.
This is the reason why often we are the only ones to stand behind causes without the promise of great publicity or popularity. Like when we opposed every hate campaign since 2015, no matter the target.
The Dog Party likes to laugh while it’s an open, tolerant, and socially sensitive community. This is true even if we don’t bark about it all the time and didn’t put together a program in 69813 pages.
And guess what, more and more of you began to understand and appreciate it.
THIS HOT-DOG MIGHT BE COOKING FOREVER BUT IT’S TASTY AND WILL STAY HOT FOR LONG
Most parties’ activists don’t have a lot to do between elections. It’s very important for us to engage as many people as we can with politics in a broader sense. You can do something truly meaningful in public life too – as a professor, an artist, a locksmith or whatever.
Our passivists are not organized from above. We don’t expect them to do what we tell them but the other way around. We occupy ourselves with issues members of our community wish to work on, providing them with the necessary help.
This is why every local Dog Party organization is shaped by the issues the local passivists busy themselves with. We believe in You, active, creative citizens. We don’t think public figures’ job should be limited to giving press conferences, promising all the nice things and scolding each other.
Once most voters will take local issues into their own hands and focus on their own public life, once they will force politicians to care about them instead of party politics; only then will they vote for normal parties. For us, for example.
There are more of us who think this way, only we don’t know about each other.
The Dog Party’s most important task therefore is to give the willing civilians the background, the resources and the forum they need.
NO POWER IN YOUR HANDS? GRAB A BRUSH!
Fixing a broken bench will make you happy to know you did something tangible. More than this, it will make you understand that you can actually make an impact on the world surrounding you. Then you’ll start listening more to local lawmakers. Then you’ll start looking into matters of your area.
This is how our communities grow. First you laugh at our jokes, then you send us messages with your suggestions, then you become a passivist, paint the playground climber, and ultimately, we govern the world together.
Us having found a way to organize all this within the party was a major improvement. Our coordinators now work all around the country to welcome all new joiners. We give online introductory presentations to the new passivists each month, informing them about what we do and how they can join us in all this.
No power in your hands? Grab a brush!
I’M ON THE SAME PAGE BUT… WHAT CAN I DO?
We run local clubs, organize camps, thematic meetings, and events to unite you all and to make you understand: There are more of us who can do better than hating.
This is MKKP’s main activity, at least for now. It’s important that citizens stop complaining and get together when they see a problem: fix that bench or at least call the public’s attention to the problem.
Our methods work. Thanks to our actions those responsible suddenly find time to fix stuff that somehow previously escaped their attention. Also, the passivists included get to experience our authorities’ attitude towards help from citizens. This will certainly make them more involved in local and national politics.
We also created the online platform Ministry of Extraordinary Affairs where anyone can report problems from their area. When it’s possible we solve it with the help of our passivists, or at least we bring it to the limelight.
Our human rescue squad, among other things, collects and distributes donations and coordinates a lot of people of great intentions. For instance, by adopting the management duties of the Szabadfogas (Hangin’ Around) movement.
In the middle of the campaign, we ran a relief tent for 133 days next to Budapest’s Nyugati railway station to help the arriving Ukrainian refugees. Mainly food, clothing and hygiene packs were handed out. We also found accommodation for many of them.
Besides this, we renovate homeless shelters if needed, collect money for school accessories or food, or even for the renovation of burnt down houses. We have been present at the Budapest and Pécs Pride marches for years.
We plant plants, fight for good quality waste, and help animal shelters. After our waste-renovating action in Zugló (District 14, Budapest), the municipality decided it’s better to dispose of illegal waste from its territory. In Terézváros (District 6, Budapest), we cleaned the area of the Ferdinand bridge (territory of the National Railways) by actually fishing for rubbish. Then we stole a lot of rubber and other tchotchke from the creak passing through the territory of the defense forces.
For years now, we’ve been organizing loads of free courses in many fields ranging from welding to economics. Many people wish to pass on their knowledge, and we’re happy to give them a platform and organize everything.
