A clear majority – 63 percent of Finns surveyed – say that an advisory referendum would be the best way to decide whether or not Finland should join NATO.
Only 27 percent of survey respondents said that a parliamentary vote would be the best way to make the decision.
When asked how the NATO issue should be addressed, 63 percent of survey respondents supported a referendum — even if the president, government and a majority of parliamentarians hold the same view regarding NATO membership. Only 27 percent of respondents felt that Parliament should make the NATO membership decision.
Ten percent of respondents said they did not know how the matter should be decided. In the survey commissioned by Yle and carried out by Taloustutkimus Research, 1,002 people were polled between December 29, 2014 and January 8, 2015.
The strongest referendum supporters were Finns Party and Left Alliance voters, while conservative National Coalition Party (NCP) and Swedish Peoples Party supporters were least enthusiastic about the idea. That correlates roughly with the parties’ stance on membership, with the prime minister’s NCP the strongest supporter. As public opinion polls have consistently shown a solid majority of Finns against joining the military alliance, a referendum would be unlikely to rubber-stamp membership.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Will Russia’s actions in Ukraine affect relations in the Arctic Council?, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Duma foreign affairs committee chief: Finland willing to end sanctions, Yle News
Norway: Norway suspends military cooperation with Russia until end of 2015, Barents Observer
Russia: More marines for Russia’s Northern Fleet, Blog by Mia Bennett
Sweden: Russia playing “psychological warfare” with Sweden says researcher, Radio Sweden
United States: Pentagon: Climate change is national security risk, Barents Observer