2019 is an election year in India. So lot of numbers and comparisons will take place.
One of the common analysis will be with regards to the vote share. If a politician or a political party gets say 35% vote share and wins, the analysis states that while the person won and got 35% votes, the same person was actually rejected by 65% of the people. If we glance though this analysis, we may believe the the candidate should not have won because the majority of the population has rejected the candidate.
But, is this the way these numbers should be read? I believe otherwise. Every person who votes for one political candidates, actually ends up rejecting all other candidates in the field. So, if there are 10 candidates in the field and I vote for one. The person who got my vote gets 100% while each of the other people in the fray get 0% from my kitty.
Now suppose there are 10 people voting and there are 10 candidates. Let us assume that 5 people vote for 1 person and each of the remaining 5 people vote one candidate from the other 9 candidates. In this scenario, the winner has got 50% vote while each of the losers has got 10% of the vote. Now we can say that the winner got rejected by 50% of the people. What about the other people in the fray? Do we say that each of the other candidates was rejected by 90% of the people? If we do so, then the sum total of total rejections will be 50% + (90% * 5) = 50% + 450% = 500%.
Obviously something is not adding up. When we vote for a person, we are voting 100% for that person – because voting is binary in nature (more of Shakespearean dilemma). Only if the contest is between two candidates only, we can say that x% percent accepted and y% rejected.
Thus I feel that when we state percentages for the candidates, we should only state how much percentage voted for the candidate.