Local elected officials don't want to share the power and influence.
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 a politician survey presented by researchers at the University of Gothenburg. 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. On a zero to ten scale, local politicians rated municipal boards and their chairpersons on top after citizens and, lowest, journalists.
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," said Anders Sundell, Political Science doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg.
Nearly half of the politicians feel that citizens should be granted more power. About the same proportion, 44%, would like municipal officials to become less influential, while 41% feel this way about journalists, despite their already low rating. Sundell noted that amateur, part time politicians were eager to remove influential power from public officials while professional, full-time politicians felt this way about journalists.