Sunday, December 16, 2012

the idiocy called 50% + 1 votes

I wrote about this idiocy a long time ago and I don't even remember the year. It's all got to do with the constitutional rule of Ghana that says for a prez candidate to be declared winner s/he must have "more than 50%" of total valid votes.

But I want to write about it again because some folks who claim to know Engineering Maths etc are preaching total BS. They claim it makes sense to say out of a population (designated as 100%), you can say 50% + 1 of that same population can be countered. So they tell us that the constittutional rule of "more than 50%" is the same is saying "50% + 1".

To be frank Pal, I don't know where this thing came from into the Ghanaian space. If you ask me I'd say I suspect Kweku Baako as the source. He's one person who has had a lot of BS accepted in the society such as saying "let me land" (to mean let me finish my statement) and "let us interrogate the issue". He says such things on radio and every Tom, Dick and Havi (small pig in Ewe language) picks it up and repeats it as if it was sensible to say.

Pal, there's no Mathematical principle in this world that supports the addition of a percentage expression and a natural number like 50% + 1. It is the same way you CANNOT have 50°C + 1. These are entities in different mathematical realms and so it's ILLOGICAL, in capital letters, to attempt adding them.

That aside, imagine pal that it was all cool and nice to do that illogical stuff. So how would you then do the counting when I come to tell you that out of the total population of Ghana when you take 50% and then you add 1 person to it (50% + 1) you'd get the proportion of the population that are female. How would you make such a count when our pal Tenance tells you the total population is 10? How would you do it.

However, in comes the Engineering Math NOISE by a pal called Tenance whose twitter handle is @kwakutii. He says what you get in the case of 10 as total is 5 + 1 = 6, since 5 is 50% of the total 10. If you're an idiot you'd be foolishly swayed to accept his claim. What he fails to tell you is where from that 1 he's adding to the 50% or the 5. He tells you the origin of his 5 but doesn't tell you the origin of his 1. why? ask your dear self: is it from space?

ok. Assuming all is alright so far. So I ask Tenance what about if the total population is 11? In similar fashion he says for this case 50% of 11 is 5.5 hence 50% + 1 = 5.5 + 1 = 6.5. Pal, an aside, let me warn you with the reminder that no sensible person would do this and call it math. You can call this UFO language if you want. Else at best you'd want to say 50% + 1 is EQUIVALENT (not equal) to 5.5 + 1 in this particular case. But that's an aside. Let's get back to the BS being claimed to be powered by Engineering Math tutoring. But even before then, how a human would be said to be half and hence we have a 0.5 human to add to 5 humans is a lot of Bull Shit to point out at this stage. Ask Tenance and he'd tell you it's an approximation. An approximation that leaves a human as 0.5 or half-human on earth! and Tenance finds it sane enough to even back with Engineering Math. I prefer to be insane, pal. Everyone's vote is countered as one vote in Ghana and never a fraction of one. Indeed there's nobody's vote that is reserved as a special one vote to be given to anyone who obtains 50% or whatever.

Let's go on. The 'simple and short' of the matter is that percentages of a population are always taken out of a total of 100%. Hence when you say 50% out of a population is female, what that means is that the remaining 50% (thus 100% - 50%) are either males or hemaphrodites (if they exist) or a combination of both male and hermaphrodite, but definitely non-female. You can't say 50% of a population are female while there's 1 (one) female left to be countered or added. Else then how did you get your 50% in the first place? Did you get your 50% from a sample of the population and not the whole population? ask yourself with a frown! So to say you've calculated 50% of a population to be female and still have 1 female to add must mean the following:

a) Your 50% calculation did not include all female in the first place and hence what you called 50% is actually not true. OR
b) You now want to take 1 person from the remaining male and or hermaphrodite population to add to the female population which would be nothing but Baloney!

Now. Just bring the foregoing statistical analysis to the situation of valid votes countered in an election and let's see something: If candidate A has 50% of valid votes then what that means is that the remaining 50% (100% - 50%) is for the other candidate(s). So after a candidate has obtained 50% of total valid votes countered there can't be any 1 vote left anywhere that should belong to him for us to attempt adding that 1 vote to his 50%. In any case assumming we found that there exists some 1 vote that was not originally added to candidate A's account what that would mean is that we'd have to recalculate his percentage out of the total 100% and hence it can't be said he got 50% therefore since that one vote added to his account must be coming from the accounts of the other candidates and not from outside the total 100%.

So to say in the case where the total valid votes is 10 a candidate can be said to have got 50% + 1 and that means 5 + 1 = 6 is total absurdity bordering on the entrance to INSANITY. Candidate A can't have 50% calculated for him from the total 100% and still have 1 vote left. Where's he getting it from? This is where Tenance introduces another absurdity he calls the 1 being encapsulated in percentage. Whatever he means by this I don't even want to bother. But pal if you're calculating the percentage of votes a candidate gets from the total you don't calculate some 50% before adding some 10% from the same total 100%. No. Absolutely No. What you do is to take the total count for the candidate as a fraction of the total valid votes and multiply that fraction by 100. That gives you the percentage of the candidate. Not 50% + 10% as if you divided the population of votes into different chunks.

So Pal, let Ghanaians respect their constitution and stop peddling Bull Shit. It's indeed a violation of the constitutional provision to say the winner of a prez election is determined by that illogical 50% + 1. So pal this matter is clear: constitutionally, mathematically and indeed statistically it's just plain stupidity to say someone has 50% + 1 of votes or 50% + 1 of mangoes or 50% + 1 of devils. just baloney!

At best you can say the 50% + 1 is a figure of speech. In that realm it could be accepted, else don't go saying this anywhere.

Pal, enjoy your life.


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sys said...

it is typical and crappy of Ghanaians, take for instance our currency cedis; what is it called now and the banks too stupidly insist you write it ... Ghana Cedis ... my something