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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.



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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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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 > Voting Systems > What are Voting Systems?

Search the FAQ for entries containing:

Voting systems may be used in decision-making and/or in elections. In decision-making, the outcome is usually a single decision (or social choice), or a single complex (as in a budget), or a prioritisation (or social ranking). In elections, the outcome may consist of one person (as in most presidential elections, and as in a general election in each single-seat constituency) or it may consist of many persons (as in a PR election, in every multi-member constituency). There are, in fact, over 300 different voting systems. You can look at first preferences only to see which is the 'most popular'. You can look at the last preferences only to see which is the 'least unpopular'. You can follow all sorts of procedures: knock-outs, leagues, points system or whatever. Suffice to say, here, that some of these counting procedures are inaccurate and others are rather better. (For a comparison of the most common decision-making processes and electoral systems, see this Institute's Beyond the Tyranny of the Majority.)

Most elections of more than one person relate to individuals of equal status: the successful become councillors, or members of parliament, or some such. Whether or not any of them then go on to become Mayor or Prime Minister is another matter.

In this regard, the matrix vote is unique. It involves the election of persons of different status. It is designed for councils and assemblies and parliaments, whenever they wish to elect a power-sharing executive.  In such a case, they may well want to choose a minister of justice, a chancellor of the exchequer, a prime minister, a minister of foreign affairs and so on… all posts of varying status. Accordingly, the ballot paper takes on a tabular format, and the individual voter (councillor or MP) may choose, in his/her order of preference, not only those whom he/she wishes to be in government, but also the specific ministerial posts in which he/she wishes each of these nominess to serve. This electoral system may also be used by any organisation when electing its executive committee of a chairperson, a secretary, a treasurer, and so forth. More of all that below.

The three voting procedures which this Institute seeks to promote are as follows:

In decision-making:Modified Borda Count (MBC)

In elections: Quota Borda System (QBS)

And in power-sharing: Matrix Count

Last updated on December 3, 2012 by Deborda