Now opposition parties can really start thinking about how they will replace the current government in 2018. At a conference last Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that over the past five years the keyword for governance has been “strength” but from now on it will be “attentiveness”. “Listening to people, and to everyday life,” said Orbán. Why is this so interesting? This is an issue that has had politicos puzzled ever since Fidesz won a supermajority again in the 2014 elections and the economy of the country started to pick up pace. Why wouldn’t the government stop with the “fighting” and focus its efforts on the people? In the past months there have been hints at this change from high-ranking officials, but now the boss man himself declared this to be the number one goal. Why should this have opposition parties worried? While the government was fighting on various fronts, Jobbik, MSZP, DK and everybody on the other side of the aisle were trying to establish themselves as the party that listens to what people have to say and this resonated very well (remember the results of the recent by-elections). But if Fidesz will start doing this they can quickly get back the necessary support. In politics it takes only a minute to spin it, and the issue of the death penalty is an excellent example. People overwhelmingly support capital punishment. Jobbik was the pro-death penalty party for a long time. Does anybody remember that? No. All people remember now is if it was up to Fidesz they would introduce it, but the European Union will not allow it. You may not like such tactics but politically it is a brilliant strategy: take the good ideas of the others and make them your own. This will make the life of the opposition a nightmare, especially since a recent survey revealed that among decided voters Fidesz still enjoys 40 percent support. And this after a series of major debacles that even had many Orbán supporters question the government’s moves. Now we’ll see what will happen if they actually start to listen.