Lecturers of the People’s College all teach for free but they probably don’t see much of a difference between that and salaries in our public education system.
WE GIVE YOUR PUBLIC MONEY BACK
Since the moment we started receiving government campaign financing, now every 4 years, we’ve been giving most of it out in public tenders to individuals and NGOs. We call this system the Sándor Rózsa People’s Campaign Finance Squandering Fund. We managed to distribute HUF 100m in 2018 and 250m in 2022 between the winners.
In this program we supported institutes of special education, independent theaters, animal rescue shelters, recreational clubs. We don’t only yap about cooperating with NGOs – we do it.
We lent our Party Wagon to hundreds of protests and other events so far. We recently helped causes by other means as well: printing banners for Roma organizations and lending projectors for filmmakers and event tents for bicycler gatherings.
FACTS IN NUMBERS. WHAT DID WE DO SINCE 2022?
We’d like to stay true to our words and spend our energy and money on making our society better, including our government financing – your money – and the income of our webshop as well. We try to engage more citizens to get involved with public life. By now more than 8000 passivists and more than 400 oligarchs (in other words: regular financial contributor party members) are in orbit around the party.
Since the 2022 elections, we organized:
- 197 green and social actions,
- 143 events (demonstrations, panel speeches, People’s College lectures),
- 376 city inspections and local club events,
- 908 urban renovating and awareness raising street art performances.
- …and counting.
LOOKEY, WE’VE GOT POLITICAL ACHIEVEMENTS!
- We won the general elections with a 1.79% result in 2018 and with 3.27% in 2022,
- Our Mészáros László received 11% of the votes in Felcsút, running against the Fidesz-delegated Mészáros László. No other “serious” parties dared to run in this district.
- We supported two non-Dog Party politicians two times so far: Krisztina Baranyi was elected mayor in Ferencváros (District 9, Budapest) and Ákos Hadházy won the opposition primaries in Zugló (District 14, Budapest).
- We regularly protest for the legalization of marijuana on Madách square in Budapest.
- We collected more signatures than any other opposition party for the consultation “No-Fudan” – this was part of a civilian campaign against the construction of the Chinese elite university instead of the previously accepted plans of the establishment of a student district.
- We assisted students’ and teachers’ protests 16 times by printing materials and lending our megaphones, speakers, and mobile stage to the organizers.
- We issued the most transparent and comprehensive campaign finance disclosure in the history of Hungary. If anyone else would state the same, don’t believe it!
- We took the Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Bridge three times to protest the withdrawal of the small taxpayers’ scheme, paying for the fines of the participants.
- Normally, we happily assist other parties and organizations when we think the cause is worth it, just like in the case of NOlimpia in 2016 and the previously mentioned NO Fudan in 2021. We’d actually appreciate being involved in something that doesn’t start with NO for a change.
TWO TAILED LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
We technically dominated the whole country during the 2019 elections. It’s only a shame that we ran almost nowhere. Besides this, we can mention activities of representatives and of our one deputy mayor to support our campaign efforts:
- The transparency program “This is the Minimum!” was initiated by Veronika Juhász in Budapest’s District 2. Ferencváros did more than the bare minimum: After 10 years of Fidesz-ruling, Zsuzsanna “Suzi” Döme, our deputy mayor in the district, found a lot of overpriced and redundant contracts. She checked them all, then she canceled and re-negotiated each of them.
- Party co-leader Gergő (Gergely) Kovács spent more time with District 12 mayor Zoltán Pokorni’s public procurements than he ever wanted to. It’s business as usual: most of them are pre-arranged, the same participants win year after year and – all of this is legal. We got so frustrated that we came up with a package of suggestions that can bring real competition into the Hungarian public procurement system.
- We are preventing representatives from accumulating wealth. For some reason, Gergő Kovács was appointed chair of the audit committee for representatives’ financial disclosures. After realizing that his hourly wage as chair was HUF 57m (appr. EUR 148k) he got so scared he quickly terminated the committee. We tried to achieve the same with the same committee in Ferencváros but ultimately the joint forces of Fidesz and the opposition (a coalition of six parties) managed to prevent us from doing so.
