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Mulit-option and Preferential Referendums

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The Hospital for Incurable Protestants

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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 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? > So what are the procedures?

Search the FAQ for entries containing:

i) A chairperson and a team of, say, three consensors invite all parties in the debate to propose options. The consensors produce a list of these options.

ii) The debate on all options then follows. The consensors may add any new ideas, as and when they are proposed; and/or remove any old ideas if agreed to unanimously.

iii) If, at the end of the debate, only one option remains, that can be taken as the verbal consensus. If, however, there are still quite a few options ‘on the table’, the consensors draw up a ballot and, when all parties are agreed that this list includes their own option, either verbatim or in composite, then all proceed to a preferendum vote.

iv) Everyone casts (one, some or hopefully all) their preferences. Preferences mean points. And the option with the most points is the winner.

Last updated on September 19, 2008 by Deborda