There would have been no problem if Daasebre Oti
Boateng’s claim is limited to “50% plus one” does not
exist within the constitution of Ghana as a criterion
for deciding a winner in a presidential election. But
his attempt to extend his claim that “50% plus one” is
non-additive and does not make mathematical sense is
misleading and throwing dust into the eyes of Ghanaians
(Daily Graphic of 18/12/2008, page 7). I have already
addressed in some detail that 50% plus one makes
mathematical sense and that it can be used to decide a
winner in an election (see Daily Graphic of 18/12/2008,
page 7). I hope those sending rejoinders (reactions) are
reading carefully the points I have raised.
argument that percentage and one are non-additive
quantities only goes to show the rigidity with which we
sometimes understand mathematical concepts, without
perceiving other plausible representations and
interpretations. Percentage is a fraction, a decimal, a
ratio… only different representations of a number. Can ½
be added to one? Obviously yes! But 1/2 is the same as
0.5 and the same as 50%, only different representations.
So, why can’t we add 50% and one? All you need is to
convert appropriately and interpret appropriately.
Mathematics is the study of everyday life activities
(like voting) and the application of derived principles
and methods of the subject to make sense of those
activities and others like them (the activities).
Principles and methods of mathematics are one of the
surest ways to make good and transparent decisions. They
ensure the efficiency of all our developmental efforts.
It is for these reasons that I have been at the
forefront of the efforts to revamp mathematics education
in Ghana. It is crucial therefore that we project an
appropriate shared meaning of mathematical concepts and
break mental barriers that make mathematics look like a
bunch of meaningless symbols dropping out of space.
I state categorically and unreservedly that 50%
plus one makes mathematical sense and that it can be
used to decide a winner of an election.
necessary, any radio or TV station can organize a life
face-to-face discussion of the issue so that we do not
get people like Kwaku Awuye (see Daily Graphic of
19/12/2008, page 9) and Akwasi Osei (see Daily Graphic
of Wednesday, 31/12/08. page 10) confused. There is NO
argument over the constitutional requirement of more
than 50 percent as the current criterion for winning
presidential elections in Ghana. The argument is over
whether 50 percent plus one makes mathematical sense and
I say yes.