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A blog: " De Borda abroad."  A journey to China. Starting in Vienna with a 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. But in every city, I have my little fold-up Brompton - the best way of exploring any new venue! It's all on:




Mulit-option and Preferential Referendums

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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.



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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? > The ‘tyranny of the majority’ presupposes that the majority is always wrong. Is it?

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No. In some instances, the consensus view will be the same as a majority view. Indeed, when there is unanimity, the consensus view will be the same as any minority view as well.

If you take a majority vote when there is a plurality of options, you might get a majority in favour of quite a few of them. Right kids, the teacher might say, what shall we do today? Go swimming? Hurrah. Watch a movie? Hurrah. A consensus voie would clarify the situation to find out which option was the most popular.

There again, you might get a situation when there isn’t a majority in favour of anything. This happened in Westminster in 2003 when they debated reform of the House of Lords: they had five options on the table, they took five majority votes, and they lost the lot! It was a decision-making process by which, for those people with those opinions, they could not make a decision!

Slovenia did the same in a multi-option referendum: three options on the ballot paper, and all three of them were lost.

In both scenarios, a consensus vote would have identified the best possible compromise.

Last updated on September 19, 2008 by Deborda