Monthly Archive: May 2012

BELARUSIAN PANTHEON

In IISEPS June poll 2012 we again asked the question about the politicians of the past and present the most sympathetic or ideal for the respondents. The question was closed; the respondents were offered to choose from the fixed list (Table 1).

AMBIVALENT GEOPOLITICAL CHOICE

In the recent months, the geopolitical likes of Belarusians have undergone notable changes, though not cardinal (Tables 1-3).

BETWEEN CONSTITUTION AND STURGEON UNDER HOURSERADISH SOUCE

A ghost is wandering in Belarus, a ghost of change. This is what independent journalists, political analysts and politicians representing “the Fifth Column” are writing more and more often about. Let us confine to one quote: “Today the society makes the demand on new leaders and a program of changes” (A. Yegorov, a political analyst). The June poll seems to confirm the presence of the Ghost (Table 1). For more than a year the percent of the supporters of changes has increased by 16.2 points and reached its historical maximum of 77.3%, meanwhile the percent of the stability preservation supporters has reduced twice and fallen to its historical minimum of 15.1%.

ATTITUDE TO BALLOT BOYCOTT

We have repeatedly emphasized the fact that Belarusians show interest in politics mainly as viewers (TV-viewers). As regards the elections in particular, Belarusians according to the Soviet tradition and, primarily, representatives of the senior age groups take part in voting quite actively. In fact, performing of “the civil duty” is limited to ballot marking. The number of signature collectors, electioneerers and observers rarely exceeds the statistical error margin.

PARLIAMENT IS NO PLACE FOR LAW MAKING

The change of the public opinion with regard to the power, which occurred under the influence of the man-made crisis 2011, is illustrated by the data of Table 1. The percent of respondents declaring their willingness to vote for A. Lukashenko’s proponent three months before the elections reduced by 12 points (the first and third columns). The percent of those willing to support opponents of the head of state at the elections increased almost symmetrically. Expectable that closer to the elections the situation will change to a certain extent owing to the polarization of the community, and the quantity of the supporters of “another candidate” will reduce. An interesting aspect is that reduction of this electoral group leads not only to popularization of the power opponents and proponents, but also the group of those who find it difficult to answer.

IN STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW AND CONSTITUTION

The appearance at parliamentary elections 2008 made up 66.1%. The percent is quite high. But it does not come within miles of the voting in 2004, when 82.7% of Belarusians performed their civil duty. There was a good motive for it then: that year the parliamentary elections were held simultaneously with the constitutional referendum

NONCHANCE RESULT

Quite active (by the European standards) participation of Belarusians in parliamentary elections bears no relationship to the role the public opinion assigns to the legislative governmental body in the life of ordinary people. Even at the peak of the electoral mobilization during the presidential elections in December 2010 the trust/distrust balance towards the National Assembly was on the distrust side: 35.7% vs. 44.4%. Confer the same balance for the head of state: 55.0% vs. 34.1%.

SUPPORT BY FORM OF HABIT

On the 8th of May, A. Lukashenko delivered his annual address to the Belarusian nation and the National Assembly. By a long tradition, the Address is usually delivered in April, but this time it was postponed without any explanations. As far as the plot of the Address is concerned, the head of state did not meet the hopes of those who had been expecting an analysis of the reasons of the financial and economic crisis which broke out in the country in 2011. Let us quote a key saying: “Why have we rolled downhill – you know it right well.

ELECTORAL SUPPORT EROSION

“All we’re worth”, i.e. A. Lukashenko’s electoral rating, fell by 4.8 points for the second quarter of 2012. In the first half of June, giving an answer to the open question: “If the presidential elections should be held again in Belarus tomorrow, who would you vote for?” – 29.7% of respondents mentioned the name of the head of state (Table 1). Hence, the upsurge of the rating of “an only Belarusian politician”, being associated with the stabilization of the economic situation in the country, stopped and a reverse process budded. Stabilization does not mean improvement.

WHAT CAN BELARUSIANS AFFORD?

The measures for economical stabilization taken at the end of 2011 are about to deplete their resources. One could hardly recover legs by the stabilization of the ruble exchange rate only. It is necessary that the quantity of real rubles (not produced by inflation) on people’s hands should increase. However, no such trend can be observed. The real household disposable income for January-April as against the same period of the previous year has made up 99.9% according to the official statistics.