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

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 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).


2019-22 The Economist; & now The Ecologist

Change our decision-making systems, and you change the world. It's in The Ecologist



2019-21 The Economist: Open Future Festival

5.10.2019 in Manchester, and the de Borda Institute is on the panel. 



2019-20 Local elections still dodgy

The Irish News of 8th May. Our elections still fail to come up to international standards. Many...

Click to read more ...


2019-15 Everything on the table? An MBC?

Brexit: To devise a binary choice to satisfy (almost) everyone is probably impossible; drafting a multi-option referendum would be only difficult. Democratic decision-making should cater for (almost) all; therefore, in parliament or a referendum, the ballot should be multi-optional...

Click to read more ...


2019-14 Imagine, an old Brexit solution.

JEAN-CHARLES DE BORDA, “Capitaine et Savant,” 4.5.1733 – 19.2.1799, versus the world’s first ‘DEMOCRATIC DICTATOR’. Today, 4th May, 2019, is his birthday. Imagine, if the 2011 referendum on the UK’s electoral system had been a multi-option ‘preferendum’ on five options.....

Click to read more ...


2019-13 A Brexit Solution - a 'preferendum'

At some future date, the UK should hold a multi-option ‘second’ referendum on perhaps the following five options: a) in the EU and the € zone; b) in the EU with the £; c) in a Common Market 2.0; d) in a Customs Union; e) under the WTO.

Click to read more ...


2019-12 Indicative Votes - Preferential

INDICATIVE VOTES, ROUND TWO – MONDAY 1ST APRIL The aim of this paper is to hazard a guess at how the indicative votes cast in the House of Commons on Monday 1st April might have produced a different outcome if the voting methodology had been different. As it was, the MPs used...

Click to read more ...


2019-11 The Commons & 'no' to compromise

HOUSE OF COMMONS THROWS OUT PERFECT COMPROMISE It got over 250 1st preferences, definitely. It got over 100 2nd preferences, maybe. and a few 3rd/4th preferences, perhaps… but it got thrown out. Binary voting is like a thermometer with only two readings, ‘hot’ and ‘cold’. The warmth of the House towards this or that option cannot be measured by such a blunt instrument.

Click to read more ...


2019-10 Binary Votes are Orwellian

PRESS RELEASE IMMEDIATE 26.03.2019 (INDICATIVE) BINARY VOTES ARE ORWELLIAN In 2003, the late Robin Cook tried to persuade the House to adopt preference voting, in vain, for “this would have required the technological development of a pencil and a piece of paper,” he said, “far too big a step for our parliament and its medieval procedures.”

Click to read more ...


2019-8 Indicative voting in the Irish Times

Our article on the indicative vote is published today in the Irish Times. The House of Commons can learn from the experience of the Citizens’ Assembly