9 November 2017 - 11.00-13.00 - Room 9 - Interpretation: FR/EN

The lab will look into alternative voting rules and systems and explore their potential impact on voter turnout.

 Lab 4 final report

initiative 1 initiative 1

Balanced Ballot, Negative Vote Association, China

A Balanced Ballot is a ballot where voters have the option to vote AGAINST or FOR a candidate.  The AGAINST vote would be counted as minus one.  Winner is the person who receives higher net positive votes.  Each voter still has only one vote. The initiative aims at improving all election systems in the world by incorporating the option to vote against. Researches have shown that this would increase voter participation significantly and that so-called “populist” candidates would receive net negative votes.





President, Negative Vote Association - NVA


Sam Chang and 32 of his friends co-founded NVA in 2015. In addition to serving as a volunteer at NVA, Chang also serves as a board member on several public companies in Taiwan and one private company in China.  When called upon, he also practices cross-border M&A advisory and private equity placement services.  He has previously served as an investment banker for Credit Suisse, UBS, and Salomon Brothers.  He also served as CFO for a NASDAQ high tech firm. 

initiative 2 initiative 2

President 21, Institute for Democracy 21, Czech Republic

This online civic game is a real time voting app, where citizens can nominate and vote for their ideal presidential candidate using the Democracy 21 voting system. As of now, the game has over 100.000 active users and it is expected to produce an ideal candidate, acceptable for the majority of voters due to the nature of the system. Each voter can cast up to three positive votes of equal value and up to one negative vote. The voter must use at least two positive votes to be able to cast the negative vote.




Community Manager and analyst, Institute for Democracy 21

Czech Republic

Jonáš Vnouček works as a community manager and analyst for the Institute for Democracy 21 in Prague. After studying political science and area studies at the Charles University in Prague, the University of Copenhagen and Roskilde University, he worked in diplomacy at the Czech Embassy in Copenhagen and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. He then worked for two Czech NGOs and focused on corruption, tax avoidance and volunteer engagement. Jonáš is a convinced European who believes in democracy as the best possible political system, albeit imperfect. He is interested in movement building and democracy innovation.

Discussants Discussants

Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.



Random Sample Voting Project and Public Opinion Platform


Nicolas K. Blanchard is a French doctoral candidate doing research on the interface between mathematics, computer science and political science. After studying at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, he started his PhD with Nicolas Schabanel on probabilistic algorithms before joining the Random Sample Voting Project to fight against vote buying. He is a founding member of the Public Opinion Platform Special Exploratory Committee, an initiative that seeks to hack representative democracy to make it more direct and participatory without major legal changes. He is currently in the process of publishing his first book on randomness in politics. 



Member of Parliament and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe


Adele Gambaro, Italian MP, is a member of the Italian Senate (Ala/Scelta Civica Group). She was Chairperson of the Committee on Culture, Science, education and media of Council of Europe in 2015, and PACE Vice President in 2016 and 2017. Rapporteur for the report on "Online media and journalism: challenges and accountability", she also cofounded the new Free Democrats Group within the PACE.



CNRS Associate Research Professor, BETA (UMR 7522) and University of Strasbourg


Dealing with philosophy and economics, social choice theory or experimental economics applied to voting, the works of Herrade Igersheim aim to examine the concept of liberalism of freedom, which has been defined by John Rawls in 2000 and which amounts to giving priority to civic and political freedoms. Herrade Igersheim was a visiting scholar at Duke University (NC) in 2015/16, received the “Young Researcher Award” of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET) in 2016 and the award “Espoirs de l’Université de Strasbourg” in 2017.

moderator moderator


Head of Governance Reform and Democracy Unit, Department for Communities and Local Government

Paul Rowsell has extensive experience of leading work on reforming democratic governance, particularly at the local and regional levels, and on devolution and decentralisation. Recently, he has overseen legislation in the United Kingdom establishing directly elected mayors for six of England’s city regions. He is also Chair of the European Committee on Democracy and Governance whose activities this year have included preparing Guidelines, now adopted by the Committee of Ministers, to ensure meaningful civil participation in political decision making.”

rapporteur rapporteur




Student at the Institute of Political Studies in Strasbourg, Armony Laurent is also the head of the Partnership division of the Strasdiplomacy association, which organizes simulations of United Nations summits around the world. She took part in the WorldMun 2017 in Montreal organized at Harvard, and, together with the Strasdiplomacy team, She is preparing the MunFrance.


Open Diplomacy


Clément Carreau is a Master 2 student studying European Policies and Public Affairs (PEAP) at Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies (IEP). Member of the Erasmus Student Network Strasbourg (ESN) – Former President of the French branch of the international NGO 180 Degrees Consulting, Clément will be a reporter in this Laboratory for the Open Diplomacy Institute.

LAB 4 - Making votes count more
Palais de l'Europe, Room 6 9 November 2017 - 11.00-13.00
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