Honest Guy: Also generally see one-party Leninist states like the old USSR, Cuba, Mao’s China etc. as a betrayal of genuine socialism, which should be unambiguously democratic.
I won’t necessarily disagree with that, although there are problems with the parliamentary road to socialism. See what Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru are going through and what Haiti, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Indonesia, Vietnam, Spain, South Korea, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile went through in the past.
Basically, any Left movement that takes power peacefully down there gets overthrown with a coup, the leader gets assassinated or there are attempts at assassination, death squads decimate their supporters with mass murder, business tries to destroy the economy, wars on the currency are waged, sanctions are installed, violent riots are staged, and parliament, the judiciary, the military, or imperialism conducts a violent coup!
You put in a Left government down there, and there are nonstop efforts to take it down. They wreck the economy, stage civil wars, create violence and chaos, run rightwing candidates who pretend to be Leftists until they get in, outlaw the Left parties, engage in mass lying and libel, and heavy sanctions are put on the country.
This all has the effect of making life miserable for the average person, and there have been cases where they voted for the Right just to end the chaos, civil war, and economic wreckage or because the Left had been imprisoned. A notable case of the former was in Nicaragua in 1988 and and of the latter was in Brazil with Bolsonaro.
The Leninists say there is no peaceful road to socialism, and it would be great if there were, but there just isn’t, so don’t bother. The only thing that keeps it in is a dictatorship of the workers over the ruling classes. Lenin referred to those seeking the peaceful road to socialism as “parliamentary cretins.”
I’m not a communist but I respect countries’ right to go that way if that’s what they choose. Now, I love democracy myself and I prefer the peaceful parliamentary road with democracy afterwards, but one wonders just how sustainable it is.
In case you wondering about the pitfalls of total democracy under socialism…