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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 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!


What's New?


Constitutional Convention

openDemocracy has just published:  https://opendemocracy.net/uk/peter-emerson/inclusive-decision-making-systems-are-must-for-any-uk-constitutional-convention

It follows the piece in May on the EU in/out referendum:  https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/peter-emerson/eu-referendum-what-is-question-though


The next book from Springer

"From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics - Electing a Power-Sharing Coalition" (Springer; Heidelberg and Berlin), is due shortly:  http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319234991

Seminar in Queen's, 27th Jan.


Defining Democracy - recent reviews

Katy Hayward has reviewed Defining Democracy in the journal, Representation:


and Miloš Brunclík has done the same in Central European Political Studies:



UK Labour Party leadership election

This letter was published in the Irish News, Aug 19th.  In a second letter, I predicted a result with candidates A-B-C-D getting A 60%, B 20% (not a bad guess, really), C 10% and D 10% of the 1st preferences, but if the A, C and D supporters all give B their 2nd preferences and A their 4th, then in a Borda Count election, (not A but) B would have been the most popular. 

And this second letter was in The Guardian on 14 Sept.


SNP get PR-STV for Westminster?

A press release, calling for the SNP to get PR-STV for Westminster elections.  And The Guardian published a version of this letter on 11th May,

Most MPs were not first-past-the-post because they didn't even reach it.   Only 48.6 per cent of the MPs, 316 of them, were elected by a majority of their constituents.   Yet they now use majority voting in parliament?