FSD1206 Finnish Local Government 2004: Municipal Elections 1996Detailed description (collection | citation | publications)
Ståhlberg, Krister (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Public Administration)
Pikkala, Sari (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Public Administration)
Kuitunen, Soile (University of Turku. Department of Political Science)
Keywords: candidates, councillors, elected officials, elections, local government, local government candidates, local government services, municipal elections, municipal government, municipalities, political power, politics, public services, services, women's role
The survey studied municipal election candidates, their motivation, views on the role and tasks of councillors and views on municipal services. Party membership and elected offices held by the candidate were charted. The respondents were asked who their supporters were and what was the supporters' impact on their decision to become a candidate. The respondents evaluated how the party or the constituency association had acted in the nomination process. Willingness to be a candidate of some other party was surveyed.
The importance of various characteristics to council work (e.g. co-operation or language skills, long experience in politics) was rated. The respondents were asked to what degree they accepted fellow councillors who never speak out or whose actions are contrary to their publicly stated aims, etc. They were also asked to what extent they agreed with a number of statements relating to councillors' duties and tasks and municipal decision-making. The degree to which the respondents represented particular groups was investigated. They evaluated how integral various aspects are to the idea of citizenship: paying taxes honestly, obeying the law, sacrificing personal interest for the common good, respecting public property, etc.
The survey carried a set of attitudinal questions pertaining to the role of women in politics. Views were probed on how well municipal services functioned and whether the municipality should invest more or less in a particular service. The questions covered social services, health services, education and cultural services and municipal technical services. The respondents rated the importance of various actions and decisions in developing public services (user fees, quality management, services purchased from other municipalities, etc.). They also evaluated how effectively they themselves were able to influence decision-making.
Background variables included the respondent's sex, year of birth, marital status, mother tongue, education, number of children aged under 18, employer sector, employment status, and political inclination.