Here is a logic-grammar question that I am struggling with.
Say I would like to say something like this:
 "If X did not happen, Y would be different."
The intended meaning of  is, of course:
 "If X did not happen, Y would be different from Y if X did happen."
Now, using  seems overly bulky to me and I am not even sure if it is grammatical.
 can be used with prior sentences providing context. Example:
For many in the country, the lack of electricity is just another problem. And some cannot help but wonder whether the situation would be different if the military had not taken power.
In the above example, the first sentence (plus the prior ones that I have not included) provide context that help the second sentence seem correct.
The question is what to do when such context is absent. Example of  as a standalone sentence:
The political leaning of a person would be different if he or she had no college degree.
In the above example there is no prior context. I am not sure if it is correct (in terms of logic and grammar) to use such a sentence. What I am trying to say here is: Each individual would have a certain leaning if he or she had a degree, and a different leaning if he or she had no degree.
My question is: Is it correct if I only use  instead of ? Alternatively, what is the right way to address these situations?