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ANOTHER START OF THE NEGATIVE TREND

All three social indices (the financial standing index (FSI), the expectation index (EI) and the policy correctness index (PCI)) decreased considerably in December in comparison with September (Table 1-3). The FSI decreased by 5.8 points, the EI – by 12.5 points, the PCI – by 14.6 points. An insignificant decrease of social indices was recorded in September as well, but that change didn’t allow to make up a conclusion about a new trend in the change of public opinion. Today we can state this negative trend with confidence.
PCI turned out to be the top-decreasing index. It decreased by 14.6 points and this decrease allowed it to come right up to the EI in absolute values. This is the key insight. As a rule authoritative leaders’ electoral rating is higher than the share of respondents who agree with the policy of country’s development. This difference is provided by the sacral constituent of the rating. The policy of development can be wrong, but the leader doesn’t bear responsibility for it. Those are enemies, both internal and external, who are responsible for this.
The concurrence (within the statistical error) of the electoral rating of A. Lukashenko (34.8% in December) and of the share of respondents who agree with the course of country’s development is the signal about exhaustion of the sacral constituent of the rating. Therefore it is not surprising that when at the peak of economic crisis in 2011 the public opinion considered the head of state responsible for the worsening of the financial standing.
Average annual values of social indices are given in Table 4. During the years of presidential elections (2006 and 2010) they, naturally, reached maxima. This is the logic of political and economic cycles. However the values of all three social indices in 2010 were significantly lower than in 2006. There is a fundamental reason behind this difference – the exhaustion of internal resources of the Belarusian model created under the leadership of A. Lukashenko, the exhaustion of all its components – economic, political and social.

 

 

 

Table 4. Dynamics of social indices: financial standing, the expectations index, the policy correctness index (the difference between positive and negative responses),%
Index
Year:
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
FSI
10
–5
–10
–34
–4
–49
–16
–15
EI
32
–5
1
1
11
–29
–9
–13
PCI
28
18
15
14
18
–29
–16
–13
The majority of Belarusians associated the crisis of 2009 to external reasons therefore the decrease of the FSI wasn’t accompanied by a decrease of EI and PCI (see the fourth column of Table 4). In the year of the fourth presidential election the FSI returned to the pre-crisis level. But the artificial crisis of 2011 introduced qualitative changes into the perception of reality by Belarusians, and that, in particular, resulted in the transition of PCI to a negative area. On the time line between 2005 and 2011 nothing like this was ever observed.
From the dynamics of social indices shown in Table 4 follows that in 2014 a growth of anxious moods in the Belarusian society can be expected with a big share of probability. The power has practically no more internal resources to change the negative trend. The sole hope for the power is an increasing number of grants from “our Russia”.