Did the Communists hold REAL elections?

Absolutely. An election gives the voter two sides, BOTH sides, to choose from. The voter was given a ballot with a list of candidates put forward by the Communist Party. You could: 1) not mark the ballot and drop it into the ballot box; or 2) mark out any names you didn't like.

If a candidate didn't get fifty percent of the vote, the Party had to come up with a new nominee.

That never happened. But you had TWO choices. You could choose between "both sides."

And, it was a secret ballot. You could take the list behind a curtain and mark off any names you didn't approve of.

Going behind this curtain presented a minor problem. You were in a room where Communist Party members were sitting. If you wanted to approve the entire Communist Party ticket you simply took the ballot and dropped it into the ballot box. Almost everybody did not go behind the curtain and loyally dropped the list straight into the box.

If you took the ballot behind the curtain to mark some names off, several Party members saw you do it. Oddly enough, not only did over 99% of voters turn out, but over 99% of them voted a straight Communist ticket.

But "both sides" were represented.

In America we have free speech because "both sides" are represented. Both leftism and respectable conservatism are supposed to be given equal time. But what if you aren't a leftist, a respectable conservative, or somewhere in between?

If you are not one of the "both" sides, then you go behind that curtain.

And people see you do it.