How many legislature members who are not members of any party in the USA compared to the USSR?

  • 3
    What are you expecting to understand from this comparison? – DJClayworth Feb 19 '13 at 18:44
  • 1
    Not really sure its a useful measure. Number of political parties would be more helpful, but even that's not really helpful. The US political structure forces some very disparate groups (such as Libertarians and Conservative Evangelicals) into the same party. – DJClayworth Feb 19 '13 at 22:55
  • I think most would agree that the spread of political opinion in the US is less wide than it is in (say) Europe. But I don't think the number of independent legislators is related to that. The number of political parties represented in the legislature might be a better measure. – DJClayworth Feb 20 '13 at 4:06
  • @DJClayworth By spread of political opinion, do you mean opinions among the population, or among politicians in office? – gerrit Feb 26 '13 at 21:29
  • @gerrit Politicians in office – DJClayworth Feb 26 '13 at 21:32

This page indicates that there are currently two members of the Senate who are neither Republican or Democrat, and zero members of the House of Representatives. As far as I can tell neither is a member of any party.

For most of its life only communist candidates were elected to the various soviets of the USSR.

  • 2
    English Wikipedia says (admittedly without reference) that until 1989 candidates were selected by the local Communist party. That doesn't necessarily mean that all candidates were members of it. If you have additional information I'm happy to edit my answer (though I can't read Russian). – DJClayworth Feb 19 '13 at 19:58
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    Can I also mention that if you knew the figures for the USSR, that would have been helpful information to include in the question. – DJClayworth Feb 19 '13 at 20:23
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    This link to a booklet printed in 1980 for foreigners visiting the USSR for the Olympics in Moscow situation.ru/app/rs/lib/ussr100/ussr1006.htm#hdr_13 informs that into the Councils in 1980 were elected 2274699 deputies, of which there were 979805 members of the Communist party, or 43,1 percent. But I want an independent answer. – Anixx Feb 19 '13 at 20:43
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    Doesn't sound like either of us have really reliable information. – DJClayworth Feb 19 '13 at 21:57
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    Bernie Sanders is a Socialist. Though I'm not sure how official that is as far as party membership, since he's listed as "independent" – user4012 Feb 19 '13 at 22:55

In the Soviet Union elections (up until the Perestroika) there were only two options:

  1. Communists and non-partisans, running as a single block ("блок коммунистов и беспартийных")
  2. Against all

So there wasn't any real competition between members of the Communist party and other candidates. Each district only had one candidate pre-selected by the ruling party and voting "against all" was challenging because it required you to openly cross out the candidate's name, instead of simply placing your ballot in the ballot box. This means that essentially the word "non-partisan" is meaningless when it comes to the Soviet parliament.

Now, one might attempt to argue that the American Congress is similar to the Soviet system as 99% of its members belong to one or two of the ruling parties. However the biggest difference is that the central party committees in Washington don't hold complete control over the selection of candidates, as evidenced by the recent special election in Alabama. An even bigger example is the election of Donald Trump to Presidency, as he wasn't endorsed by many of the Republican leaders. The comparison you're trying to make is misguided, even though I agree that the American system deserves a lot of criticism.

  • Hey you don't know anything about how the comparison might be guided. Unless you're trying to whup something out of him. – jjack Dec 26 '17 at 22:14

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