What have I seen so far?
Well, the campaign stuff is definitely different from what would be accepted/normal 'at home'!
Each party seems to have chosen a language distinctly of its own.
I havent seen any proper campaign stuff from them yet. But it was campaigning, in a way, already last summer when it organised a "Liberal Week". Took place downtown, Hungarian-language activities I dont know about. All I saw was the balloons.
I was walking down the town square with an American friend, and we saw these kids, and people, with blue balloons, that said, in big letters, EN! EN, you have to know, is Hungarian for "I", or "Me". What could these balloons be about? We joked and speculated. Life ensurance? Headhunters agency? I joked: no, its for the capitalists! You know, a commercial for the capitalist mindset! "Me, me, me, its all only about me!"
Err, so ... it was. It was the balloons of the Liberal Week. (Americans note the different meaning of "liberal" in Europe)
If the elections were about aesthetics, the Socialists would win. Hands down. Their campaign so far has been rather top-down, but prettily so. No hastily glued up posters on street corners for the government party, oh no. Instead, a set of huge, prominently displayed, and noble billboards.
They had one up on the Oktogon, the high-traffic, big square near where I live, and another one, I think, at Blaha Lujza. They showed, for example, in subtle-lit full-colour, the gracious dancer's feet of a girl gently, cautiously walking a balance beam. Another billboard featured a close-up shot of a woman, with a child in her arms, the cut so you could only see her shoulders, arms, and the baby. The billboards otherwise featured nothing but the name and logo of the party, and a single word. "Valour", for example.
Fidesz has by far been the most active out of the starting blocks. Their stuff is everywhere, in the wild on street corners, officially on advertisement pillars and bus stops, and among the cinema pre-movie ads. They've so far come in two flavours: the bland and the evil.
The official Fidesz posters have been bland to the point of meaninglessness, as I pointed out in annoyance on another thread:
The concept was clever enough: first, stickers with different slogans started appearing across town, without any indication of who or what they were by or for, kinda to evoke curiosity.
Also, as the latest in a long line of European parties/movements to adopt the orange theme post-Ukraine, it dropped the blue in its orange-blue colour scheme and now features only hip, orange circles.
The problem is with the slogans itself. They are, respectively: "There are mistakes that need to not be made again", "There are good things that need to be continued" and "There are bad things that need to be changed".
No fuccing kidding, dude.
As the posters proliferated, they also featured politicians to go with the slogans - a range of different candidates, all sticking up their thumb in a feel-good, can-do, but also cheesy gesture. I saw the movie-ad version of it too, a low-budget looking affair with lots of smileys (yes, smileys).
This naive-cutesie imaging is however offset by an equally ever-present "black campaign" (as they're called in ... Russia, I think).
The first thing to appear was a big poster that featured the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance (?). Looked like a movie poster. Both are featured in their most menacing, murky shot. If you didnt recognize them, you'd think: mafia crooks, powerful gangster businessmen. That was exactly the intention. The poster fades into black, and in the dark-grey shade behind the men you can make out a car with tinted windows, and a black helicopter. The big, red text: "For Whom Nothing Is Too Expensive", with the S in Semmi (Nothing) turned into a dollar sign.
Mind you: nothing on the poster indicates who put it up. It only says: "read more in the [name of free paper thats been distributed door-to-door]". The free paper is supposed to not
be by Fidesz; Fidesz denies all involvement. Unfortunately, the postal company, which distributes the paper, leaked to the press that they received the latest issue from a fax machine in Fidesz HQ. Unconvincingly, Fidesz claimed that someone else must have used their fax. Right...
(Mind you, this is from my colleagues, I cant verify the press reports myself).
Now a new set of posters is up, everywhere. They show the face of Budapest mayor Gabor Demszky, of the liberal SzDSz - again in the most unflattering shot, looking deflated and clueless, with either of two texts. One says: "Jean, What do people have enough of? -You, Sir".
Again, the only other thing featured on the poster is the front page of a special zine, with Demszky's pic and the text "BURNT OUT" across it. The publisher of the mag says he's not linked to Fidesz..
The SzDSz has struck back with a cartoon that has one guy saying to the other: "Jean! Are you Fideszes?"
One thing seems for sure -- if elections were about good taste, Fidesz would deserve to lose, already.