The Russian Soviet Republic

By Edward Alsworth Ross | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVII
THE SOVIET POLITICAL SYSTEM

THE Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic is a hierarchy of soviets (councils), from the village soviet and the city soviet at the bottom to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets at the top. The smallest unit of organization of the peasantry is the village commune, which elects at a meeting of all the working inhabitants a village soviet. All village soviets in the same township (volost) elect a township or volost soviet. All the volost soviets in a particular county or uyezd choose delegates to a uyezd soviet on the basis of one delegate for every thousand inhabitants. In it are also included representatives of all towns in the county which have a population of not to exceed ten thousand inhabitants each. The next highest body is the congress of soviets of the province, which serves as the chief point of juncture of the representatives of the rural and of the urban population. These rural delegates are sent either by the county soviets or else directly by the township soviets on the basis of one delegate for each ten thousand inhabitants. The urban delegates are sent by the city soviets on the basis of one delegate for each two thousand voters. The towns under ten thousand inhabitants are therefore doubly represented, once as part of the uyezd and again through the representatives which they send directly to the provincial congress.

Finally comes the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, composed of representatives chosen by the provincial congresses (one delegate for one hundred and twenty-five thousand inhabitants) and of representatives of the city soviets (one delegate for twenty-five thousand voters). The large cities are therefore doubly represented, sending delegates to the pro-

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