IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 4 (66), 2012




Negative stability
With or without him comes to the same thing
A stable rating against the background of a growing income
On the swing of the trust ratings
Again about the turnout
“A new majority”: between the myths and reality
The lull at the geopolitical fronts
Fruit of the “Dialogue about Modernization of Belarus”
“Small border traffic” and big-time politics

Some results of the opinion poll conducted in December-2012


Party’s legal proceedings with sociologists


Prof. Stanislav Bogdankevich, Ph. D.
“A serious contribution to the future modernization of Belarus”

Michitaka Hattory, Deputy Director of the Institute for Studying the Economy of Russia and CIS (Japan)
“Important lessons and challenges of twenty years to Belarus independence”


Dear readers!


In another issue of the analytic bulletin “IISEPS News” we offer to your attention materials reflecting the most important results of the Institute research in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Our research reveals that the “economic feeling” of Belarusians has virtually “stiffened” at the former level: in spite of the fact that last year was a year of the real income growth for the overwhelming majority, over 40% of respondents said it had turned out to be more difficult than the previous one; the same number of people said it had been the same, and it had been easier for 14% only. The number of those who consider that “in general the state of things is developing in our country in the wrong direction” still considerably exceeds the number of those who gave the opposite answer. Assessing the “success of the Belarusian economic model” a third of respondents said that “Belarusian economy enjoyed no success”, about 30% said “Belarusian economy would not be a success but for the Russian aid”, and 28.1% only considered that “success of Belarusian economy is explained by inner reasons”.
The unsteadiness of the economic stabilization inevitably influences attitude of Belarusians to the authorities: they hold the president and the government mainly responsible for the present crisis. The skeptical attitude begins to spread to the whole of the authorities’ economic policy. At that not only certain decisions begin to be called in question more and more (e.g. placement of the confectionary plants “Kommunarka” and “Spartak” under control of the state), but the ideology of the authorities’ economic policy itself. Thus, over half of respondents did not agree with the recent statements of A. Lukashenko that “market ideology was thrust on us to destroy the economy we had had” and that “the basis of policy, mine in the first place, is honesty and justice. It is the basis of everything, including economy, however strange it might seem”.
Disagreement and dissatisfaction with the executive policy gradually “concentrate” on its main inspirer. Answering the question “Do you think the fact that virtually all power in the country is now accumulated in the hands of A. Lukashenko is for the benefit of Belarus or does not give the country anything good?” a third of respondents gave the first answer, and half – the second. The president’s personal rating has actually “come to a standstill” regardless of achieving the “cherished” 500-dollar salary by the end of the year: in December he was trusted by 39.1% of respondents and 49.1% did not trust him, and 31.5% were ready to vote for him in the new presidential elections. It is obvious that shifting responsibility onto the “negligent officials”, which the president has been skillfully using for many years, does not produce the former effect any more.
No considerable changes are being observed in foreign policy orientation of Belarusians. Just as in the third quarter, if the situation requires choosing between integration with Russia and joining the European Union, 37.7% speak for the first option, and 43.4% of respondents – for the second one. However, in a deeper retrospection the public opinion “leeway” from Russia to the European Union becomes more and more obvious. At the same time, “Europeanisation” of public opinion has a pragmatic rather than value response. Giving answers to the question: “What kind of assistance could the European Union render in modernization of Belarus, in your opinion?” Belarusians mentioned sharing of modern technologies and provision of credits in the first place, and not consulting assistance in reform implementing. Such “quiet European invasion” is exemplified by the issue of the “small border traffic” – today 37.7% know about it, and almost half of respondents support it (at that the majority of them are ready to lend active support to its promotion).
As usual, for those readers who are more interested in our figures than in assessments we afford ground for analyzing the research results on their own by means of counting up in terms of the main socio-demographic characteristics.
In the “Bookshelf” rubric the Belarusian economist, Prof. Stanislav Bogdankevich and the famous Japanese scientist (the author of the first book about Belarus in Japan) Michitaka Hattori present to the readers a new book by IISEPS “The Future of Belarus. Sight independent experts”.
In the March issue of the bulletin we published the controversy “Sociology: crisis of confidence” which had started in Russia. Today “The Open Forum” presents another example of an uncompromising struggle with sociologists for the “party cause” that has recently unfolded in Ukraine. As it can be seen, Belarusian oppositionists (V. Rymashevsky & Co) who voiced criticism against IISEPS for its opinion polls results after the September parliamentary elections, keep to the beaten track…
As usual your feedback and comments are welcome!