FSD2623 Finnish Local Government Barometer 2010: Inhabitants
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- Foundation for Municipal Development
government policy, local finance, local government, local government services, parliamentary candidates, parliamentary elections
The survey studied Finnish citizens' views on municipalities and municipal service provision. One theme pertained to the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
First, views were probed on the sufficiency of municipal service provision in different issues, for instance, care for the elderly, health services, public transport, sports facilities, library and cultural services, primary and lower secondary schools. The respondents were presented with a list of services and asked which could be cut down if municipalities had to reduce costs. The services mentioned were educational institutions, child day care, care for the elderly, social assistance, and health care. They were also presented with a list of social problems, such as rising prices, prostitution, racism, crime, income disparity, high taxation, and asked which were the three problems the future parliament and government should focus on.
Next, the respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with a number of attitudinal statements relating to the financing of services, cutting down services, democracy, economic and social disparity, minimum income guarantee, public political influence, raising the municipal tax rate etc. Some questions focused on what methods the respondents would find acceptable to ensure the financing and services of municipalities. The methods mentioned included, for instance, raising the municipal tax rate, increasing borrowing, cutting/delaying investments, decreasing the quality of municipal services, lowering wages.
The forthcoming parliamentary elections in Finland were covered with questions on what characteristics the parliamentary candidate the respondents would vote for should have and what policies their candidate supported (for instance, cutting public expenditure, harsher punishments for crime, promoting the interests of minorities). Views were probed on the characteristics and policies of different political parties. Finally, the respondents were asked whether they would be willing to go abroad for medical treatment or rehabilitation in the future.
Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, economic activity and occupational status, education, employment status, region of residence (NUTS3), major region (NUTS2), degree of urbanity of the municipality, household composition, household gross income, number of persons in the household, which political party R would vote if the parliamentary elections were held at that time, and which party R had voted for in the previous parliamentary elections.
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