About us


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

Please sign the petition



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

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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 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!


What's New?

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


2009-4: Government of National Unity

The people elect the parliament, by PR; and the parliament elects the government, by PR.  Otherwise you get those crazy consequences of majoritarianism: the US Republicans hoping that Obama will fail; the UK Labour Party producing a budget of debt deisgned for only one year. 

In Ireland, too, the need for parliamentary collective responibility is obvious.  Hence this letter in The Irish Times, published on Wed. 22nd April.

(See also 2012-7 and 2011-6/5.)


2009-3: MBC Election of Irish GP Chair

Irish Political Studies has just published  Prof. John Baker's interesting analysis of the MBC vote, which was used in the 2007 election by the Irish Green Party/Comhaontas Glas when they elected their Cathaoirleach/chair, and here it is.


2009-2: The warped majority

An article in The Guardian on 4.3.2009 explores the use of consensus voting in a number of real life scenarios.



2009-1: Towards a More Inclusive Democracy


Brno University has just published an article entitled Towards a More Inclusive Democracy, and here it is, available on http://www.cepsr.com/clanek.php?ID=334


2008-3: Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting (PB) first came to prominence in Porto Alegre in Brazil in 1988.  Simply put, it allows local people not only to prioritise expenditures, but also to come to a collective decision on the allocation of funds.  This can hardly be done by a majority vote, but it can be done by ranking the various options in order of preference, i.e. by an MBC.  Rankings can be measured in other ways, of course; but in June 2008, in a paper on consensus voting presented at a PB seminar held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, this Institute argued for the MBC.  In the subsequent round-up of opinions, much enthusiam was expressed: and in the words of one participamt, "I am persuaded". 

Participatory budgeting is not a threat to representative democracy; rather, the former can enhance the latter.  We hope other pilots will follow.


2008-2: Online Consensus experiment

 OurKingdom, the new economics foundation and the de Borda Institute recently gave interested parties from think tanks, research groups and campaigning organisations, as well as members of the general public, the opportunity to participate in an online trial of consensus decision making.

You can see the whole debate


2008-1: Consensus research funding

The de Borda Institute and nef (the new economics foundation) have received a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to test the potential of consensus voting More...  The report of part of this experiment is published by EPS (see also 2010-1).

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