Thanks so much, Charles. I appreciate you taking my suggestion. this is a very informative and succinct description of what sounds like was an exhaustive and complex process. I feel much better informed after reading this.

how can we know that this wasn't all just a Ptoelmkin process, stage-managed by the party? You cite some interesting figures about participation. But Socialist regimes are pretty good at mobilizing support in this way. As an outside observer, (and from the standpoint of social science) I'd argue that the most decisive proof that it was a genuinely consultative process would be if some initial parts of the draft were changed/overturned. But, except for gay marriage, this doesn't seem to be the case.

Maybe you can give more info about how some other contentious issues were shaped by the consultative process? (even if the initial draft was not overturned).

Or some info as an insider who may have attended a meeting of one of the local commitees?

Forgive me for playing Devils' advocate. You know me and my cynical habits. I have been living in E Europe too long. I am in the middle of witnessing one of the most stage-managed elections in modern RU history. Lots of very creative (and even comical) dirty tricks by the governing party to "manufacture" consent.


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