The de Borda Institute

July 5, 2019 Peter Emerson
June 23, 2019 Peter Emerson
June 5, 2016 Peter Emerson
November 5, 2012 Peter Emerson

Promoting inclusive decision-making on all matters of controversy and/or complexity. Instead of binary votes which can be so crude, divisive and inaccurate, we advocate preferential points voting: the Modified Borda Count, MBC, a most accurate measure of collective opinion.

Mission and Purpose

To promote inclusive politics.


The de Borda Institute was established in 1997, but by that time, we had been advocating the three Borda methodologies since 1986.

The Modified Borda Count, MBC, for decision-making;

The Quota Borda System, QBS, for elections; and

The matrix vote for governance.

Specializations and activities

Voting systems in both decision-making and elections.

Major projects and events

1986 in Belfast: a People's Convention brought together both unionists and republicans, yet still 8 years before the cease-fire. First use of the MBC and matrix vote.

1990 in Moscow: published an article on consensus in Novy Mir.

1990 in Tbilisi, before the war in Abhazia: gave a press conference (in Russian) on the need for power-sharing.

1990 in Yugoslavia, before the collapse: published a newspaper article on consensus politics.

1991 in Belfast: held another consensus experiment, this time with electronic voting; we also had a guest from Sarajevo, and six months before the war, we warned of the dangers of holding a two-option plebisicte in Bosnia.

1998 in Belfast: designed a computer program such that any user may analyse any voters' profile according to the rules of an MBC (plus 6 other v oting methodologies).

2003 in East Africa: warned of the dangers, balkanisation, of using a two-option plebiscite in South Sudan.

2004 in Belfast: tried to persuade Belfast City Council to become the world's first democratically elected chamber to take decisions by electronic preference voting.

2006 in Belfast: the world's first use of the Quota Borda System.

2012 in London: Defining Democracy book launch of the House of Lords.

2012 in Dublin: Defining Democracy also launched in Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the Irish President.

2016 in Dublin: launched From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics, just three days before the general election, and a very hung parliament. Therefore, with The Irish Times , Dublin City University and CiviQ, organised a public meeting on the matrix vote: 'Let the Parliament elect a Government'. Brilliant:

2016 in Belfast: issued a press release to warn that any binary vote on Brexit would be divisive and horrible; more than that, that the outcome would be negative.

2017-18. Travelled, mainly overland, from Belfast to Beijing and beyond, before coming back on the Trans Siberian railway. Gave a TEDx talk in Vienna,

and gave presentations in universities and so on in nearly every country visited, including Iran and China.

2018 With CiviQ, developed an App, Decision-maker.


Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (initial grant plus a research grant) and

Community Relations Council (Northern Ireland)


Majority Voting as a Catalyst of Populism (Springer, 2019),

From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics (Springer, 2016),

Defining Democracy (Springer, 2012),

Designing an All-Inclusive Democracy (Springer, 2007),

more on

Secondary Sources External Links

Society for Social Choice and Welfare, Caen

Conflict Research Society, London

New Economics Foundation, London

Green European Foundation, Brussels


The de Borda Institute has also done a considerable amount of work in East and Southern Africa. Apart from Russian, the director also speaks some Swahili and Serbo-Croat, and is now learning Chinese。