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FSD2628 EVA Survey on Finnish Values and Attitudes 2011

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Authors

  • Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA)
  • Yhdyskuntatutkimus

Keywords

attitudes, economic policy, environmental policy, fiscal policy, government policy, occupational life, parliamentary elections, political persuasion, politics, social and welfare policy, taxation

Abstract

The main themes of this survey were social welfare policy, taxation, political lobbying and influence, policies of the future government, candidate choice in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, and options for lengthening working lives in Finland.

First, the respondents were asked whether they agreed with a number of statements relating to political decision-making, climate change, political parties, politics, economic and fiscal policy, Finnish economy, working life, NATO membership, welfare, entrepreneurship, national identity, etc.

Opinions were charted on which tax rates (income tax, corporate tax, excise duty on alcoholic beverages, value-added tax rates etc) could be increased, kept at the same level or lowered. The respondents were also asked how they would rank Finland compared to other countries regarding a number of issues. The issues mentioned included, for instance, how well the political system, democracy and society on the whole work; material and mental well-being; the quality of education, social security and public services; Finland's image; economic competitiveness; equality; safety; income differences; amount of corruption.

The next set of questions probed views on how much certain bodies/operators (trade unions, employer organisations, public authorities, big businesses, the media, market forces, the EU, the EMU, lobby groups, voters etc) influenced political decisions in Finland and whether their influence was too great, appropriate or too low. Opinions were charted on what should be the focus areas for the future government (e.g. economy, employment, national debt, poverty, education, crime prevention, business environment, immigration).

One theme pertained to the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The respondents were asked how important certain aspects were for their candidate choice. The aspects mentioned included, for instance, the candidate image, party, charisma, expertise, values, image given on the Internet or in the social media, the candidate's gender, age, honesty, verbal skills. Opinions were charted on what would be good methods for lenghtening people's working lives (e.g. restricting access to early retirement, raising retirement age, abolishing conscription, measures to shorten unemployment periods, immigration, restricting access to unemployment benefits etc). The survey also investigated attitudes to Finland's EU membership, change of currency to euro, and whether the EMU membership was a benefit or disadvantage to Finland in the economic situation at that time.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age group, basic and vocational education, size and type of the municipality of residence, industry of employment, region, economic activity and occupational status, trade union membership, self-perceived social class and the candidate of which political party R would vote for if the parliamentary elections were held at that time.

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