What makes a voting procedure "fair"?

We might want everybody's vote to "count the same." A much weaker condition in the same spirit would be that there is no dictator. A dictator is a person such that the final group ranking must always be identical to the dictator's ranking. In other words, you might as well throw everyone else's votes out, because they don't count at all.

Here's another pretty basic condition for fairness - if every voter prefers alternative A to alternative B then the group also prefers A to B in its ranking. (A and B don't have to be consecutive in the rankings, we just need A to be ranked somewhere ahead of B.)

Think about what other conditions you would require of a fair voting system. If a large group of people were asked we would probably get quite a long list.

There is another condition that people who have studied voting think is important, but which is not quite as simple as the two conditions we mentioned previously.

Let's look at a simple example using the Borda method.