IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 2 (48), 2008




One more message
Getting a c-grade
The intermediate result of the final process
An alley of heroes
What to wish children?
The numbers of “the so-called” have grown
Currency for supporters of changes
Everybody’s “no” to russian ruble
“Preved, medved!”
A blind alley made by hands
What is the opposition necessary for?
Between the church and power
In search for belarusian demos
The exhausted limit
Optimism of the potentially unemployed
All to the elections!
Echo of war
About political technologists and politicians
Results of the opinion poll conducted in June of 2008


Oleg Gulak, Chairman of Belarusian Helsinky committee
To the question on the role of human rights defenders in the election campaign


Elena Rakova, Ph. D.
Ya. Romanchuk. “In search of an economic miracle. Lessons for Belarus”


Dear readers!


In the next issue of the analytical bulletin “IISEPS News” the materials reflecting the most important findings of the IISEPS studies in the second quarter 2008 are offered to your attention.
Results of sociological studies, as a rule, reveal the basic tendencies developing in public relations which, in turn, reflect directions, rates and character of development of economic processes. This materialistic point of view, certainly, is regularly criticised, however, but actually it is always confirmed by socio-political practice. Dynamics of the basic indicators of the public “state of health” received by findings of IISEPS studies in the second quarter of the current year and presented on bulletin pages under the heading “Public opinion monitoring”, in particular, attest to it. As the findings of studies show, the share of those who consider that the country develops in the wrong direction has increased, the number of those not trusting the president has increased, and A. Lukashenko’s open rating has fallen to minimum for the last five years. And the objective bases for such dynamics of public opinion are available.
The authorities, having used the next Russian financial “help” received in the beginning of year on some pacification of the electorate excited in connection with reveal of privileges and deterioration of conditions of getting energy carriers, could not solve the problems up to the end. Moreover, despite all the efforts of the government, real earnings and pensions of the Belarusians during the period from the beginning of year even decreased (by 0.3-0.5 %). Therefore, the problem of resources search for the further execution of the social promises, especially in connection with the coming parliamentary elections in September, has not lost its actual popularity, about what the current negotiations for the next credit with Russian “sponsors”, in particular, attest.
Along with it, as it was expected, the authorities have not weakened punitive actions against political opponents of the policy and civil society as a whole. In the considered period the basic emphasis has been made on struggle against independent mass media, for what the new law on mass-media has been passed by both chambers of parliament at a rather quick rate. According to analysts, the document contains a number of draconian regulations allowing the authorities to simplify the procedure of “trials” with unwelcome publications, and also to “regulate” the activity of Internet-publications. In general, it is possible to conclude, that there is no liberal evolution of policy expected by some researchers and politicians, and the forecasts in this respect are not consoling.
For the most curious readers, as usual, in this section some findings of June public opinion polls from the point of the basic social-demographic categories of the population view are presented.
The possibility to present his point of view under the heading “Free tribune” this time is given to Oleg Gulak, a well-known human rights defender, new chairman of “Belarusian Helsinki committee”, who has recently replaced on this post the veteran of the human rights movement in our country, the founder of committee Tatyana Protko. His article is devoted to a rather complex problem of interrelations between human rights defenders and politicians during election campaigns. In this connection opposite points of view in a society occur at times. It is worth mentioning, the activity of Belarusian human rights defenders is extremely unwelcome to the authorities. To it attests the campaign of punitive activity against them, started by the authorities in the respect of the forthcoming autumn parliamentary elections.
The heading “Bookshelf” this time contains Dr. Elena Rakova’s review of the book “In search of an economical miracle. Lessons for Belarus” written by a well-known Belarusian economist-liberal Yaroslav Romanchuk and recently published by Mizes’s Center. According to the reviewer, systematizing of different authors’ researches, a number of examples and facts from their lives, biographies of the first American capitalists and the Russian oligarchs, the considerable quantity of empirical data and comparisons make the represented book fascinating and informative.
All comments and feedbacks are as usual welcome!