To win democratic elections that are not fully subsidized by the government, nonwealthy candidates must be supported ...

Jasmine on March 16, 2014

why not A

Please help me to understand why A is incorrect and B is correct. Thank you!

1 Reply

Melody on March 24, 2014

The author's conclusion is that the belief that nonwealthy candidates who are not fully subsidized by the government will compromise their views to win support is false. He backs up his conclusion by explaining that even though wealthy patrons must support these candidates, the wealthy are dispersed among the various political parties in roughly equal proportion to their percentage in the overall population.

So the author is inferring that due to the even distribution of the wealthy amongst various political parties, the nonwealthy candidates will not have to compromise on their views since they'll be able to find a wealthy patron who will agree with their position(s).

Answer choice (B), however, points out a flaw in this assumption by stating that in democracies in which elections are not fully subsidized by the government, positions endorsed by political parties cover a much smaller array of topics than those positions taken by the candidates. Thus, according to (B), it is not necessarily true that due to the equal dispersion of the wealthy among political parties, candidates will be able to find one who agrees with their views; meaning, they might, in fact, be forced to compromise their views to win support.

Answer choice (A) is not correct because all it says is that the PRIMARY function of political parties in democracies whose governments do not subsidize elections might not be to provide a means of negating the influence of wealth on elections. This does not mean that the secondary function cannot stand for this exact reason. Thus, just because the PRIMARY function of political parties in these democracies is not to mitigate the influence of wealth, this does not necessarily mean that it is not their function at all. Moreover, even if this answer choice were to state that it wasn't the function of political parties, that doesn't call into question what that the argument tells us, i.e. that wealthy patrons in political parties will still help subsidize candidates. The argument never states that wealthy patrons will only act within the scope of the function of a political party. Thus, the argument is not vulnerable to the criticism that it fails to consider answer choice (A).

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.