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Voting, Fairness and Politics

[Sec 4 Maths and up: Distribution and Grouping]

Last year in 2020, Singapore held an election where the adults mostly had to vote for the party they wish to continue governance for the next few years. We normally approach voting, or at least wish to, with the idea that it's fair.

But is it?

Depending on the system you endorse, the voting results may change drastically. One particular group may be advantaged, at the expense of another group. Regardless of whichever we choose, every voting system works under a certain bias. For example, some voting systems and seat allocations work in the interest of larger groups; while other systems may favour the interests of smaller groups.

This, is Arrow's Impossibility Theorem. There are many aspects of voting that make it unfair, biased and at worst discriminatory. Yet it's inherently the paradox that people are faced with; no voting system is the fairest of all, and we must settle down and accept that a certain amount of bias is inevitable.


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