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Non-competitive elections and national politics: the USSR Supreme Soviet elections of 1984

White, S. (1985) Non-competitive elections and national politics: the USSR Supreme Soviet elections of 1984. Electoral Studies, 4 (3). pp. 215-229. ISSN 0261-3794 (doi:10.1016/0261-3794(85)90015-0)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0261-3794(85)90015-0

Abstract

Elections to the ‘eleventh convocation’ of the USSR Supreme Soviet took place on 4 March 1984. The process by which the elections took place is examined in detail, from the calling of the election on 16 December 1983, through the nomination, approval and registration of the candidates. to the pre-election meetings with constituents and the poll itself. The level of turnout (99.99 per cent) and the vote in favour of the single list of candidates (99.94 and 99.95 per cent respectively for the two chambers) were in each case the highest in Soviet history; they must, however, be adjusted for the use of ‘absentee certificates’ and an apparent increase in the number of citizens not recorded on the electoral register. Elections without choice, as in the USSR. are not necessarily elections without political significance. Soviet elections appear in fact to perform at least three important functions: legitimation; political communication between regime and citizenry; and political mobilization and socialization. Given the increasing economic difficulties they are likely to face in the later 1980s and beyond, the Soviet authorities may be expected to make even more use of such mechanisms in the future in order to secure acceptance of their decisions without resort to overtly coercive means.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:White, Prof Stephen
Authors: White, S.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Electoral Studies
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0261-3794
ISSN (Online):1873-6890
Published Online:16 July 2002
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 1985 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Electoral Studies 4(3):215-229
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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