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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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).


2018-15, More on Brexit

Dubin City University has one article: http://dcubrexitinstitute.eu/2018/10/a-better-measure-of-the-will-of-the-people/

and Queen's University Belfast has another: http://qpol.qub.ac.uk/brexit-a-meaningful-vote/



2018-14 Malice in Blahblahland


2018-13 Brexit: a “meaningful” vote?

http://qpol.qub.ac.uk/brexit-a-meaningful-vote/  (See 2018-12, -11, -7, -2, 2017-14, -1, 2016-12, -9 and especially 2016-1, in which we predicted the result of the June 2016 Brexit nonsense.)


2018-12 The People's Vote - preferential?

Infacts has just published, "There's more than one way to count a three-way People's Vote." It’s on:    https://infacts.org/theres-more-than-one-way-to-count-a-three-way-peoples-vote/ 


2018-11, UK Review of Referendums...

A review, University College London, into the conduct of referendums, calls for multi-option ballots. Because of our submission?  Maybe.


And it follows on from, and supports, Ireland's Citizens' Assembly. See 2018-3.


2018-10 Brexit and Boris

So Boris Johnson resigns. But why? Hence our latest press release, No 22, top-right hand corner of the home page, calling for the matrix vote.


2018-9 The London demo for a People's Vote

Please sign the petition for a people's vote: www.peoples-vote.uk/petition 

23rd June, 100,000 in London marched for a people's vote. Brexit was divisive, not least because the ballot was binary: for-or-against, yes-or-no, remain-or-leave? To overcome the division, it would be wise to use an inclusive multi-option vote. The "people's vote" should be everybody's vote, at least something like: remain, Theresa May's negotiated option, or the WTO?

"Our campaign must be diverse," Caroline Lucas. "I want to work with people... from other parties," Sir Vince Cable. In other words, the UK needs (PR in elections and) pluralism in decision-making. The latter means multi-option voting, the most accurate form of which is a preferential points system, the MBC.

Indeed, if the UK had PR, we would not now be in this mess anyway. Secondly, if the 2011 referendum had been multi-optional, (like the New Zealand poll of 1992), we would probably now have PR. And thirdly, if the Brexit ballot had been multi-optional - something like the EU, EEA or WTO? - the EU option would probably have won. (See also 2018-7, 2018-2, 2017-14, 2017-1, 2016-12, 2016-9 and especially 2016-1, in which we predicted the result of the June 2016 Brexit nonsense.)




2018-8 North Korea

I went there for 10 days on 6th June, and Kim Jong-un went to see Donald Trump in Singapore. Mine was a package tour, of course, and there's more on the blog.


2018-7 Brexit: a “meaningful” vote?

To be “meaningful” for (almost) everyone, any final ballot should be multi-optional and, at best, preferential. Something like:
a) Theresa May’s negotiated option;
b) EEA and Customs Union;
c) EU;
d) WTO.

2018-6 Beijing/Tianjin/Hong Kong/Taiwan 

Four lectures in four universities, all with the same message: two-option referendums are usually divisive, often inaccurate, and sometimes a cause of war. If but for the sake of Xinjiang, any polls in Hong Kong or Taiwan should not be binary.

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