About us


The Hospital for Incurable Protestants

The Mémoire of a Collapsed Catholic

 This is the story of a pacifist in a conflict zone, in Northern Ireland and the Balkans.  Only in e-format, but only £5.15.  Available from Amazon.


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The de Borda Institute aims to promote the use of inclusive voting procedures on all contentious questions of social choice.

This applies specifically to decision-making, be it for the electorate in regional/national polls, for their elected representatives in councils and parliaments, for members of a local community group, for members of a company board, for members of a co-operative, and so on.

Please see here for some background on the director.  And this is a U-tube presentation by Phil Kearney on decision-making.


Personal site


The director alongside the statue of Jean-Charles de Borda, capitaine et savant, in l’École Navale in Brest, 24.9.2010. Photo by Gwenaelle Bichelot. 

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Welcome to the home page of the de Borda Institute, a Northern Ireland-based international organisation (an NGO) which aims to promote the use of inclusive voting procedures on all contentious questions of social choice. For more information use the menu options above or feel free to contact the organisation's headquarters. If you want to check the meaning of any of the terms used, then by all means have a look at this glossary.

As shown in these attachments, there are many decision-making and even more electoral systems.  Sometimes, for any one voters' profile - that is, the set of all their preferences - the outcome of any count may well depend on the voting procedure used.  In this hypothetical example, in which a dozen individuals cast their preferences on five options, the profile is analysed according to six different methodologies, and the winner could be any one of all five options, or a draw between some of them.  Yet all six methodologies are called democratic!  Extraordinary!


What's New?


Preferendum preferably (Village magazine)

Ireland. Yet again, abortion is on the agenda.  Another referendum? Or a preferendum?  The article is in Village magazine, Oct. 2014: http://www.villagemagazine.ie/index.php/page/2/ 


China/Taiwan 2014 lecture tour


Lectures undertaken or planned include:

13.10.2014  Lanzhou North-West Normal University

20/21.10.2014  Xuzhou Zhongguo Kuangye University

23.10.2014  Tianjin Nankai University (see 'Practical Examples' in right-hand menu)

6.11.2014    Taipei, National Taiwan University

3.12.2014    Nanjing University

9.12.2014    Xuzhou University again (see 'Practical Examples')

15/16/17/18/22/23.12.2014  Beijing International Studies University (8 lectures)

29.12.2014  Zunyi University

有也两个网址:  http://zfxy.nankai.edu.cn/newsview/anounce/7240

和  http://finance.sina.com.cn/hy/20131227/101617772165.shtml


Scotland referendum + 6-option TNS survey.

And the winner was... devo-max.  It wasn't on the ballot paper; it got just a handfull of spoilt votes; but it won! The director's observation report to the Electoral Commission is attached.  In its post-referendum report, the EC ignored our observations, so we published a further comment on 21.12.2014.

The deBorda report of the 6-option survey we commissioned is here, while the joint deBorda/TNS report is here.  In addition, this comment was published in The Guardian on 10.9.2014, and two days later, an edited version of this letter - they removed the 'ads' - was in The Irish Times


A Democratic China?

Just published and available free onlin

A Democratic China?

Many are the criticisms of those who feel that the one-party state in China is inadequate, and many are the calls, especially from abroad, for reform. But would a democratic China―as per a western interpretation—be an improvement? In tackling this question, this paper concentrates on voting procedures: those used in elections and those (which may or may not be the same) used in decision-making. This article first looks at the USSR, Eastern and Central Europe, and then briefly at Africa. Next, it considers what could go wrong if a standard, western, multi-party democracy was to be adopted in China. And finally, it offers a more inclusive polity.


The Hospital for Incurable Protestants

Tommy Sands held his superb Music of Healing event in Rostrevor on Thursday 24th July.  Among a host of lovely people, the director's autobiography was duly launched!