“Soros plan” national consultation open to abuse

October 11, 2017

An anti-George Soros poster is seen in Budapest, Hungary, on October 1, 2017. Photo: Ákos Stiller

The government appears to be using a somewhat outdated register of addresses to deliver national consultation forms as one envelope landed in a post-box addressed to a child who died 40 years ago, Magyar Nemzet reports.

“My nephew, László Szedlák died 40 years ago in 1977. At the age of eight, he fell down from Gellért Hill. Now they are interested in his opinion on the Soros plan,” Mrs. János Kali told Magyar Nemzet. The consultation letter was sent to the address of Kali’s sister who used to live there with her son. Now the flat is occupied by Kali’s brother, who collected the strange letter addressed to his long-dead nephew. During the previous national consultations, no letters were delivered addressed to the deceased boy, although he was sent a conscription letter long after his death.

“They think people are stupid,” the pensioner woman told Magyar Nemzet. “It is upsetting to receive a letter like this. Mr. Prime Minister would better send a bouquet to Lacika’s grave. I am seriously ill as well, maybe they should build one less stadium, then there would be more money for public healthcare.” Mrs. Kali insisted that it is impossible the authorities might have sent out the letter of another individual with the same name, because she said no other László Szedlák had ever lived at the address of her now-deceased sister.

HírTV earlier revealed that the online consultation form lacks basic security features. Although sending the answers requires a valid email address, the site does not validate the entered email address, which means that, in theory, one could submit an infinite number of false responses. The online consultation form does not give any feedback once a response is published. Undersecretary responsible for government communications Bence Tuzson denied that this security loophole would distort the final results of the consultation, and stressed that only five percent of all respondents use the online form. Tuzson said the government has faith in people that they will not misuse the site.

Election expert Zoltán Tóth argues that the national consultation is nothing more than a vehicle for the government to compile databases of voters who favor and reject the governing party’s politics. Tóth called it “politically ridiculous” that one has to register online all their personal data in order to unsubscribe from further government communications.

The latest national consultation, this time on the so-called “Soros plan,” is estimated to be costing HUF 7.2 billion (USD 27.3 million) of public funds.