Stabilization of social indices led to stabilization of A. Lukashenko’s ratings (electoral and trust) (Pict. 1-2). The mean value of the electoral rating in 2010 was 44.9%, in 2011 – 29.4%, and in 2012 – 31.8%. Similar mean values of the two last years are connected with the “distortion” brought about by the March opinion poll of 2011 held in the first half of the month, i.e. before halting of free currency sale in currency exchange offices.

According to Belstat, in 2011 real cash income grew by 0.1%, and by 18.1% – between January and November of 2012. Such income growth cost the state treasury $ 3.5 billion. This social outcome should be recognized as insignificant.

A short planning horizon is typical of the majority of authoritarian political regimes. That is why they often sacrifice strategic benefits to tactic ones, such as e.g. maintaining political stability in the course of another electoral campaign.

After March 2011 the number of Belarusians distrusting A. Lukashenko persistently exceeds the number of those who still trust him (Pict. 2). In December 2012 the difference made up 10 points. It is appreciably lower than the historic maximum of 37.5 points registered in September 2011. With the best will in the world, one can discern a “new majority” in the tendency of prevalence of those who do not trust over those who do. However, there are quite cogent arguments for doubts that the “new majority” is backed up by a new socio-political quality.

The question of Pict. 3 is closely sided with the rating question about trust/distrust in A. Lukashenko. The share of respondents who agree that the policy of the head of state is honest and just differs slightly from the trust rating. It is natural that negative answers predominate over positive ones among opponents of the authorities. However, the ratio of negative and positive answers among supporters of the authorities may look unexpected at first sight, as it has turned out to be close to one.

* Hereinafter the data referring to the whole sample are cited in parentheses

Let us remind the reader that we divide respondents into supporters and opponents of the authorities according to the answers to the question: “Do you consider yourself to be in opposition to the present authorities?” At that the number of those who attribute themselves to opposition as a rule proves to be considerably smaller than the number of those who trust A. Lukashenko. Accordingly, the number of respondents not attributing themselves to opposition considerably exceeds the number of those who trust him.

Due to the official propaganda efforts of many years the word “oppositionist” has become synonymous with the word “enemy” in Belarus. Today not every Belarusian who does not trust the head of state and does not vote for him in elections perceives him/herself as an oppositionist.

Answers to the question of Pict. 3 can be considered as an illustration of another statement by A. Lukashenko: “Whom do we want to deceive? The people? It will never be possible to deceive the people. They might sometimes say nothing, but they see the truth anyway” (the report at the III-rd All-Belarusian Assembly). Everything is correct. The Belarusian people say nothing, but they see the truth.

Belarusians also perceive the numerous statements of A. Lukashenko in the light of the low trust rating. In particular, only 24% of respondents agreed in December with his statement “Market ideology was thrust on us to destroy the economy we had had”, 56.2% did not agree, and 19.8% found it difficult to answer.

Public efforts of A. Lukashenko on modernization of enterprises were not left unnoticed by public opinion (Pict. 4). In comparison with June 2011 the image of president-the-reformer has added 4.8 points. This is a new tendency – before the reformatory image of the head of state was gradually going down. Contribution of opponents and supporters of the authorities to the turnaround of the tendency proved to be uneven, of course: 9.1% vs. 35.6%.

Public dressing-downs given to officials by the individual personifying state power have always been perceived by the population positively – the pike is there in the pond for the crucian not to sleep. A good tsar is a redoubtable tsar; otherwise bad boyars will lose all sense of shame and begin excessively oppress the ordinary public.

The reformatory efforts in their turn changed the tendency according to which A. Lukashenko was more and more perceived as a fighter for retaining his own power (opponents of the authorities – 45.8%, supporters of the authorities – 22.9%). Other constituents of the image remained virtually unchanged.

The new tendencies mentioned in Pict. 4 also changed the dynamics of the attitude of Belarusians to the accumulation of power in the hands of A. Lukashenko. If power is accumulated to increase control over officials, then such accumulation of power finds its adherents in Belarusian society (Pict. 5); naturally, least of all in the opposition-leaning part of society – 12.9% vs. 42.9%.

However, as observations of many years prove, public opinion has a short memory, that is why one-shot public dressing-downs bring one-shot results. Transfer of public dressing-downs into the permanent mode may provoke an undesirable tension among the minions of the individual personifying state power. The experienced politician is very well aware of it and hence alternates public dressing-downs with pauses.

In September A. Lukashenko demanded that the boards of directors of the confectionary plants “Kommunarka” and “Spartak” be done away with and the plants be placed under control of the state. Almost half of Belarusians (46.7%) have not heard anything about the demand actively discussed in the state and independent mass media. It can be concluded from the fact that the other half lives virtually beyond the information flows. This is quite natural for society in the state of political apathy. That is why in particular the amplitude of the tendencies’ changes registered in Pict. 4 did not exceed 7 points.

Mass life beyond the information flows is also manifested in the fact that almost a third of respondents found it difficult to define their attitude to the placement of confectionary plants under the control of the state (Pict. 6). The main share of those who found it difficult to answer fell on supporters of the authorities. Taking into account the socio-demographic portrait of the latter such redistribution is nothing to be surprised about.

Every fourth supporter of the authorities approved of the decision about placement of the confectionary plants under the control of the state ignoring the fact that the decision contradicts Belarusian legislation, i.e. was made according to the logic of revolutionary suitability. The fact should not be treated as a minor one – we see a relic of the traditional culture which is beyond the legal framework by definition. Even in the XXI century its bearers still make up an appreciable part of Belarusian society (their share is not limited to the 10.9% as they form a considerable majority among those who found it difficult to answer).

Attitude of respondents to another statement by A. Lukashenko: “We mustn’t pick on what was going on in 1917 and in general pulp the good ideas with which Lenin and his team agreed to the revolution” confirms that the process of parting with the past is still far from being completed: 35.1% agreed with it, 48.9% disagreed and 16% found it difficult to answer.