About us


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

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 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!

FAQ on > What is a Preferendum? > Can the mathematical difficulties be overcome?

Search the FAQ for entries containing:

A Condorcet count suffers from something called a paradox: if Ireland beats Scotland, Scotland beats England, and England beats Ireland, (as in the 2008 six-nations rugby internationals), no-one will know which team is the best. (Except the Welsh.)

Similarly, if in a 3-option ballot, 43% have preferences A-B-C, 33% have B-C-A and 23% C-A-B, then a majority (of 66%) prefer A to B, a majority (of 76%) prefer B to C and a majority (of 56%) prefer C to A. So A is more popular than B is more popular than C is more popular than A is more popular than… ad infinitum. This is called the paradox of voting.

A Condorcet count suffers from the paradox but not an irrelevant alternative. An mbc suffers from an irrelevant alternative but not a paradox. So, to be really sure, as in a parliament, it is better to conduct the count according to the rules of both an mbc and Condorcet; and if the winner in both is the same, then you can be 99% sure you’ve got the right answer.

Last updated on September 19, 2008 by Deborda