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A blog: I'm going to China. Starting in Vienna with a TEDx talk, I then head to Belgrade, Sarajevo, Tbilisi, Baku and Kabul, before catching a bus across Tajikistan to Kashgar, 喀什, in Xīnjiāng, 新疆, where I hope to buy a bicycle.  https://debordaabroad.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/de-borda-abroad/



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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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?


2010-4: Scottish referendum

The de Borda submission is here.  (See also 2014-12, 2013-15, 2012-13/10/1 and 2011/1.)


2010-3: Designing an All-Inclusive Democracy

Designing an All-Inclusive Democracy, ed. Peter Emerson, Springer, 2007.

Don Saari has written a review for Social Choice and Welfare: it is on



2010-2: Party Politics in the Western Balkans

The above book, jointly edited by Věra Stojarová and Peter Emerson, is published by Routledge.


2010-1: Decision-making on the web

Our latest work, the result of an experiment on decision-making conducted entirely - both debate and vote - on the web, is published by EPS.  More details on


A synopsis of the trial is on the following openDemocracy webpage.


2009-6: Electing an all-party coalition.

On 7.10.2009, the de Borda Institute hosted an open public meeting in Dublin, to see if the Dail could elect a power-sharing cabinet, with TDs choosing not only those who would serve in government, but also the particular department in which each successful Minister would serve.  The original invitation is here.

Participants were split into various groups, one each to represent FF, FG, Labour, Independents, GP and SF.  And each group was given a fixed number of ballot papers, in proportion to current party strengths in the Dail: 20, 14, 5, 2, 2 and 1 respectively, a total of 44 ballots.  The matrix vote is based on QBS and the MBC.  So it was to everyone's advantage to submit a full ballot - i.e., to cast all their preferences - and to do so on a cross-party basis.  Thus, in the simulation, groups planned strategies amongst themselves, and then negotiated deals with others. 

The outcome was as follows: FF 6, FG 5, Lab 2, Ind 0, GP 1, SF 1 - a proportional, all-party, power-sharing coalition cabinet, a GNU.  In other words, the matrix vote is indeed a robust voting procedure, and it all works without any resort to party labels.  A full report along with the results are here. 

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