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Pitoyable élection au Conseil d’Etat de Neuchâtel October 31, 2010

Posted by Sacha in Français, Regional.
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Après le pitoyable épisode Hainard – l’adulescent qui croyait bénéficier de super-pouvoirs – c’est dans une continuation de ton qu’a eu lieu ce week-end l’élection de son remplaçant. Pitoyable.

Nous avons donc vu défiler une brochette de 8 candidats dont la plupart n’ont absolument ni les compétences ni un programme digne d’une élection d’une telle importance. Pire: les partis au pouvoir n’ont pas jugé nécessaire de faire appel à quelque ténor actuellement en mandat à Berne afin d’apporter une solide compétence à un exécutif totalement déstructuré, et donc d’augmenter nos chances de re-crédibiliser ce qui peut l’être du canton de Neuchâtel. Les partis au pouvoir n’ont pas été au niveau de la situation.

Après ce premier tour, nous nous retrouvons donc avec deux candidats en lice:

  1. Le premier, sans aucune expérience à un exécutif politique, avait la tâche ingrate de représenter le parti qui s’était lamentablement illustré dans la défense de Super-Hainard. Le casting du parti avait probablement déterminé qu’il fallait un candidat qui ne change pas radicalement la donne au Conseil d’État (pas de deuxième Alpha dominant!) tout en étant suffisamment sympathique pour séduire l’électorat. Et hop, voici que je sors la carte du sympathique vigneron bedonnant, proche de la terre, proche des réalités (car entrepreneur), proche des Hommes et cui-cui font les oiseaux dans le ciel – pour les compétences on verra plus tard.
  2. Le second était président de la CEP, la commission d’enquête censée faire la lumière sur les agissements de M. Hainard et qui, soudain!, s’est déclaré une vocation pour le poste de celui sur lequel il était censé enquêter le plus objectivement du monde. Deux choses l’une: soit i) M. Erard avait ce plan en tête depuis le début et cette stratégie n’est absolument pas éthique et devrait donc automatiquement le discréditer, soit ii) cette vocation lui est véritablement venue durant sa présidence de la CEP et une telle inaptitude à l’anticipation politique prouve qu’il ne dispose pas des compétences permettant de gérer l’exécutif d’un canton.

Pour qui voter au second tour? Un soldat de plomb ou une personne inapte à anticiper (dans le meilleur des cas - sans éthique dans le pire des cas)?

Ce qui ont finalement perdu le plus de crédibilité dans cette affaire sont les partis politiques. Habitués à leur petits arrangements entre partis, ils se sont probablement mis d’accord afin de ne pas changer l’équilibre des forces politiques au gouvernement: si M. Grosjean ne fait pas de grosse bourde durant la campagne, il sera parachuté Conseiller d’État. Les apparences seront sauves, les électeurs auront voté. Cependant, les partis ne se rendent probablement pas compte de la perte de crédibilité qu’ils s’infligent en opérant de la sorte. Les électeurs ne sont pas stupides, aucun candidat ne les satisfait vraiment, mais c’est le seul repas réchauffé qui leur a été servi par leurs baillis. Alors ils s’exécutent semi-contraints ou s’abstiennent, tous certainement frustrés. Et un jour, ils voteront en masse pour un parti d’une extrême populiste quelconque – et les partis historiques nous chanteront le refrain de l’ingrate perte de crédibilité des politiques face au peuple…

Boycotting Tamoil August 28, 2009

Posted by Sacha in /dev/null, Cars, English, Regional.
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In case you haven’t followed Kadhafi’s latest story, it is uterly shocking. Having our Swiss president officially apologies over Kadhafi son’s arrest is hard to swallow. Let’s call it an example of “realpolitik”.

Consequently, I decided to boycott the Tamoil oil station network, owned by the Kadhafi family. My action will obviously have no material impact but it is a matter of principle, pour la forme.

I am joining the AA-NIFFF committee April 30, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Regional, sponsoring.
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NIFFFAfter much lobbying from Catherine Montalto, our friend and ex-landlord, I’ve proposed my candidature to the committee of the AA-NIFFF. Yesterday evening, the general assembly accepted my candidature.

First of all, no worries, the AA-NIFFF is not some kind of new technical board or specification. Not at all. The NIFFF (pronounce /nIf/) is the “Neuchâtel Internation Fantastic Film Festival”, quoting Wikipedia:

The “Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival” (or NIFFF) is a swiss film festival dedicated to fantastic movies. It was created in 2000 by a group of friends and is now renowned nationaly and internationaly as an unavoidable reference in genre cinema. The NIFFF defines itself through a rich and diversified programming, constructed around three central axes : Fantastic cinema, Asian cinema and Digital images. The films shown at the Festival are very diversified, going from worldwide expected movies by renowned directors to unknown and underground films d’auteurs. Famous fantastic film directors have already honored the NIFFF with their presences, including George A. Romero, Joe Dante, John Landis, Terry Gilliam, Hideo Nakata.

I’ve been closely tracking the NIFFF in the past years and they’ve made tremendous progress with very little resources and very little help from the local authorities. Fitting pretty closely with my short list of events I’d like to help, I proposed my candidature to the AA-NIFFF i.e. the “Association des Amis” of the NIFFF i.e. the Friends Association of the NIFFF.

This is truely exciting and I hope my contribution will be helpful to the (AA-)NIFF.

