About us

My TEDx talk from Vienna, is a major attack on Brexit: and a mild ticking off of the BBC, which never mentions preferential decision-making, Borda/Condorcet and so on.



But the Blog is on hold. I'm in Xīnjiāng, and, for the moment at least, the blog is blocked.

A blog: I'm going to China. Starting in Vienna with a TEDx talk, I then head to Belgrade, Sarajevo, Istanbul, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Tehran and Kabul, before maybe catching a bus across Tajikistan to Kashgar, 喀什, in Xīnjiāng, 新疆, where I hope to buy a bicycle.  https://debordaabroad.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/de-borda-abroad/



Mulit-option and Preferential Referendums

Please sign the petition on



Inclusive voting app 




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.



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.




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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Won by One

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 very simple example of a few voters voting on just four options, and in these two hypothetical examples on five, (word document) or (power-point) in which a few cast their preferences on five options, the profiles are analysed according to different methodologies, and the winner could be any one of all the options.  Yet all of these methodologies are called democratic!  Extraordinary!


What's New?


2018-5, Dr John Robb RIP

One of our patrons, John was only fantastic. He was one of the few in NI who managed to build friendships based on trust from both sides of Northern Ireland's sectarian divide.  Indeed, it was he who was largely responsible for the success of the New Ireland Group, an NGO which he founded in 1982 and which so often managed to bring together persons from all walks of life, not least the politicians from across that dreadful divide.  


2018-4, Majority/Grand Coalitions

2016, Ireland and Spain both broke their national records for time spent by a newly elected parliament to form its government: 70 days and 303. In 2017, the Netherlands did the same, 225. And now Germany does it as well, 140 days and still counting. Surely the lesson of Weimar is that majority rule is no good. Better an all-party coalition. That is, never let extremist parties get more power than their proportional due, like the Nazis in 1933 Germany, the Jewish Home in 2015 Israel, the DUP in 2016 UK, and the FPÖ in 2017 Austria. Just give them, including AfD (Alternative für Deutschland), their fair share. And then work in consensus. They will soon tire.


2018-3 Ireland's Citizens' Assembly

They've done it: the Citizens voted in favour of multi-option voting! Albeit in a majority vote. Ah well, can't be perfect. And albeit with another majority vote - STV or FPTP? - to recommend how should such multi-option ballots should be analysed. This second question could have been multi-optional; but no; another dichotomy; this is probably a diehard reaction from the 'experts' to (try to) show that binary ballots are still acceptable.

To what extent the vote on multi-option voting was a result of our persuasion/persistence, we will probably never know. Never mind. It's happened. Here's our submission. See 2017-12, 2017-11 and 2016-14.


2018-2 A second EU referendum?

Complex questions should not be reduced to simplistic dichotomies.  Hence openDemocracy's latest: https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/peter-emerson/second-referendum-on-deal-with-eu-multi-option-poll  

See 2017-14.


2018-1 Elizabeth Meehan, RIP

Professor Emerita Elizabeth Meehan, RIP.

One of our first patrons, Elizabeth passed away on 6th January. She will be remembered not only as a stalwart supporter of all our 'de Borda' endeavours, but also as a lovely person and a very good friend.