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

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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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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!


Vienna TEDx Talk - October 2017

Here's the YouTube,  the PowerPoint, and the text of the speech (more or less).


2013-9: Beijing Law Review

Democratic Rights: Decision-Making by Law Makers and Law Enforcers, was published in BLR Vol 4 No 2 2013.  It's open access on http://www.scirp.org/journal/blr/

(See also 2014-13/11.)


2013-8: Egypt

Adversarial voting procedures, as in Egypt's constitutional referendum, have not helped the revolution.  This letter was published in The Guardian on 3.7.2013.


2013-7: "Peace-ful" Voting Procedures

Some voting systems are adversarial and Orwellian; and some of these lead to war: majority voting in Bosnia, first-past-the-post in Kenya, etc..  Other voting systems are win-win, and the above article has just been published in Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy.  See:



2013-6: The Friend

This article, Consensus Voting, has just been published in the Quaker journal, The Friend, Vol. 171 No 24.


2013-5: Nobel Women's Initative

At their Belfast conference plenary panel, on 30.5.2013, the de Borda Institute presented this paper and power-point presentation.


2013-4: Ireland's Constitutional Convention

Our first submission was this on 31.12.2012, and Here's our second; it's all about QBS.

(See also 2014-1.)


2013-3: Northern Ireland's review of d'Hondt

We seek to replace d'Hondt by an 'ethno-colour blind' matrix vote.  Here's our submission.  If you open this document, you will find our contribution on page 13.

(See also 2014-3.)


2013-2: Consensus call 

Roy Garland wrote this article in the Irish News on 1.3.2013.


2013-1: Electing a new pope.

In 1435, it was suggested that the cardinals should use a Borda Count.  Alas,  they still use majority voting.  Hence this edited letter in the Irish News of 21st Feb.

(See also 2012-11.)


2012-14: Defining Democracy - review

"...a thought-provoking guide to what democracy actually means and how best it can be achieved."  Review, Books Ireland, Oct 2012.

(See also 2012-4/3.)