Onward,

sacha

Busta Rhymes April 30, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Regional, sponsoring.
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Party was a great success, people traveled from all over Switzerland to see the show. I arrived pretty late to the party (explained in another post) but I kept the good bye part for your pleasure:

I loved the DJ part at the end, it was so 1990 ;)

(oh, and no worries, I don’t spend my evenings at parties)

Terrible Style featuring Busta Rhymes April 26, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Regional, sponsoring.
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bustarhymes_v2A few weeks back, thanks to Pierre Dubois, I’ve met with Avny Krasniqi from Terrible Style which aims at organizing events promoting a non-violent and multicultural society, mostly through the hip hop culture.

In the past years, Terrible Style organized many great parties such as the European breakdance championship in 2005 and the “Open Mind” festival with artists like Kool Shen, NTM and Kery James.

In 2009, Avni is back with a new concept. Terrible Style will organize 10 events across Switerland featuring the best European rappers (or American if possible). Again, the key concepts of those events will be “non-violence”, “multi-culturalism”, “fight against racism and xenophobia”, etc.

The first event of this 2009 series will feature a American rap super-star: Busta Rhymes. I hope I’ll see you this coming Wednesday at la Case à Chocs in Neuchâtel for this great night.

Onward,

Sacha

Sponsoring – when, why, whom? April 26, 2009

Posted by Sacha in Regional, sponsoring.
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I’ve regularly “helped” (sponsored mostly) various cultural events/organizations in the past and as I keep doing so (and more than I did last year), I started wondering whether I had been doing this in a totally random fashion or whether I had intuitively followed some implicit rules.

While it is still a work in progress, I have observed the following:

  • There is always a random (or arbitrary) aspect to the help I’ve provided: sometimes you just happen to meet somebody with a nice story, the chemistry works, etc. And that’s fine, randomness is good, just ask Sir Darwin.
  • All of them are local to Neuchâtel. It is not unusual for people to promote what’s local to them, the same applies here. And given that I really like Neuchâtel, here we are.
  • People must be passionate, authentic and have a vision. I only help organization or events backed by key individuals who give their spirit to what they build – I am not after industrialized events. Furthermore, those “entrepreneurs” must be truly passionate about what they’re doing, and authentic in their relationship (read: I hate buying insurances). Also, they must have a vision, they must target a (possibly difficult) goal to reach. I understand that not all events want to grow or become more “sophisticated” – and that’s fine – but I usually pass then, not for me.
  • My help must be a “leverage”: I don’t want to financially fully back an event, nor do I want to help a big machine. Instead, I sponsor an event/organization whenever I feel that a small help can induce much bigger (non-linear) changes. This means that I usually help not-yet stable organizations, or having reached a fragile plateau and in need of increased viability.

Also, until now I’ve been providing anonymous help because I felt there would be no added benefit for those events (nor for me) to make it public/visible. I am now going to change this: since I start applying some “selection criteria” for events I sponsor, I think it makes sense to somehow “link them together” i.e. to publicly state that I think those events fall in a same “category”, are backed by interesting entrepreneurs, etc. People can trust my judgment or not, but those who do might find it beneficial. I’ll probably find a place on this blog where I can list those events/organization. What I lack at this point is a common brand/label that I can use as a “sponsor” to identify those events – if you have any idea, feel free to share them with me.

Onward,

Sacha

NE – E-Administration is there! Well, not quite everywhere… June 28, 2008

Posted by Sacha in /dev/null, Regional.
2 comments

In Neuchâtel, pretty much all public parking slots are now time limited (in order to incent people to go down town using public transportations and probably also because cars are increasingly considered as evil in this 21st century). However, if you do live down town and have a car, you can pay a yearly fee and obtain a certificate that permit parking in the street where you live with no time limit. Fine.

Recently, I thought about obtaining such a “parking certificate” from the local authority. So I went there and the dialog went pretty much like that:

  • Hello, I’d like to get a parking certificate.
  • OK, no problem. I will need a copy of your certificate of establishment [1] and a copy of your car certificate.
  • OK, but, I know the ID number of my car and I know my name, so why do you need copies of documents you have in the computer next to you?
  • Well, but I need to build up a folder with all of that information and send it for approval
  • Sure, but if I give you my name and car ID, you can check all of that information, put it in an e-mail and we are done in 5 minutes
  • What?!? You want me to do this work for you?
  • Huh… yes…
  • But, I am telling you I need paper copies that I can forward somewhere else?
  • OK, whatever…

This very 19th’ish century discussion took place in 2008, in a canton who was the first one to provide online e-voting (and a bunch of online administration services). Better, all information that person needed is already online: the identity check has been on the police intranet for more than a decade (hey, that is their job after all!) and the car ID validation is publicly available on the Internet. Bottom line, in 2008 some still think that stapling together fakable paper copies of official documents proves more efficient and secure than an online verification against live data.

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” [2]

Onward,

Sacha

[1] Document proving that you are living where you say you are living.

[2] General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army as quoted by Tom Peters in Reimagine, DK 2003.

D-day – 3 for Festi’neuch – Get Ready! May 27, 2008

Posted by Sacha in Regional.
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Festi\'neuchFounded in 2001, Festi’neuch is a music festival taking place in Neuchâtel, in the middle of the Three-Lakes region. In 7 years, Festi’Neuch has built a serious reputation, inviting famous bands and singers such as Johnny Clegg, Sinclair, The Prodigy, Iggy Pop, De La Soul, Alpha Blondy and many others.

This year, Festi’Neuch will features guests such as The Verve, Feist and the excellent Stefan Eicher. For the fans of hip hop, Rahzel (NY – USA), previous member of The Roots and “The Godfather of Noyze”, will help boil the lake.

This year, I’ve decided to bring my support to Festineuch’s supporting’s committee so don’t be too surprised if you see some Red Hat/JBoss logos floating around :)

Onward,

Sacha

Note: RHT is not directly supporting this event – I am – but just getting visibility

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