As Hungarian citizens, as Canadians and Americans of Hungarian ancestry, and as passionate supporters of parliamentary democracy, civil liberties and diversity in North America, Europe and beyond, we’re turning to citizen journalism and online activism to call for an end to the discriminatory and exlusionary partisan politics that permeate the Embassy of Hungary in Ottawa. Many of us who have dared to express our criticism and concern with the policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government have been singled out by Ambassador László Pordány as “anti-national,” and as belonging to some nefarious, treasonous “force” aimed at undermining Hungary and attacking the Hungarian nation.
We, who are critical of Hungary’s government, are able to distinguish between an entire nation and its political leaders, and know that our concerns are aimed at the conduct of the latter. The Embassy of Hungary in Ottawa under Mr. Pordány’s leadership, however, has seemingly failed to detect the difference between representing the interests of a state and its government, as opposed to representing the electoral interests of a political party. The embassy has also repeatedly failed to draw a line in the sand between loyalty to the right and the whitewashing of Hungary’s virulently antisemitic and fascistic far-right. The border between the governing right and the extreme right has become increasingly porous in Hungary, and the statements of Mr. Pordány highlight this disturbing reality.
As a first step in our protest campaign, we invite you to please sign our petition calling for change at the Embassy of Hungary in Ottawa. We hope that our action will convince the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make the necessary changes – personnel-related or otherwise – before the mission’s credibility is further damaged.