Why Would Viktor Orbán, the Self-Proclaimed Champion of Illiberal Democracy, Find Inspiration in the U.S. Electoral System?

This article was originally published in The Chicago Tribune, here.

On Thursday, Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, “the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world,” according to CPAC’s website. While commentators have explored the link between Orbán’s anti-democratic tendencies and those of the modern GOP, the connection between the two runs much deeper than most know: Both owe their power to an electoral system that overrepresents their supporters.

When Orbán came to power, he and his Fidesz party made three key changes that helped consolidate authoritarian power — changes that mimic key features of the U.S. electoral system.

Read the full article in The Chicago Tribune.

About the Authors

Farbod Faraji

Head of Democracy of Tomorrow Team & Counsel

Farbod Faraji currently leads Protect Democracy’s efforts to advance structural changes to our democracy through litigation and other forms of advocacy.

Lee Drutman

Senior Fellow, New America

Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America.

Related Content