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Poll: Majority of Finns Believe Politicians Can Be Bought

A clear majority of Finns see nothing wrong with businesspeople or trade organisations offering financial support to political campaigns. Nevertheless, an even greater number of Finns say they believe politicians' opinions can be bought, according to a survey commissioned by YLE. According to the survey carried out by pollster Taloustutkimus, three-quarters of Finns believe politicians' opinions are swayed by those who provide campaign funds. Respondents over the age of 25, as well as those who did not vote in the last election, were the most likely to believe politicians' opinions could be bought. Approval for Campaign Contributions In spite of the strong belief that politicians can be bought, over 60 percent of respondents said they approve of business or professional organisations providing politicians with campaign funding. However, the recent sensation over campaign finance laws has influenced the opinions of some. Over one third of respondents said the scandal has damaged their confidence in the political system. Those over the age of 50 were the most likely to say they had lost faith in the system. Around one third of respondents over 50 also said business people and trade organisations should not be allowed to contribute to election campaigns. Interest in Politics Could Suffer On the other hand, nearly 60 percent of respondents said the campaign funding scandal has not damaged their confidence in the political system. Those who did not vote in the last election were more likely to say their confidence levels had diminished than respondents who exercised the right to vote. "This recent scandal over campaign financing could have the greatest effect on people who aren't really interested in politics. Now they may be even less interested," says Jari Pajunen, a research director at Taloustutkimus. Nearly 1,000 people were interviewed in the poll carried out in May. The margin of error is 2.5 percentage points. YLE

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