Join a party!

Democracy is played by political parties. Why does someone become a prime minister? Contrary to popular belief, it is not primarily because the majority of voters voted for her, but because the members of her party nominated her as the candidate for Prime Minister at the very beginning of the process.

Do something if you want to live better

If you want to live in a better country, you have three choices: either you move to a happier country, provide financial support for those whose work is to improve the country, or you personally participate in shaping public life. Since our aim is to make Hungary an even better place, we exclude the first option — but what about the other two options?

The futility of financial support

As a Hungarian taxpayer, nowadays you finance the current governing minority group's stay in power with a substantial amount, as they spend many tax forints on promoting themselves. An ordinary person would not be happy to spend a similar amount on supporting the opposition parties. Therefore, if you support with money the country-improving work of a minority that is not in power, you can probably only partially balance the existing disproportion. And even in case you wanted to support the ruling party with some money, you would only be bringing sand to the Sahara.

The most you can give

However, you can offer one value that cannot be expressed in money: your credibility. Whichever political party you give this priceless asset will gain a big advantage.

Even if you express your opinion on a public issue in a company or on social media, it means much more than if the same opinion appears on a poster or in a paid advertisement.

Just like it means the death of a party when people are apparently no longer interested, the death of a performance when the rows of seats are empty, and the death of a demonstration when there are hardly any people in the square. Since there is not such a tradition of political demonstrations in our country, it would be particularly important for as many people as possible to stand up from their couch for a good cause.

But why a party?

Because party membership seems to many Hungarians almost as acceptable as providing sexual services for money, it is especially difficult for people to commit to joining a party. Even under socialism, people did not necessarily become party members because of the desire to improve the country, and even after the change of regime, a positive image of party membership linked to social responsibility and volunteering could not develop.

Although there are many movements and non-governmental organizations, which in their own way contribute greatly to making the country more livable, there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot run in parliamentary elections. Therefore, if you want to achieve radical changes, you must support a political party that can use the opportunities inherent in national and European elections to spread its messages, and can also participate in parliamentary work in a functioning democracy - even if the public opinion on political parties these days is not the most positive.

Small steps forward

It would be an illusion to think that the political balance of power can change in a heartbeat, or that in the current state of the public discourse, it would be possible to convince many people that change is necessary, especially make them believe that a state party could be defeated in elections. However, many, many small steps can be taken in this direction. If there is not much else we can do, at least why not do this?

So you don't have to think about big leaps right away: just joining a party and paying the membership fee gives already positive feedback to fellow members and helps the organizational development, even if you don't take any active role beyond that.

The next level is to participate in the internal life of the party: with this, you can not only shape the party's programme, but your votes could also influence who holds the leading positions of the party, who runs in the elections, and ultimately who represents your minority your group's interests and values in politics.

It helps more, of course, if you can spare an hour or two a month to appear at the party's events, work a few hours a week on a task for free, or even take on a volunteer function.

In order to be a party member, or to help the work of a party as an activist or volunteer, you do not necessarily have to imagine your future as a politician or a party employee. In the Netherlands, with a population of 17.5 million, there are 379,000 members of various parliamentary parties. With its Dutch membership of 12.5 thousand, Volt belongs to the smaller parties in the Netherlands, but in Hungary, such a large membership would be the envy of many parliamentary parties.

An obligation to yourself

Just as you brush your teeth every day, you should actively and continuously make efforts to be able to live in a better place tomorrow. Public activity is inherently a fundamental European, civic value, but it is no coincidence that only a few of the current actors in Hungarian political life have an interest in encouraging people to do so. In the end, it could even happen that the voice of the new members leads the party in a less desirable and comfortable direction for the old party members.

Although you could help a number of civil initiatives in your spare time, none of them can participate in national and European politics in the same way as a political party. This is why it would be beneficial if you also joined a party that is closest to your views - thereby you could also contribute to the restoration of democracy.