FSD1207 Finnish Local Government 2004: Inhabitants 1996Detailed description (collection | citation | publications)
Pekola-Sjöblom, Marianne (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities)
Mäki-Lohiluoma, Kari-Pekka (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities)
Keywords: candidates, citizens, community identification, elected officials, elections, European Parliament elections, local government, municipal elections, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, opinions, place of residence, political participation, politics, public political influence, public services, regional identification, services, voting, voting behaviour
During its 10-year research period the Finnish Local Government 2004 Research Programme conducted three extensive citizen surveys. This is the first survey, carried out in 1996. It studied inhabitants' opinions on municipal services and municipal decision-making. Citizens' political participation and political influence were also charted.
Respondents' satisfaction with their municipality of residence was probed; respondents were also asked whether they could imagine living there for the rest of their lives. Respondents were asked to what extent they identified with their neighbourhood, municipality, region, country, Scandinavia, EU or Europe on the whole.
Views were probed on how well certain municipal services (public services) functioned and whether the municipality should invest more or less in these services. Services covered were social services, health services, education and cultural services and municipal technical services, including fire and rescue services, land-use planning, etc.
Respondents were asked whether they had been elected to any office in their municipality. Voting in municipal and other elections was charted. One question asked whether the candidate they had voted for in the municipal elections had been selected to the council. Respondents' choice of party in the 1996 municipal elections and the consistency of party choice in different elections were studied.
Membership or participation in non-governmental organizations were charted. Respondents were asked how important it was to them that the candidate they had voted for promoted certain issues or represented certain groups.
Political participation was studied by asking respondents whether they had used certain methods of influencing decision-making (e.g. taking part in demonstrations, signing petitions, contacting decision-makers) and by asking them to rate the effectiveness of these methods. Respondents also evaluated how integral certain aspects are to the idea of citizenship: paying taxes honestly, obeying the law and regulations, sacrificing personal interest for the common good, respecting public property, membership in a political party, etc.
Background variables included, among others, respondents' sex, year of birth, marital status, mother tongue, education, tenure, employer sector and status in employment.