This article explores the internet's role in the Finnish 2004 European election. The first aim is to explore how different actors employed the web during the campaign. The second aim is to analyze the impact of the actors' web strategies on voters. Two circumstances make Finland interesting. First, the basic prerequisite for web campaigning is fulfilled since the northern countries, including Finland, are the most 'wired' area in Europe. Second, the electoral system is based on voters' direct choice of candidates, which encourages candidate-driven campaigning. The findings show that the main actors of Finnish campaigns, candidates and parties, dominated the on-line environment. Major party candidates, especially, campaigned on-line. Overall, the websites of all actors provided few information and engagement features. However, major party candidates made better use of the web than other candidates. Additionally, the news media's 'candidate selectors' made good use of web-specific features, and attracted relatively large voter interest. Concerning voter impact, few voters visited election-related websites. Moreover, few indicated that they obtained very/quite much information to support their voting decision from the web. Interestingly, young voters were an important exception.
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- European elections
- POLITICAL campaigns
- POLITICAL candidates
- POLITICAL parties
- FINLAND -- Politics & government -- 1981-