- Civil cooperation: despite all efforts from district reps to dissuade Suzi, it was Ferencváros where the largest and most rapidly assembled volunteering network was created during the first wave of COVID. At places where we couldn’t influence the events from within, it was us and our passivists who organized help for the locals – instead of the local government.
- Still in Ferencváros, Suzi completely ruined the local procurement system with all her stupid “inventions” like not checking organizations’ political affiliations but whether they are doing what they promised in their applications.
- In a time when local governments are closing public institutions due to their strained budgets, Suzi launched two of them with minimal funding: Konnektor, a civil art incubator that could serve as the new model for public education projects of the 21st century, while Bakáts Bunker, according to experts, filled a critical gap in the city’s art world.
- At the initiative of Veronika Juhász, Budapest’s District 2 sent public procurement tenders with restricted invitations in retirement. She initiated a new public tendering scheme and transformed her office hours into meet-the-people sessions and civic education meetups where they learn in groups about local governing. The municipality assessed the situation of the local homeless and now provides them with hot meals during winter and launched a rehabilitation program for them as well. Still upon her suggestion, trees cut in public places are distributed as firewood among local families in need.
- We treat MKKP Watchdog, our investigational project, as a matter of some priority. It was launched in various constituencies, most notably in District 12 (Budapest) by Gergő Kovács. Our future representatives will also be involved in these investigations and will eventually write long, multi-page reports on their findings to inform the public. We find this to be one of the main duties of a representative.
COURSES ON LOCAL GOVERNING
We understand the responsibilities of our activity. This is why we put together a training for our candidates so they can acquire the relevant knowledge to properly do their jobs once elected.
Today, as a local representative, you have one of the most relaxed jobs in Hungary: you get paid for 5 years without ever needing to know anything about local governing itself, nothing about public procurement or any of your duties, mandatory or voluntary.
This is why, already in autumn 2022, we launched a complex training for those Dog Party candidates who expressed their wishes to run in the 2024 elections.
We think that every rep should undergo a profound, multi-round educational program before taking their seats in the local government. If it were up to us, we’d make this obligatory for everyone but for now we can only enforce it in-house.
This is especially important because currently one can achieve a lot more in local governments than in the Parliament.
SMART DRUG POLICY
We are the only party in Hungary that represents a consistent pro-legalization position on marijuana.
The government understands that the current legislation is not viable since they also don’t enforce it themselves. Your local tobacco shop offers a great variety of tools for rolling while it’s illegal to smoke weed in the country. Most people, of course, can buy the stuff whenever they want.
However, drug policy doesn’t only concern weed. Fidesz dismantles expert organizations and committees because, needless to say, politicians again are the only ones who truly know the ins and outs of this matter. This government spends nearly nothing on the care system and prevention. It may not be the trending method, but we prefer to consult the actual professionals.
Would these politicians only do as much as to listen to professional advice when proposing legislations, that would already result in smarter drug policy. Just to mention a few examples: real care network, less demonization of weed and fewer hypocritical, unenforceable legislations.
ASPIRATIONS FOR WORLD DOMINATION
All other parties managed to lie bigger than us during the 2019 campaign. And they didn’t even joke, supposedly.
Maybe next time we’ll also campaign with European minimum wage and standardized European pensions…or maybe not.
Although we were approached by many, if we make it to the European Parliament, we won’t join any of the existing factions. We will however try to dogparticize those parties to be able to team up with someone.
Following the example of our national campaign finance squandering fund, we plan to launch the European Robin Hood Public Money Squandering Fund and we will definitely passivize the Hungarian expats, like when we helped create Hungarian libraries in Dublin and Cardiff by giving them some of our previous campaign funds.
Our further plans are mega-super classified.
One thing is for sure: Hungary’s place, despite any rumors and well-deserved criticism, is within the European Union. Should you have any doubts, just think about this:
In 2024, we want to show Europe: even though the current political situation displays examples taken from Russia, most of this country is not like that. There are really nice folks living here too.