# Pareto criterion

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The **Pareto criterion** is a basic criterion for evaluating voting systems. It can be defined in this way:

If every voter prefers alternative X over alternative Y, then the system prefers X over Y

This criterion is important in the context of Arrow's impossibility theorem.

Virtually every devised election method satisfies this criterion. An example of a method which would fail it would be *Random Candidate*, where some candidate is elected at random, regardless of the submitted votes.