Local elections in Hungary – Why didn’t I vote?

Today my country Hungary is choosing local dignities and although I am not an expert in politics at all, these two cents on it and on leadership in general, might be worth a thought.

So why didn’t I vote?

The first reason is simply a practical one: I am away and as next weekend I will be home anyway for a concert, the date today is just not feasible for travel.

The other, probably more important reason is that in my hometown these elections are merely administrative, formal. Unless a major vis occurs, Mayor Péter Szitka will be re-elected again, after 2 (or maybe 3? I am not very sure) successful terms.

The point is: If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, right? If a team is doing a great job – keep it, don’t change a thing.

Kazincbarcika is located in one of the poorest regions of Hungary, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County which is commonly known as “Dark Borsod” – the Hungarian word for “dark” means here the same as in “Dark Forces” plus: “mentally challenged, dumb”. Haha yes, that’s where this smart girl of yours truly grew up.

The place became infamous for being an industrial hub, an artificially created city in the height of the Socialism in the 50s, that means lots of miners and other, lower class workers, were imported from many other regions of Hungary. And an unproportionally high number of Roma population as well, with integration problems.

But for long years now with Szitka in the first chair, Kazincbarcika has been going through dynamic changes. Whenever I go home to visit my Mom, I can always see something newly built, renovated, reconstructed, painted, planted, the city of 30 000 is becoming more and more beautiful and livable every year, every month. Talking with friends and strangers, I hear that they are satisfied, they like to live in Barcika.

Hospital, Holy Family Catholic church, Don Bosco Sports and Recreational Hall, in the City Park of Kazincbarcika
Hospital, Holy Family Catholic church, Don Bosco Sports and Recreational Hall, in the City Park of Kazincbarcika

Of course not everything is perfect, there are issues to be sorted out, problems to be solved, situations improved. The important is the intentions and the actions.

The town brands itself as Kolorcity: indeed you see colors everywhere on the once all-grey houses, beautiful murals are popping up, one after the other.

And it is not only for the eyes but the cultural, social, sports life is very rich with various events and programs for all ages, all year round. Schools, kindergartens for children also from the surrounding villages, elderly homes and clubs, civil organizations taking care of various fields in education, health and the list could go on and on.

An up-and-coming city.

And so it should continue to be, thriving, with almost certainly a continued leadership of the current Mayor and his team.

Now comes a twist and the whole point of this writing: whereas I normally tend to agree with many aspects of what the government is doing, here I am praising a candidate of the opposition. Péter Szitka runs in the colors of a coalition of all those parties in Hungary that I despise or laugh at, for they have either already failed the nation, or they have no real, constructive programs, nor credible politicians.

I would like to point this out because here we can see an excellent example of that

Choosing a leader should primarily not be based on the political affiliations of a candidate but on the credibility, personality and the actions of the person.

I have never seen Szitka promoting his parties, not to mention talking low about or smashing his opponents, the ruling parties or the Government. He talks about how the city could be like, he has visions for an even nicer and better place, listens to what the people want and he takes actions. And people trust him.

This is how a true Leader should be chosen: based on such merits only.

Now this was one township in tiny Hungary, and these same things could be said about another, smaller town in the other poor region of the country (Ibrány, in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County) where Imre Trencsényi continues the work of his predecessor, the late, well-respected Béla Bercsényi. There too, these elections are only a formality.

I hope and I wish that in all the cities, towns and villages of my country today the inhabitants chose their leaders who is and will be there for the flourishing, prosperity and well-being of the community.

Andrea Gerák (Text and photos)

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Thank you for reading, and if you would like to see more of this, you can help me to create more ideas, songs, pictures: please consider getting something from my Shop or see if ther is something resonates with you on the Want to support? page. May the good karma be with you!

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Andrea Gerák (also spelled as Gerak) is a Hungarian artist, mostly known as a singer. She is also photographing, dancing, writing, sometimes acting or modeling, and forever learning through her journey in the world. Her attention turned to health matters after a cancer surgery in 2008. Proud mom of a big boy.

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