FSD2701 Parliamentary Elections 2011: Candidate Responses to Helsingin Sanomat Candidate Selector

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defence and state security policy, economic policy, electoral issues, foreign relations, parliamentary candidates, parliamentary elections, political behaviour, politicians, regional policy, social policy, taxation, voting advice applications

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The data consist of responses given by the 2011 Finnish Parliamentary election candidates to Helsingin Sanomat candidate selector / voting advice application by 6 April 2011 (n=1843).

The attitudinal questions were divided rougly into the following themes: pensions, economy, taxation, national defence, foreign affairs, domestic issues, municipalities and government composition after the elections. Some questions were asked about the increase in income inequality, adoption rights for same-sex couples, nuclear power and child benefit. For each question, the candidate would choose the alternative best describing their opinion, but they also had a chance to comment on their choice and prioritise the issue (high-medium-low).

Questions covering pensions charted the opinions on what should be done to the retirement age, how working careers should be extended and what should be done about the earning-related pension index. Views on economic issues were surveyed by asking how the respondent would cut government spending, should Finland support indebted EU countries financially and how, and what R thought of the currency transaction tax. Questions focusing on taxation included: which tax the respondent would be prepared to increase, which tax exemption to cut etc.

Regarding national defence, the respondent was asked how conscription should be carried out and whether Finland should apply for NATO membership. Opinions on foreign issues were surveyed by asking, for example, whether Finland should take a stance on human rights issues and democracy in its political dealings with China and Russia. The respondent's views on domestic issues were charted by asking about the perceptions on Finnish gun law, compulsory learning of the second official language (Swedish), immigration politics etc.

Questions concerning municipalities probed opinions on issues such as outsourcing, mergers and suitable number of municipalities. Finally, the candidate was asked to choose three parties that should be in the next coalition government.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's age, gender, level of education, party affiliation, electoral district and region.

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