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Local politicians want to reduce the influence of journalists and public officials

Male and female local politicians feel equally influential, and a large proportion of them want to reduce the influential power of journalists and public officials. These are two conclusions reached in Politikerenkäten (the politician survey) presented by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The study included almost 10,000 municipal politicians.

In 2008-2009, researchers at the University of Gothenburg asked all Swedish elected politicians serving in a municipal or county council to complete a questionnaire. Almost 10,000 politicians responded, and the results are presented on a blog called Politikerenkäten (in Swedish). When the politicians were asked to rate the influential power of different groups on a 0-10 scale, they placed municipal boards and their chairpersons at the top of the list (8.7 for chairpersons) and citizens and journalists at the bottom (4.4 and 4.8, respectively). The responses also show that female and male municipal politicians feel equally influential. 'We see the same pattern at the party level - male and female council members feel equally influential regardless of party affiliation,' says Anders Sundell, Political Science doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg. Nearly half of the respondents feel that citizens should be granted more power. About the same proportion, 44 percent, would like municipal officials to become less influential, while 41 percent feel this way about journalists, despite their already low rating. 'Although most respondents generally seem to share the same opinions, there's a link between attitudes and type of political involvement - hobby politicians are the most eager to remove influential power from public officials while full-time politicians tend to feel this way about journalists,' says Sundell. Read more at <http://politikerenkat.dagenssamhalle.se>

The blog Politikerenkäten is presented in collaboration with the newspaper Dagens Samhälle.

For more information, please contact: Anders Sundell, +46 (0)73 246 7996 +46 (0)73 246 7996 e-mail: anders.sundell@pol.gu.se

idw :: 28.06.2010