Among multiparty democracies, those with the fewest parties will have the most–productive legislatures. The fewer the...

Stefani on September 27, 2020

Can you explain this question?

I had a hard time understanding all the components to this question, so I diagrammed it. I ended up with B. Can you explain why this is wrong and why C is the correct answer. Thank you.

Create a free account to read and take part in forum discussions.

Already have an account? log in

Shunhe on October 2, 2020

Hi @Stefaniggorman,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at the stimulus here. First, we’re told that in multiparty democracies, fewer parties is more productive legislatures. Why? Because fewer parties is more issues each has to take a stand on. And then a political party that has to take stands on a wide variety of issues has to prioritize the issues, which promotes a tendency to compromise. So we start off with the conclusion and then support it with the following sentences.

Now we’re asked to identify an assumption required by the argument. In other words, this is a strengthen with necessary premise test. We can use the negation test. Does the argument have to assume that the fewer the number of a nation’s political parties, the more important it is that those parties can compromise with each other? No, it doesn’t. Let’s say that’s not true: it doesn’t get more important for parties to compromise when there are fewer parties. Does that ruin the argument? No, it doesn’t. The stimulus doesn’t talk about the importance of compromise at all. So that’s why (B) is wrong.

Now as to (C), the argument has to assume that the tendency to compromise makes the legislative process more productive. What happens if we negate this? If there’s no connection between compromise and an increase in productivity, then the argument falls apart. How could we conclude anything about having the most-productive legislatures from the argument without (C)? That’s what makes it correct.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.