IISEPS News # 4, 2015

IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 4 (78), 2015




Time to reduce needs
Voting as a duty or a source of hope
Elections’ results broken down by basic socio-demographic groups
Phenomenon of Korotkevich: the third Belarus
He advances slogans without doing anything
State returns affection, but not to everyone
Crisis cut down the number of change supporters
Men experience fright more often than women
Belarusians against increase of retirement age
Paradoxes of Belarusian love to Alexievich
As far as possible from the EU

Some results of the opinion poll conducted in December-2015


Time to save on food
Putin vs. Obama
Who do Russians appreciate?
Two views on the events in Ukraine
Higher education as key factor


Dear readers!

In the latest issue of the analytical bulletin “IISEPS News” we offer to your attention materials reflecting the most interesting results of the Institute researches in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Our researches demonstrate that in general financial well-being of Belarusians remains unstable. Thus, over half of respondents say that year 2015 was more difficult than year 2014, and only 5.8% think it was easier. Average per capita income (including salaries, pensions, social benefits and other incomes) decreased from $ 200 in September down to $ 195 in December (a year ago this figure amounted to $ 285). Anxiety for the future is increasing: the number of respondents who expect that the situation in the country will worsen in the following years is twice as high as the number of those who expect an improvement. The number of market-friendly reforms supporters is twice as high as the number of opponents; over 35% of respondents think that “our society needs serious reforms (structural and system changes)”. Almost 45% of respondents disagreed with the recent A. Lukashenko’s statement that “in order to carry out reforms in Belarus, it is necessary to break the political system of the country, state structure of Belarus, divide and cut up the state property and give it away”.
Belarusians’ attitude to the state power gradually becomes worse. Indices of trust to almost all of state institutions decreased in comparison with December 2014. During the inauguration ceremony President A. Lukashenko said that “a stable, viable state was created in Belarus”. Only 48.1% of respondents agreed with this. Even less respondents (45.2%) agreed that “Belarusian people need to be led, need a guideline”. Over half of respondents think that the state of affairs in our country is developing in the wrong direction, while only 36.7% of respondents think that the direction is right. However, the readiness for changes in society is still quite low. One of the few events of the departing year that provoked positive emotions in Belarusians was the presentation of Nobel Prize in Literature to Svetlana Alexievich: 57% of respondents see this as “a source of pride, international recognition of Alexievich’s talent”.
Belarusians’ attitude to the state power and its opponents was best reflected in the main political event of the year – presidential campaign. In total 70.2% of respondents voted during the elections in October, including 50% on the scheduled election day and 20% during the early voting. Only 4% of voters boycotted the elections on purpose, expressing their protest. The most important factors which influenced the vote were peace and stability, overall quality of life, and price hike. Real figures based on the number of voters are: 50.8% – for the present president, 22.3% – for the candidate from the civil campaign “People’s Referendum” T. Korotkevich, 7.4% – for S. Gaydukevich, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party; and 2.7% – for N. Ulakhovich, the ataman of Belarusian Cossacks. Present index of voting for A. Lukashenko is the lowest in the history of IISEPS monitoring. Belarusians are quite reserved about the results of presidential election. For example, only 35.6% of respondents said that the candidate they voted for became the President, while 22.7% gave a negative answer. 41.4% of respondents agree that presidential elections were free and just; 33% disagree.
Isolationist moods are increasing in foreign-policy orientations of Belarusians. Survey registered a record low share of “Euro-Belarusians”, but also a slight decrease of the share of “Belo-Russians”. Besides “Ukrainian factors” there are new factors that affect the decrease of pro-European orientations. Thus, answering the question whether Belarus should join the international struggle against terrorism after the recent events in Paris, only slightly more than a third of respondents agreed that “Belarus should support international struggle against terrorists, because their actions are a threat to the whole civilized world, including Belarusians”, while over 57% of respondents think that “Belarus should not participate in the international struggle with terrorists, otherwise terroristic acts will start happening in Belarus”. Number of Belarusians working abroad significantly dropped. The most significant drop was observed for shares of people working in Russia and Ukraine. The idea of the “Russian World” is regarded positively by almost each third Belarusian. However, the idea of the “Russian World” directly affect interests of Belarusians, especially the sphere of security, its support is less evident: today only 27% of respondents are positive about the idea of a Russian military airbase in Belarus, while every third respondent is against it.
As usual, those readers who are more interested in our figures than in our assessments can analyze the research results on their own. The results are presented as a plain count up according to the main socio-demographic characteristics.
In our “Open Forum” rubric we continue to present the most interesting results of the latest surveys of our colleagues from neighboring countries.
As usual, your feedback and comments are welcome!