The D21 method

With the D21 voting method, we find solutions that most people agree on. Read the details of the D21 method in Karel Janeček's expert article.

What is the D21 method?

The D21 method is a modern voting system based on the effect of multiple votes. Because it allows each voter to choose more than one candidate or party, it is better at finding social consensus than single-vote methods. When used in political elections, it also motivates candidates to run more positive campaigns and prevents vote splitting, making it a crucial innovation.

Why consider changing the system?

Our society is increasingly divided. It is becoming continuously more difficult to find agreement and consensus. This kind of environment can be a breeding ground for populists and extremists, who then further exacerbate the problem. So why are we still using an electoral system that is so conducive to such politicians?

What's the problem?

  • the single-vote systems currently in use do not allow us to clearly express our political preferences
  • they force voters to choose the "lesser of two evils"
  • they deepen the divisions in society
  • they increase the chances of success for populists and extremists

How does the effect of multiple votes work?

The ability to cast a number of votes greater than the number of winning seats encourages honest choices and does not force voters to choose the "lesser of two evils." If voters have, for example, 3 votes at their disposal, they can safely vote for their genuine favourite candidate, for an acceptable alternative, and for a lesser-known hopeful. Moreover, the voters themselves are free to choose how many of the available votes they want to cast. If a voter finds only one candidate acceptable, he or she can use only one vote. 

Why do we tend to choose the lesser evil?

Because we are forced to do so by the single-vote system we have been using so far. With only one vote, we often feel we must choose a candidate who we don't entirely like, but who polls show has a chance of beating the candidates we fundamentally dislike. And this is often at the expense of the candidates we consider to be the best, but would be afraid to waste our vote on.

How does the D21 method work?

The D21 method can be applied as an electoral system for proportional and majority elections, helping to eliminate extreme candidates and to achieve a greater degree of consensus. It is well suited to both everyday life decisions (for example choosing a restaurant for lunch) and decision-making at the larger societal level (public opinion surveys or participatory budgeting projects). How exactly does the D21 method work in different types of elections?

Multi-winner elections

How does the D21 method work in proportional representation elections?

Elections with one winner

How does the D21 method work in single-winner elections?

Use in everyday life

How does the D21 method work in surveys, participatory budgeting, and everyday decision-making?
Praktický příklad využití metody v každodenním životě

A lunch that everyone will enjoy

A group of friends wants to go out for lunch together. There are several places nearby where they could go to eat: there are Czech, French, Italian, Japanese, Mexican and Spanish restaurants, a McDonald's, and even a small park down the street where they could have a picnic. They decide to vote on where to go, trying to find the place that would best suit everyone's tastes. Using the D21 method, they quickly and easily create a questionnaire and start voting. They add up all the plus votes to see which of the options is most popular. The minus votes help them determine which restaurants are dispreferred, so they can better accommodate each other.

Create a poll

Author of the method Karel Janeček:

The main advantage of the D21 method is the effect of multiple votes. This means that voters never have to decide whether to choose the lesser of two evils or risk forfeiting their honest preference by voting for a candidate who seemingly has no chance of winning. They do not have to compromise; they can vote for both. Candidates would have to reach out to voters beyond their normal electorates. Their campaigns would therefore have to be more positive. It would be necessary to seek consensus with opposing candidates, rather than simply denigrating and attacking them, as is often the case at present. The D21 electoral system thus weakens extremists and unites society.

Are you interested to learn more? Read my expert paper.

Do you have any suggestions for D21?

We are constantly researching the D21 method and discovering new ways to implement it. In this regard, we appreciate every new perspective, idea, or offer to collaborate. Please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.