However preposterous it may seem, Leninist states represent themselves to their societies as the most advanced form of democracy. The names of Leninist states serve to call attention to this, as in the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. 1 Through much of the history of socialism, a great cast of voters, candidates, deputies, cadres, Party organizers, and leading officials have dutifully produced a pageantry of parliamentary politics. Despite these appearances, genuinely open and competitive elections have been principle demands of the opposition to socialist states. Granting such demands has had profound consequences. From Nicaragua to Russia, no Leninist state has lasted for any length of time once parliaments have been opened and activated.