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GMAT Sample Questions : Analytical Writing Assessment

Politicians too often base their decisions on what will please the voters, not on what is best for the country.

Sample-1

In a representative democracy, representatives are selected by the voters to convey their ideas and values in the government. These representatives are voted for by citizens according to their degree to which they will uphold these ides and values. Citizens would obviously not vote someone into office who believes in the opposite of the citizens on several issue. The representatives will be re-elected in the same manner; the degree to which the citizens ideas and values were upheld. It is not surprising that politicians will base their decisions on what will please the voters and not on what is best for the country. The politicians must maintain the popularity of the voters and the best method to achieve that is to please them with the actions made in governmental circles.

The politicians however are not merely carbon copies of the citizen's consensus opinions. The politicians will have opinions of their own and occasionally this may conflict with those of the voters. At this time the politicians may make an unpopular decision for what they feel is for the good of the country. One example is often seen with the petition of Nazi groups to march. While an exceptionally high majority of citizens would never want to see this march occur, many politicians would have no choice but to let the march preceede for the greater good, in this instance it is the right to free speech guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the constitution. From this ideal, much of this country was founded and it would by hypocritical to deny it to another group regardless of how unpopular this group was to the voters.

While this is an extreme case of politicians displeasing the voters for the good of the country, there exists a great range of "grey" area where politicians and voters do not meet eye to eye. So what should be considered when making a decision to please the voters or serve the nation? Fortunately, for the most part, the voters will also have the best interest of the nation at heart but trouble can still arise. One major problem is the building of new prisons or landfills. For most voters, there is no question that they are needed, but none of the voters wants to see the prison or landfill wind up in their backyards. To deal with such problems and still remain in good standing with the voters, the politicians must learn to make concessions. For instance, the same district where a new prison is built, a new High School and Industrial Park is set up to better education and increase jobs and the local economy. A politicians must weigh the potential degrees of disfavor that they may incur when determining whether to serve the nation at the risk of the voters. Politicians are unable to please all of the voters all of the times, but by ensuring that unfavorable decision are accompanied by many favorable ones, the politicians can balance on the treacherous tightrope between serving their country and serving their voters.

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