|Democracy indicators||Text version|
What are democracy indicators?
Democracy indicators monitor the state and development of Finnish democracy. For the moment democracy indicators are available in Finnish, only.
They cover the following topics:
Which data are democracy indicators based on?
The comprehensive and reliable democracy indicators are based on high quality survey data and registe
What are democracy indicators needed for?
There is plenty of demand for information about democracy. Civic discussion calls for clear and reliable information that creates a firm enough basis for the formulation of opinions and decisions made by citizens in the context of their own active role in society. Political and government decision-makers need information that is relevant to society's development and in concrete problem-solving situations.
Democracy issues include key elements that cannot be properly illuminated without measurable indicators. Many questions typical of democracy discussions are formulated in quantitative terms. Which development trends can we observe in people's attitudes towards democracy? What is the rate of those participating in "non-traditional" political activities among the population? How representative among the public is the often-detected negative attitude towards politics?
What do democracy indicators tell about the situation in Finland?
This question is best answered by examining individual indicators and their descriptions. At the moment, they do not support international comparisons. However, according to several opinion indicators Finns are quite strongly attached to their political system compared to citizens of other European countries. On the other hand, some operational indicators seem to imply that the situation is not as good. For example response rates in Finland have fallen to the average EU level or below already a long time ago.
Globally thinking, the issue can be evaluated using Finland's ranking in the comparisons made with the help of the so-called democracy indices. The indices describe the political systems of different countries and list their general characteristics.
How are the data utilised?
Both the research data which democracy indicators are based on as well as the indicators themselves are designed so that long-term monitoring of Finnish democracy is served as appropriately as possible. Fundamental democracy indicators will be published as easily understandable and concise tables and graphs.
In addition to summaries intended for the public and media, a main academic report and briefer publications in scientific journals will be created on each topic.
Who creates democracy indicators?
Indicators are selected and also for the most part designed by academic researchers. The main data collected in connection with Parliamentary elections include the collection of data agreed under the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems project, as well as national elements agreed separately. International cooperation networks and international comparability are vital tools for research into Finnish democracy.
Who finances democracy indicators?
The basic data are financed by the Ministry of Justice.
Background for the democracy indicator project
The Finnish democracy indicator project was launched in 2005 as part of the Citizen Participation Policy Programme of Matti Vanhanen's first Government. The research group produced a large work [Finnish democracy indicators] for the publication series of the Ministry of Justice, which included proposals for democracy indicators to be introduced in Finland. Afterwards, the Ministry of Justice has financed collecting the data required by the indicators during the Parliamentary elections and reporting them in the Democracy Data Bank Kansanvalta.fi maintained by the Ministry.
Now, the responsibility for maintaining and developing the indicators has been transferred to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive, which publishes the indicators as part of the Finnish Election Study Portal. Democracy indicators are naturally connected to election studies, because it is particularly the national election studies that provide the main data for researching citizens' political identification and voting behaviour in several countries.
To Election Study Portal: http://fsd4.uta.fi/en/