Ivankov E. V. «Elective Mood Quiet »: Political Struggle in the Elections to the State Duma of the 3rd Convocation (.pdf)


The article deals with agitation and propaganda activities of the largest Russian political parties during the election campaign into the Third Duma. After the dissolution of the Second State Duma, the majority of political parties experienced an acute organizational crisis. In the conditions of the changed electoral legislation, powerful administrative pressure of the authorities and absenteeism of the voters, the parties were forced to adjust the methods and forms of electoral struggle. In the elections into the State Duma of the third convocation, as in previous election campaigns, the parties actively used the opportunities of coalitions and pre-election agreements. Local authorities, who often acted as initiators of electoral blocs and played the role of intermediaries between various political forces, did not abstain from the election campaign. The government used the division of parties into legalized and not legalized societies, a concept made up by the government itself. The party agitation of parties which were not legal was placed in extremely difficult conditions. At the same time, the government provided financial and organizational support to loyal political forces. But despite the impressive support of the government of various legal conservative organizations and publications, in many provinces and regions of the Russian Empire, their weak activity or even decline was observed. Other political parties also experienced organizational and financial difficulties, which in general affected their agitation and propaganda capabilities. Neither the conservatives, nor the liberals, nor the Social Democrats succeeded in mobilizing their voters, because of their absence at polling stations. The third election campaign, according to contemporaries, was held in the conditions of utter disappointment, apathy, fatigue and disbelief. In such a relatively calm, more accurately indifferent situation, the results of the elections were quite predictable - victory was achieved by the rightists and the Octobrists. On one hand, their success was facilitated by profitable changes in the electoral law, but on the other - there was a constant interference of the authorities in the course of the elections.


Key words: absenteeism, administrative resource, boycott, electoral campaign, coalitions, pre-election campaigning, pre-election agreements, political struggle, repression, terror.


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