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

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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.



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).


2017-7 UK elections, government

Total number of seats                         =          650

so a majority                            =          326

A         Tories              =          318

B         Lab                  =          262

C         SNP                 =            35

D         LD                   =            12

E          DUP                =            10

F          SF                    =             7

G         PC                   =              4

H         GP                   =              1

For those who believe in majority rule, a minimal majority coalition government could be either:

A + B, or A + C, or A + D, or A + E, or A + F + G or ...

B + C + D + E + F + G, or B + C + D + E + F + H

and in majoritarian democratic theory, any one of these seven combinations is only totally democratic.




2017-6 The Will of the People

The Will of the People: A Critique of (Simple or Weighted) Majority Voting.  In OJPS, 2017, Vol. 7, 311-325.

http://file.scirp.org/pdf/OJPS_2017042816243705.pdf    (See also 2017-1 and 2016-12.)


2017-5 The BB(we'll)C

Yes yes, we'll debate majority voting, perhaps, sometime, well maybe.  See also 2016-7.


2017-4 FPTP = Fake Post-Truth Polling

Should FPTP, First-Past-The-Post, be re-named as Fake Post-Truth Polling?  After all, there is no post!  To win a two-candidate contest requires 50% + 1 of the valid vote.  With ten or more candidates, success could depend on just 10% + 1, and the world record is held by Papua New Guinea where a candidate was elected by less than 5%.  So maybe 95% thought this ‘winner' was the worst!  In a word, FPTP can be hopelessly inaccurate.  So the sensible folk in PNG have now changed their electoral system to a form of preferential voting.  Would that the UK system was also fair. (Published in local NI media.)



2017-3 NI dodgy elections + consequences... 

We said the elections would be dodgy with this letter in the Irish News of 2nd Feb and sure enough, they failed to come up to international standards, so hence this press release reproduced on Slugger.

What's next?  Well, the easiest way to form an Executive is to use a matrix vote, as per this press release and this letter in The Irish Times and NI news outlets.  See also 2016-8



2017-2 Deliberative Democracy

If the sample is good enough, the list of options thorough enough, and the consensus coefficient of the outcome high enough, the result should perhaps be binding.



2017-1 Brexit wrecks it

In February last year, we said if the brexit vote is to be, "EU, yes or no?" ('remain' or 'leave'), the answer will probably be 'no'.  And this year, another press release, we try again... and another.  Hence this piece:   See 2016-12.


2016-16 Let the Dáil Elect the Government. 


The full report of the Ballymun experiment, (see 2016-5 and 2016-3), is on page 56 of the Irish Journal of Social, Economic and Environmental Sustainability, IJSEES, 2017, Vol 1,  1.  (See also 2012-7 and 2011-5/6.)



2016-15 Italy & USA, bad voting systems

As in brexit, the Italian referendum asks the wrong question. Hence this press release.  Meanwhile, openDemocracy has published this on majoritarianism and its consequence: Trump.




2016-14 Ireland, the 8th amendment

This is our submission to the Citizens' Assembly