FSD2248 ISSP 2006: Role of Government IV: Finnish Data

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  • International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
  • Blom, Raimo (University of Tampere. Department of Sociology and Social Psychology)
  • Melin, Harri (University of Turku. Department of Sociology)
  • Tanskanen, Eero (Statistics Finland)


European integration, citizen participation, corruption, economic policy, government policy, government role, politicians, public administration, public expenditure, public officials, social influence, social protest, taxation, terrorism

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The year 2006 survey examined Finnish attitudes towards government officials and decision makers, and what is right and wrong in society. Respondents’ opinions on taxation and prevention of terrorism were also probed.

First, the respondents were asked whether people must obey the law without exception, whether protests against government should be allowed, and what kind of protests these could be. The respondents also gave their opinions on what kind of acts should be allowed for extremists who want to overthrow the government by revolution. Views on legal system were charted by asking respondents to decide which is worse: convicting an innocent person, or letting a guilty person go free.

One topic pertained to economic policy. The respondents were asked what kind of economic policy measures they supported or opposed. Opinions were gathered on increasing and decreasing government spending, responsibilities of government officials, and whether the current government was successful in different areas.

Questions related to terrorism included what kind of measures the authorities should have the right to take, if they suspected that a terrorist act was being planned. Some questions covered low, medium, and high income taxation. The respondents were also asked how often they were asked to help influence important decisions in other people's favour, and whether they knew people who could be asked to do the same for them.

Opinions were explored on fairness of public officials and corruption. Further questions covered whether the respondents or their family members had come across a public official who had hinted he/she wanted, or had asked for, a bribe or favour in return for a service in the last five years.

The national section of the questionnaire (questions 52-67) investigated views on Finnish economy by asking what kind of social and economic developments had taken place in Finland in the last five years, and who was mainly responsible for these developments. Some questions addressed which groups had too much or too little influence on EU policy making in Brussels. The respondents were also asked whether they thought it to be pertinent that authorised representatives of various companies and lobbying groups directly attempt to influence EU policy making in Brussels. Attitudes towards EU farming subsidies and EU decision making were also charted. Some questions covered how much a Member of European Parliament (MEP) can influence EU policy and decision making, and how people's knowledge of EU decisions and actions could be increased. Opinions on the MEP salaries and subsistence allowances were queried as well.

Background variables included respondent's gender, year of birth, household size, level of education, economic activity, occupation, industry class, regular weekly working hours, employment type, managerial position, employer type, trade union membership, voting behaviour, religiosity, monthly income and type of location.

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