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Genesis: Historical research

Cancellation of the elections of 1924 in Soviet Russia: new materials and interpretations
Salamatova Marina Sergeevna

PhD in History

Docent, the department of Theory and History of State and Law, Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management

630099, Russia, Novosibirskaya oblast', g. Novosibirsk, ul. Kamenskaya, 56

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The subject of this research is the reasons and conditions of mass cancellation (cessation) of the election results of the winter of 1924/25, which was a unique event in the Soviet political history. The established within historiography position on this matter, as a result of high level of absenteeism of population and formalization of electoral process, must be subjected to significant amendment. The causes of mass cancellation of the elections should be examined in the context of opposition inside the party, as well as socioeconomic and political development of the country. Essential factors, which justified the declaration of a “new course” and cancellation of elections, became the strive of grouping in party leadership that insisted in implementation of the more liberal course (in contradiction of the one suggested by L. Trotsky) for ensuring the advantage in retention of power alongside the support of population. The scientific novelty is substantiated by the introduction into the discourse of the new sources and innovative interpretation of the events associated with the mass cancellation of the elections of 1924, as well as development of the Soviet electoral system. The author underlines the transformation of the electoral model, characterized by the weakening of party-state pressure upon population and implementation of the limited alternativeness. The common electoral practice in the late 1920’s was the involvement of broad range of urban and rural population in the elections, free nomination and discussion of the candidates, requirements and mandates to the new Councils. The new reality became the rejection from the formal semi-mandatory voting for previously approved lists of candidates. Within the framework of the achieved consensus on the elections of the late 1920’s, the country’s leadership was able to expand the trust towards the authorities; the population received the opportunity of a direct dialogue with the government, as well as the ability to delegate their representatives and voice their demands.

Keywords: weakening of administrative pressure, change of electoral model, population support, formalization of electoral process, high absenteeism, inner-party opposition, Soviet electoral campaign, cancellation of elections, free nomination of candidates, requirements of population



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