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In the Polish elections of 1957 and in Yugoslavia in 1967 and 1969 some contests assumed a combative nature, with candidates playing on local grievances and even running their own campaigns in opposition to the official machine (Pelczynski, 1959, pp. 154-7; Rusinow, 1977, pp. 222-4, 261-6). Official endeavours to minimise differences between candidates notwithstanding, these elections present voters with some opportunity to express their preferences. In addition to the black-and-white options available in plebiscitary elections - of voting or not voting and of casting a positive or a negative vote - there are further possibilities for choice.

Formal selection procedures appear to grant considerable powers of choice to work-place meetings of voters: all nomination proposals have to be submitted to them for approval; and, even after the registration of nominations, further voters' meetings have the right to alter the lists. The entire process is purportedly designed to give the voter the decisive say in determining who stands for elections. In practice, selection is a far more closed process offering only a limited degree of choice to small groups.

27 28 Elections in Communist Party in these states; and, third, to examine the main functions performed by these elections and assess the variations in functions between types. The study focuses upon the degree and kind of the choice of non-choice provided by elections in communist party states. Any attempt to evaluate the democratic or non-democratic nature of these elections is deliberately eschewed. The very different meanings assigned to the concept of democracy in liberal thought and in Marxism-Leninism make use of the term a hindrance rather than an aid to clear analysis.

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