IMAT 2014 Q3 [Conclusion | Elections]

The purpose of an election is to decide what policies are supported by the people. However, in elections the concept of ‘tactical voting’ is becoming increasingly common. The argument is a simple one:

Party X will never be beaten by party Y but party Z could win with a few extra votes. Therefore, you should transfer your vote from party Y to party Z to make sure that party X is beaten.

This reasoning is perfectly sound if your main objective is to vote a party out. Unfortunately, if you support party Y then there is no guarantee that party Z will support the same principles.

Which one of the following is the conclusion that could best be drawn from the above passage?

A. Elections are often thought of in terms of voting for or against the party in office, rather than as voting for your preferred party.

B. Tactical voting is an important part of the electoral process.

C. Tactical voting will not achieve the purpose of an election.

D. It is important that party X does not win the election.

E. Party X policies are not popular.

Summary of Steps to Solve Drawing Conclusion Type Questions:
Read the Question (Every question)

  • Go through the text and underline evidence
  • Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
    • (easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
  • Using the underlined evidence and examples, prove each conclusion. Ask yourself “is this another piece of evidence? Or is this proved and strengthened by what’s in the text?”
  • Remember to ignore bias and disregard answers that may be true in the real world, but are not supported in the text.

The main idea of this passage is to explain how tactical voting works and from this, we can make our conclusion on whether or not it achieves the purpose of the election: ‘… to decide what policies are supported by the people.

A Elections are often thought of in terms of voting for or against the party in office, rather than as voting for your preferred party:

Although ‘tactical voting’ may be becoming more and more common, we cannot conclude that this is how elections are often thought about. The author says the purpose of an election is to decide what policies are supported by the people, so elections should be thought of in terms of voting for the party with policies you like instead of voting against the ones you do not like because what guarantees the party you use to knock another out of power shares the same views as you. Therefore A is incorrect.

B Tactical voting is an important part of the electoral process:

The author does not say this and because they define the purpose of an election, it actually would go against this statement. This answer choice is saying that voting for the opposition is important however we cannot assume that just because they are opposition they will have opposite views, meaning tactical voting can leave to you vote for a party with policies you do not believe in. Therefore B is incorrect.

C Tactical voting will not achieve the purpose of an election:

The author immediately states: ‘the purpose of an election is to decide what policies are supported by the people’, but later in the example, it states that if you tactically vote for a party because you know your preferred choice will not win, then there is no guarantee that this tactical vote will go to a party with the same principles as your preferred. So this shows that tactical voting does not truly show what policies are supported by the people, and therefore it will not achieve the purpose of the election. C is correct.

D It is important that party X does not win the election. And E Party X policies are not popular.

We are grouping these together because they are both examples within an argument. Party X is arbitrary, it does not matter and is only used to explain how something else works. This is why we cannot make a conclusion about it because it is something that has no value or meaning and is just used to explain something else. Therefore D and E are incorrect.