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The Hospital for Incurable Protestants

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About us

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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.

pemerson@deborda.org

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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 these two hypothetical examples, (word document) or (power-point) in which a dozen individuals cast their preferences on five options, the profiles are 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 of these methodologies are called democratic!  Extraordinary!

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What's New?

Thursday
Jan292015

UK general election, May 2015

David Cameron got the question wrong in both the 2011 FPP v AV and the Scottish referendums; "careless," as Oscar Wilde would say.  In all probability, he will soon rue the day he decided the question on the electoral system would be "FPP or AV?"  (i.e., his 1st preference or his 2nd?)  After the May general election, there will almost certainly be a hung parliament; so should there be (a minority administration), a majoriy 2- or 3-party coalition, a grand coalition, or, as in Switzerland, an all-party coalition?  

But why majority rule?  Because decisions are taken by majority vote?  If so, then again, why?  It is, after all, the most inaccurate measure of collective opinion ever invented.  Hence this article on openDemocracy:

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/peter-emerson/2015-general-election-in-britain-free-and-fair

And hence, too, this press release, on 7th March.

Monday
Jan122015

2015-1: Hong Kong 香港 2nd consultation

This submission to the 2nd consultation was made on 12.1.2015.  And here's the 1st one.

(See also 2014-11, 2013-16/13/11.)

Thursday
Nov132014

2014-14: Preferendum preferably (Village)

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/ 

See also 2014-13, for a Village article on China.

Saturday
Oct182014

2014-13: China/Taiwan 2014 lecture tour

 A Dec. 2014 article on China is in Village magazine, [see above].

With lectures from 2013 shown in bold, the 2014 China lecture tour included:

13th Oct  Lánzhōu North-West Normal University (see photo)

21st Oct  zhōu Zhōngguó kuàng University (2 lectures)

23rd Oct  Tiānjīn Nánkāi University (see 'Practical Examples' in right-hand menu)

6th Nov    Táiběi, National Taiwan University

3rd Dec    Nánjīng University

9th Dec    zhōu University again (see 'Practical Examples')

15-25th Dec  Běijīng International Studies University (12 lectures)

29th Dec  Zūn 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

(See also 2015-1, 2014-11 and 2013-13/11.)

Friday
Aug222014

2014-12: Scots' referendum + 6-option 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

(See also 2014-12, 2013-15, 2012-13/10/1 and 2011-1.)