About us


A blog: " De Borda abroad."  From Belfast to Beijing and beyond... and back. Starting in Vienna with the TEDx talk, I go by bus and/or train for more debates in Belgrade, Sarajevo, Istanbul, Tbilisi, Yerevan and Tehran, before flying - sorry about that - to Urumqi in Xīnjiāng, followed by more debates in Beijing, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Taiwan... but not in Pyongyang. Then back via Mongolia (where I was an election observer last year) and Moscow (where I worked in the '80s).

I have my little fold-up Brompton with me - surely the best way of exploring any new city! So I fly hardly at all; I go by train, boat or bus if possible, and then cycle wherever in each new venue; and all with just one plastic water bottle... or that was the intention!

The story is on:  https://debordaabroad.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/de-borda-abroad/


Inclusive voting app 



(Currently under re-construction.)


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

Visit us on Facebook

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. 

Powered by Squarespace
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 voting procedures for use in decision-making and even more electoral systems.  This is because, in decision-making, there is usually only one outcome; but with some electoral systems, as in any proportional ones, there can be several winners.  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!

FAQ on > The Work of the Institute > What is your role in Northern Ireland?

Search the FAQ for entries containing:

The Institute originated from a series of experiments in consensus:

  • 1986, the New Ireland Group’s ‘People’s Conventions’.
  • 1991, the New Ireland Group’s ‘The Other Talks’.
  • 1993, the NI Green Party’s ‘Power-sharing Conference’.
  • 1995, Fortnight Educational Trust’s ‘Where Lies the Compromise?’  and
  • 1996, the ‘Citizens’ Assembly’

All of the above public meetings involved the participation of both members of the Official/Ulster Unionist Party and representatives of Sinn Féin as well as members of many other parties, of course. And since 1991, all of these experiments have involved the use of programmed multi-option voting systems, computer plus screen and data projector, initially for displaying an up-dated summary of the debate, and later to show the voters' profile and then the results of the vote.

The Institute itself was formally established in 1998.  There followed:

  • 1998, the Preferendum Social Survey,
  • 1998, with the Ulster People's College, Avoiding the Veto, and
  • 1999, with the Societyfor Social Choice and Welfare, Majoritarianism or Democracy?

    And since then, the progress of the Institute has been steady.  In 2006, for example, Mediation Northern Ireland hired the services of this Institute in an industrial dispute, a dispute which was successfully resolved, with the use of the three voting procedures advocated by this Institute.

    In the June 2008 New Ireland Group 'political circle' held at Stormont, the director of this Institute presented a paper on an inclusive democratic structure which did not rely on party labels let alone sectarian designations.

    In November, Fortnight magazine published the following review.

    In 2012, the Institute ran a seminar in Stormont on the matrix vote.  And most recently, we put in a submission to the review currently taking place in Stormont (see the diary of events on the home page - March 2013).

    Last updated on June 15, 2013 by Deborda