Obukhov L. A. Pre-election agitation to the Constituent Assembly (.pdf)


The elections to the Constituent Assembly were the first experience of general elections in Russia. The election campaign took place during the sharply heightened struggle for power, which strongly affect the methods and forms of the campaign. It reflected mainly party politics, as none of the influential Russian political parties could ignore the elections to the Constituent Assembly. In the election campaign, non-partisan associations took part as well, but they were outsiders from its start. For example, 11 lists of candidates were registered for the Constituent Assembly in the Perm constituency, and among them five were non-partisan ones. The periodical press was the main source of information and propaganda for the population. The newspapers regularly placed ads of election commissions, lists and biographies of the candidates, and other election materials. The financial sources of election expenses of the Socialist parties were similar. In addition to revenues from publishing, they got money from one-day salary deductions, some fees and donations, rallies, and concerts. The Cadets had no shortage of finances, orators or publicists. In their campaign, they, unlike the Socialists, referred to national (not to class) interests. The campaign resulted in a stunning victory of the SRs in the Perm district: they received 11 of total 17 places in the Constituent Assembly, the Bolsheviks received four places, and the Cadets received two places. The results of the elections in the Perm province with its numerous factory towns did not meet the expectations of the Bolsheviks. During the election campaign, political parties and non-partisan associations used a variety of techniques and methods of agitation. Some of them are used nowadays, but a part of them became unnecessary and forgotten. Therefore, the experience and lessons of the election campaign for the Constituent Assembly require a more thorough examination and may well be in demand in today's Russia.


Key words: the Constituent Assembly, election campaign, Perm province, political parties, elections, visualization of elections.


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