FSD1247 Youth and Parliamentary Elections 2003

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  • Advisory Council for Youth Affairs (Nuora)


elections, information sources, parliamentary candidates, parliamentary elections, political action, political behaviour, political influence, political interest, political participation, political parties, politicians, voluntary organizations, voting, voting advice applications, voting behaviour, youth

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The aim of the survey was to chart the voting behaviour of youth during the 2003 parliamentary elections in Finland. The respondents were asked how interested they are in politics. Perceptions of politics, possibilities of political influence, the influence of politics on everyday life and the attractiveness of political parties and candidates were rated. The respondents were asked to evaluate how different aspects, such as self-acquired knowledge and co-worker opinions, affect their views on politicians and political parties. They were also asked whether they discussed parliamentary elections during election campaign with others and whether they searched for suitable candidates using online voting advice applications. The importance of different information sources (including parents and TV-programmes) in voting behaviour was probed as well.

The respondents were asked whether they had voted in the last parliamentary elections. The data contain information on factors which contributed to candidate choice and decision making: at what point did voters choose their political party and candidate, did they know their candidate, was the candidate of same gender and age as the voter, the political party of the candidate. The respondents were asked which qualities of their candidate appealed to them and to what extent. They assessed how the party's qualities and desire to influence government actions affected their party choice. The influence of current issues (for example prostitution and economic growth) on voting behaviour was probed. Non-voters were asked to state how self-evident it had been that they were not going to vote and how big a role did different factors play in doing so. These factors included difficulty to choose, futility of voting or the spirit of protest.

The respondents were asked whether they took part in or wanted to participate in the activities of voluntary organisations, clubs, societies, groups, etc. They were also queried on what forms of social participation, for example sending letters to the editor or taking part in violent demonstrations, they had used or might use in promoting important issues. Questions also charted political parties respondents might have voted for, the influence of parents on voting behaviour and satisfaction with personal financial circumstances, and actions of Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen's government.

Background variables included the respondent's basic and vocational education, past and present employment status, occupational group, household composition, region of residence, gender and age.

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