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FSD2095 Finnish Local Government Barometer 2004: Inhabitants

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Authors

  • Foundation for Municipal Development

Keywords

inhabitants, local authorities, local government, local government elections, local politicians, municipal councillors, municipalities, public services, referendums, social influence, social participation

Abstract

The Local Government Barometer 2004 was conducted in the year of municipal elections. The survey charts citizens' opinions on their own possibilities of influence, ways to improve those possibilities, decision-making powers of municipal managers and the importance of local politicians and political parties. The respondents were also asked to rate the adequacy of various municipal services, such as children's day care, care for the elderly, medical centres and income support. Their interest in different forms of social participation (e.g. serving in elective offices or taking part in voluntary organisations) was examined. Characteristics of a good municipal councillor were studied.

The respondents were presented with a set of attitudinal statements which pertained to local government and municipal services. They assessed the efficiency, functionality and paternalism of Finnish municipal system, considered the privatisation of public services, and evaluated the powers of officials. In conclusion, respondents were asked how they perceive themselves as voters in municipal elections. Background variables included the respondent's age, gender, occupational group, type of municipality, level of education, economic activity, province and county of residence, gross income of household, number of household members, household composition, choice of political party if parliamentary elections were held now and in the previous parliamentary elections.

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