ELECTIONS: Understanding The 50% + 1 Clause Using Pop Culture

Published in Entertainment | Monday, 08 August 2016
ELECTIONS: Understanding The 50% + 1 Clause Using Pop Culture mtv.com

The elections in Zambia have been in full swing since the start of the year, they have coincided with the referendum concerning the constitution of the country, this is all to do with the bill of rights that is contained in the third part of the document and also to repeal and replace article 79. Here you will read about what is contained in Article 101 where there is mention of 50% + 1 which many people have confessed to not understanding fully.

The best way to understand something is to simplify it so how can this 50% + 1 white noise be adjusted so you can get a clear picture? How about we take it to something that you understand and can relate to easily, MUSIC.

Remember when Kanye West and 50 cent had a battle of sales? When the former was dropping his highly praised Graduation album and the latter was dropping the explosive Curtis. Kanye West proved that his music, that was deficient of gangster references and influences could sell a lot of records, 50 on the other hand, a total vice versa kept it alive and stood his ground. The result? A turn of stands! Kanye West outpaced 50 cent, but in the end they both made history because that was a great week for Hip-Hop as a whole.

If we are to smear that concept into the elections, you will see that it becomes easy to grasp and you get a clear comprehension of what it is and how it affects you and your vote as you cast it. 


After nominations are cast or in this case when the artists finish recording their albums and hand them over to the record labels they are signed to so they can be printed for the masses, the campaign period (Promo run) begins. The artists go around doing interviews, road shows and drop singles in order for you to be aware that their album is on the way. Basically, they try to convince you to buy their work. They at times get the help of other influential artists to get the word out about their work so they can cover a bigger spectrum of people, this is what most people in political circles call endorsements.

Then comes the big day, Polling Day (Album release date), think of it as a time when the artists finally drop their highly anticipated albums and you have to buy a copy so you can determine who will be crowned the person that will be considered the King/Queen of the music industry.

50% + 1

This can be seen as complex but is actually very simple. Think of this as a rule that is put in place in order for the artist that wins the sales race to do so by a majority that is over 50% out of the total after all the records that have been sold during the album release date (Polling Day) are counted from every artist contending to be the King/Queen. If all the artists that took part in the sells race all fail to sell over 50% of the total then there will have to be a second sales race only this time the artists that will take part in it will have to be the top two artists that sold the most during the race. So let’s bring 50 cent and Kanye West back into the picture, let’s assume that before Curtis was beaten Graduation, there was a sales race before that where let’s say Drake, Wale, J Cole and T.I. took part but fell off because they couldn’t sell more than 50 cent and Kanye West.

Kanye West 45%

50 Cent 30%

Drake 10%

J Cole 10%

T.I. 5%  

If the figures above described the percentages that were recorded after all the sales were counted then Drake, J Cole and T.I. would have to bow out, the only people allowed in the next sales race are Kanye West and 50 Cent because they are the top two guys in the race. 

The race where Kanye West and 50 Cent go through to after the other artist’s dropout determine who wins. The artist between the two that gets more than 50% of the total in the vote after all the sales are counted will become the victor so don’t throw away your money (Voter’s card) after the initial phase because you never know what the outcome could be.