“Voting in the hood. Immigrant voting behavior at a glance” Publication Launch
“Voting in the hood. Immigrant voting behavior at a glance” is a study by the CES and its Finnish member foundation aimed at analyzing the electoral participation of immigrants in Finland and identifying the challenges and driving forces. The results of this study, based on an Internet poll addressed to immigrants in Finland and one-on-one interviews, were presented at a seminar in the Finnish Parliament on the 4th of May, 2012.
The study paints a fairly optimistic view of the future for immigrant participation in the political process in Finland: people appear to be enthusiastic and interested, as long as they have the information they need.
Around 61 % of all the respondents had not yet voted in a Finnish election. At the same time, only 10 % answered that they had no interest in politics or did not know while 90% answered that they had some interest, they followed politics actively, they would like to take part more in local politics, or they were already taking part in political associations or political activities.
A general lack of information and, more specifically, a lack of information in English (and other languages) emerged as important themes through the survey, open questions, and one-on-one interviews. It seems that the Internet is the most usual place that respondents look for information (nearly 42% got their information online).
The presentation of the study by the author, Katja Vesander, was followed by a round table discussion led by Mr. Markku Pyykkölä, Director of Toivo Think Thank. Two members of the Parliament, Arto Satonen and Sanna Lauslahti, shared their views with the chairman of National Immigrants, Radu Szekely, during the panel discussion. Expert remarks were also given by Niklas Wilhelmsson, from the Ministry of Justice and Riitta Ylätalo, from the Academic Employment Office in the Ministry of Labour.