Democratic Decision-Making

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* Book: Democratic Decision-making. By Peter Emerson. Springer, 2020




"This book provides a practical guide to how groups of people, everywhere, from the local village council to the United Nations Security Council, can best make collective decisions. By comparing the many voting procedures used in democratic decision-making, it explains why win-or-lose binary voting can be inaccurate and divisive, while the more inclusive preferential points system of voting can be so much more accurate and, therefore, more democratic; indeed, it is a win-win methodology. The text, essential reading for anyone interested in fair and participatory collective decision-making, also compares the most common electoral systems."


"Democratic Decision-making is a if not the guidebook for all involved in decision-making, from those in a local community group, via others in regional/national parliaments, to our representatives in the UN Security Council. The message is clear: if a contentious problem isn't binary, don't take a binary vote. If there are more than two options 'on the table', have more than two on the ballot: enjoy pluralism, the diversity of our species, and use a preferential vote, ideally on a (short) list of about five options. Thus can we identify the option with the highest average preference; and an average includes every voter, not just a majority of them.

The end of majority voting as a means of tackling contentious problems could mean the end of binary majority rule and resort to (post-Covid, post-climate-chaos, post-conflict) all-party power-sharing." (

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