V. I. Lenin

Report at a Conference of the St. Petersburg Organisation of the R.S.D.L.P. on Electoral Agreements in Elections for the Second Duma{1}

JANUARY 6 (19), 1907


Published: Proletary No. 12, January 25, 1907. Printed from the Proletary text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, page 193.2.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
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The rapporteur notes the absence in St. Petersburg of any Black-Hundred danger tales of which are being spread about by the Cadets in order to induce the electorate to vote for them. The local Social-Democrats are faced with the question of how to release the masses of the population in the capital from the ideological hegemony of the Cadets. Considerable sections of the urban poor who are semi-proletarians keep wavering between the Cadets and the Social-Democrats. The Cadets have been trying to bribe them by promising seats in the Duma in order to reinforce their influence on them. That is why it would, perhaps, be advisable to enter an agreement with the revolutionary-democratic parties and groups so as to work together to under mine the influence of the Cadets. The rapporteur believes that it is up to the practical workers in the local organisation to decide on the actual need and possibility of an agreement and also on its forms.


{1} The City and Gubernia Conference of the St. Petersburg Organisation of the R.S.D.L.P. met at Terioki on January 6 (19), 1907. It was attended by 70 delegates with vote (42 Bolsheviks and 28 Mensheviks). Four representatives of the Menshevik C.C. and C.O., one representative each from the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. and from the Editorial Board of the Bolshevik newspaper Proletary, and others attended with voice only. When the credentials were verified, it turned out that in some sub-districts, mainly represented by the Mensheviks, there had been breaches of the resolution of the St. Petersburg Committee requiring   that elections of delegates to the Conference should be held only after discussions by Party members of the question of whether agreements with the Cadets ought to be concluded. The Conference regarded such credentials as invalid. It rejected the proposal motioned by the representative of the C.C. that the Conference should be divided into two sections (the city and the gubernia) in accordance with the existing electoral districts, for the proposal was aimed at giving the Mensheviks an artificial superiority at the Conference. The Mensheviks used this decision as a pretext for breaking with the revolutionary Social-Democrats and making a deal with the Cadets; they walked out, splitting the St. Petersburg organisation on the eve of the election.

The other delegates decided to continue the Conference. Lenin gave the report on Duma-electoral agreements, and after a debate the Conference affirmed the “Minority Opinion” entered by the Bolsheviks at the Second (First All-Russia) Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. (pp. 188–91). The Conference rejected the idea of forming a bloc with the Cadets and decided to propose to the S.R.s and the Trudoviks an agreement for the election period, provided they repudiated the idea of any alliance with the Cadets.

The Conference was described in detail in Lenin’s “The Social-Democrats and the Duma Elections”, “\thinspace‘When You Hear the Judgement of a Fool’ ...(From the Notes of a Social-Democratic Publicist)”, “The Workers’ Party Election Campaign in St. Petersburg”, “The Social-Democratic Election Campaign in St. Petersburg”, “The Protest of the Thirty-One Mensheviks” et al. (see present edition, Vol. 11, pp. 431–55, 456–74, 426–30; Vol. 12, pp. 15–23, 29–32). p. 193

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