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FSD2261 Youth and Parliamentary Elections 2007

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Authors

  • Advisory Council for Youth Affairs (Nuora)

Keywords

adolescents, democracy, elections, information sources, organizations, parliamentary candidates, parliamentary elections, political action, political behaviour, political participation, political parties, politicians, public political influence, social influence, social participation, voluntary organizations, voting, voting behaviour, youth

Abstract

The aim of the survey was to chart the opinions of Finnish youth on elections, various political themes, and power. Views on election themes concerning young people, youth participation in politics, and political thinking were studied with the help of various questions and attitudinal statements. Voting intentions in the upcoming 2007 parliamentary elections were also queried.

The respondents were asked how interested they were in politics. They were asked to indicate to what extent they agreed with statements relating to political decision-making and voting. They were also asked whether they took part in or wanted to participate in the activities of voluntary organisations, clubs, societies, groups etc.

Further questions covered how certain the respondents were that they were going to vote/abstain from voting in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in March. The respondents were also asked which qualities of their candidate appealed to them and to what extent. Opinions on power were surveyed with attitudinal statements. The respondents gave their views on whether the political party or the candidate is more important in the choice of candidate. Party loyalty was investigated by asking whether the respondents supported a particular party, and whether they could change the party they supported between the elections.

The respondents' views on the distribution of power were charted by asking how much power different institutions and bodies have. Opinions on why young people usually have a low turnout in elections, why they were not as likely to vote as the older generations, and what should be done to awaken the interest of young people in politics were also examined. Party support was charted by asking the respondents which party they are likely to vote in the parliamentary elections. The respondents also gave their opinions on the actions of Matti Vanhanen's government and who they would like to see as the next Prime Minister.

Some questions examined whether political values influenced the respondents' choices when purchasing goods, whether the Internet had influenced their political activity and voting behaviour, whether they had used email or the Internet in taking a stand or creating connections, whether they were going to use a candidate selector in choosing their candidate, and whether they were going to visit candidates' web pages. The respondents' faith in influencing through representative democracy was explored with an open question. The respondents were also presented with a set of attitudinal statements relating to various political themes, questions of security policy, NATO, government and opposition policy, and topical political questions.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, mother tongue, electoral district, household composition, level of education, economic activity, and type of contract.

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