Kál­mán Petőcz: Hungarians among Slovaks, Slovaks among Hungarians Voting behavior of Slovaks living in the southern regions of Slovakia

The subject matter of the study lies in the analysis of the voting behaviors and political attitudes of Slovaks living in the southern regions of Slovakia dominated by (ethnic) Hungarians. The objective is to verify or falsify the commonly held view that the attitudes of these Slovaks vis-à-vis the Hungarians are fundamentally different from the attitudes of „northern” Slovaks. The authors´ conclusions show that there is no significant difference between these two groups of Slovaks. Slovaks living in towns are mo­re open towards European values represented by „stan­dard” democratic parties. Nevertheless, the populist and nationalist parties also enjoy significant support, comparable to other Slovak regions. The influence of Bratislava and her mo­re liberal milieu is evident in regions close to the Capital. At the same time, a gradual strengthening of the „self-defending” ref­lex of Slovaks living in towns, such as Komárno, which have for a long time been politically dominated by the Hungarian Coalition Party, can be observed. Slovaks living in isolated rural settlements within Hungarian dominated areas, and Slovaks living at the ethnic border (and within the virtual Slovak-Hungarian revised state border of 1938) prefer – in a much higher degree than the national average – the parties of Vla­di­mír Meèiar and Ján Slota. The problem of representation and enforcement of the „ethnic national” (political, cultural, educational) interests of the actual local or regional minority, be it the Hungarian or the Slovak one, remains unsolved. It is unlikely that the Hungarian Coalition Party could play the role of a „regio­nal” party in Slovakia in the future. It will remain an ethnic party, but it should be mo­re open towards other inhabitants of the reg­ion and should not focus only on the „core” Hungarian electorate.