Peter Emerson is the director of the de Borda Institute, which 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. Peter has written ten books on voting systems and published several articles on democracy in peer reviewed journals. A vocal critic of the Majority Rule, he has helped design an app for multi-option voting.
This talk was given at a TEDx event in Vienna in October 2017 using the TED conference format but independently organised by a local community.
In many instances, a majority vote identifies not the will of the people, not even the will of the majority of them, but the will of those who wrote the question. Most political problems are complex; to reduce them to a win-or-lose binary vote, or even a series of such dichotomies, often turns what should be a discussion into an argument. Preferential voting in contrast can be win-win: indeed, a points system can identify that option which, if not the most popular, is at least the most generally acceptable.