Finns uninterested in politics

photo by flickr user jpaudit

photo by flickr user "jpaudit"

A short piece of news from Finnish public service broadcaster YLE reported about a survey measuring the political knowledge of Finns across the society. The survey, conducted by the University of Turku, found that a large part of the general population had quite poor knowledge about domestic politics. Three out of four respondents were unable to name the currently governing parties.

Most of the more than 1000 respondents could name prime minister Matti Vanhanen. In contrast, only one in four considered it important to vote in the European parliamentary elections. Political knowledge showed correlation with the income level and profession of the respondents.

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2 Responses to Finns uninterested in politics

  1. pirania says:

    well, no wonder. Finland just follows more universal trend.
    The other way to look at this is what surveys often measure is a conventional participation or interest. So it’s not that people don’t care – they are just not interested in conventional participation – they prefer to boycott products or protest or help in voluntary organizations than participate in something that brings no results according to them.
    Or it is also possible that actually a stealth democracy idea is true – people are not interested, they donöt want to waste their time on politics since life is short enough and you have many other stuff that causes you worry enough. but they don’t want authoritarian regim either. All they want is that they elect people who will make their democratic country work fine. And that we don’t have to worry about anything else. Like in a well run company.

  2. Luigi says:

    >”they prefer to boycott products or protest or help in voluntary organizations than participate in something that brings no results according to them.”

    First of all, I believe you can make such a generalization due to your numerous researches on the field (if the sense is not patent I’ll have to specify: I am being sarcastic).

    I also have big news for you: there is nothing more political than boycotting some products or working in voluntary organizations. That is actually much more political than candidating oneself for municipality elections since in the former case one will not earn anything in doing so.

    >”people are not interested, they donöt want to waste their time on politics since life is short enough and you have many other stuff that causes you worry enough”

    Everything you do involves other people (also if you live in a cottage in the middle of nowhere you will have to deal with national laws for example) and therefore is political. I can explain why, if requested.

    >”All they want is that they elect people who will make their democratic country work fine. And that we don’t have to worry about anything else. Like in a well run company.”

    You sound like a real Finn. However: who told you that the government works fine? Which are the variables you considered when adfirming such a thing?

    Paraphrasing your sentence: every government in the world works fine, according to the system in which it is located, since good and bad are very relative matters.

    I mean: in which case can you say ‘a government does not work well’?

    And what is a ‘well run company’? Because then, I suppose, you would like governments to make lots of money, since that’s what private companies are supposed to do.

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