Friday, 4 May 2018

electoral college

On this day in 1733, polymath and political scientist Jean-Charles de Borda was born in the Aquitaine city of Dax whose most significant contribution to the sciences were his precise tables of logarithms meant to help with the transition to the metric system and decimalisation (including the calendar) in general after the French Revolution.
We are probably more familiar with him for his namesake method of voting, however, referred to as the Borda Count, wherein constituents rank candidates in order of preference and the overall winner secures his or her standing via consensus rather than a bald majority. Only three governments currently use the inclusive, weighted criteria of the Borda Count in some form for national elections—Kiribati, Nauru and Slovenia—but a large number of student body government and academic races are decided by these means as well as many sporting superlatives and significantly the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest are picked by a modified form of Borda’s system too. Maybe these other institutions are on to something.