FSD1022 Parties and Local Democracy 1996: Party Members

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democracy, elected officials, elections, internal politics, local government, local government services, political action, political attitudes, political participation, political parties, political power, representative democracy

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In this survey Finnish voters, members of the seven largest political parties, candidates of the 1996 municipal elections, and municipal council members were compared. The party members were asked the year of becoming a member and reasons for joining. Some questions focused on the members' activity in the parties and their interest in elective offices. The respondents were presented with statements relating to municipal policy and politics in general. They were asked to assess to what extent the work of councillors is appreciated, whether they saw themselves as representatives of their background groups in their parties, and how important it was that the municipal council was representative of the municipal electorate. The present state and development needs of a number of municipal services and tasks were canvassed. The party members were also asked how municipal democracy, service production, and efficiency of decision-making could be improved. The respondents were asked who had the real power in their home municipality, how active party members they thought themselves to be, and how active their own local party association was.

Background variables included the responden'ts gender, age, occupational group, education, type of employer, and municipality of residence.

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