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THE WOMAN’S CONSTITUENT OF A RATING

The shift of the social barometer hand in the direction of the point “clear” stimulated by the growth of salaries and pensions at once reflected on the growth of the head’s of state ratings (trust and electoral ones) (Tables 1-2). In the circumstances of purposeful maintenance of political non-alternativeness it could not possibly be otherwise. However, to all appearances the first person does not have any special reason for joy due to the presence of the given cause-and-effect relation, since the person, in spite of his rank, consequently turns into a trite hostage of economic indexes. Naturally, in this case there is no room for love, to say nothing about a great and blessed one. A hostage is a hostage in Belarus as well; and the society builds up its relation with him on the pure estimate of expenses and gains.

Table 1. Dynamics of answering the question: “If tomorrow presidential elections took place in Belarus, whom would you vote for?”, % (the question allows for several answers)

Variant of answer

04’06

05’07

09’07

12’07

03’08

06’08

09’08

For A. Lukashenko

60.3

48.0

44.9

39.9

42.5

38.9

42.5

Table 2. Dynamics of answering the question: “Do you trust the president of Belarus?”, %

Variant of answer

11’06

01’07

05’07

12’07

03’08

06’08

09’08

Yes, I do

60.3

55.4

56.9

50.9

47.3

47.3

51.9

No, I do not

26.0

28.5

32.7

35.5

38.0

39.5

32.1

DA/NA

13.7

16.1

10.4

13.6

14.7

13.2

16.0

Which social groups of the Belarusian population contributed most into the growth of A. Lukashenko’s ratings (the matter in the first place concerns the trust rating)? It is not difficult to guess that the principle “investor” should be looked for among pensioners. As it is known, in Belarus their backbone consists of women, and besides many of them do not possess high educational level.

The data of Table 3 convincingly confirm the given simple conclusion. If for the last three months the level of trust among men has decreased, even if insignificantly, than among women it has grown by 10.2 percentage points, which happened quite seldom in the past for such a short period of time.

Table3. Distribution of answers to the question: “Do you trust the president of Belarus?”, depending on the gender of the respondents, %

Gender

Trust A. Lukashenko

Distrust A. Lukashenko

06’08

09’08

06’08

09’08

Male

44.7

42.4

43.4

40.7

Female

49.6

36.2

25.0

The growth of the support level of the head of state also led to the increase in positive estimations of his activities, which is by no means always the case. Thus answering the question “Some people think that during the years of A. Lukashenko’s government power and arbitrariness of state officials in Belarus have decreased, and others think that on the contrary they have grown. And what is your opinion?” the share of respondents who have registered decrease of bureaucrats’ arbitrariness for the last year grew, though not fundamentally (Table 4). The given assessments are in many respects subjective and are determined by the economic background not in the last place. Pay attention to the difference in assessments in 2002 and 2006. In the first case under the conditions of considerable slowing down in the income growth the citizens all of a sudden felt strengthening of bureaucrats’ arbitrariness. However, as soon as income renewed its growth, than state officials unexpectedly became more attentive and sympathetic to the needs of common people.

Table 4. Dynamics of answering the question: “Some people think that during the years of A. Lukashenko’s government power and arbitrariness of state officials in Belarus have decreased, and others think that on the contrary they have grown. And what is your opinion?”, %

Variant of answer

09’02

08’06

09’07

09’08

They have decreased

33.2

49.0

45.7

48.8

They have grown

43.2

36.9

39.0

37.0

DA/NA

23.6

14.1

15.3

14.2

It is customary in political science to separate support of the authorities on the part of the society into its constituent parts. In our case routine support, which in many respects was obtained by the Belarusians as legacy from the Soviet past, is very important. This is exactly the kind of support that elderly people and other socio-peripheral groups possessing the minimal personal resources render their idol. Except for the state they do not have any other sources to solve their personal problems. That is why they are so sensitive to the slightest changes towards increase as well as decrease of their incoming. They are not able to critically interpret these changes, but they rather easily extend their mood to state bodies and, in the first place, to the head of state.