A Pete Tong puts its:
Let me assure you, what you are about to hear over the next 2 hours is nothing short of stunning
It truly is. Nicolas Jaar’s Essential Mix is a masterpiece. Warning: it takes about 15-20 mins to get into it, don’t rush to conclusions out of the gate.
RIP, Dave. I have listened to your music for hundreds and hundreds of hours and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Your music inspires me like nobody else’s.
“ I now look back and appreciate the incredible freedom we had to live before we all got online and got this idea that the value of a moment is directly proportional to the number of likes it receives.”
Our participation in the 2011 Rolex MBA Regatta in Santa Margharita, Italy was definitely one my best memories at Wharton. We didn’t win but had an incredible time and really bonded as a team.
A beautiful video showing Cairo from another perspective. It takes a lot of courage to cycle through this chaos.
Waking up this morning to a flood of negative comments about last night’s results, I feel compelled to make a few quick points to remind myself and my friends how good we have it in Québec. In no particular order:
1) We have an efficient, fair and transparent electoral process.
The National Assembly was dissolved and a general election called just over a month ago. The three main parties’ combined budget was less than CAD 30M (1). The speed and relatively low cost at which the election was executed is a model of efficiency.
At no point in the whole process was there a question about the impartiality of the electoral commission or the validity of the results. In contrast, I never got the opportunity to vote in my home country because we had a dictator ruling the country for 30 years. Even those who voted in the last Egyptian election wonder if the results were fair.
2) Seamless voting experience.
I budgeted 2 hours to vote yesterday. It took me less than 10 mins (including walking to and from my car). The voting station was perfectly managed. The staff manning the station were courteous and professional. Everything was clear. I was not harassed, bribed or otherwise intimidated. At no point did I wonder whether my vote would be properly counted.
3) A female Premier.
I don’t agree with Pauline Marois on a number of critical issues. I never met her but we probably wouldn’t get along famously - she is too divisive for my taste (this is not a separatist pun). However, I think it is fantastic that we have elected our first female Premier. It is a fine example to other women in the province and for girls from immigrant families who never saw strong political role models in their home countries.
I also admire Madame Marois’ tenacity. She has been involved in politics for 30 years and suffered countless setbacks in her career but she never gave up until she accomplished what she wanted. A fine example for everyone in this province, male or female.
4) Education is a cause worth fighting for.
Free (or cheaper) education is a noble cause. I think most people would be supportive of the idea if our coffers were flush with excess cash. However, in the context of our limited resources many of us understand the need to make tradeoffs. But the cause remains noble. While I disagree with the methods the student movement employed to gain international attention, I am proud that the issue being furiously debated is such an honourable one. In other places, the debat du jour is far less important.
5) Unalienable(2) right to free speech, the cornerstone of democracy.
A number of “Carrés rouges” loudly booed Monsieur Charest as he left the voting station yesterday. I find this attitude disrespectful and immature but I value free speech. Monsieur Charest kept his cool and said something to the effect of “it is their right to express themselves”. I come from a part of the world where openly criticizing a high-ranking official is very severely punished. We are lucky in this province to have such a strong tradition of respect of the right of free speech, even when it offends a Premier.
6) Quebec will not separate from Canada anytime soon.
More than 60% of voters are against sovereignty. It is clear that the majority of Quebecers are either against the idea or not ready for it just yet. The Liberals have used the threatening spectre of separatism as a warning against electing the PQ. I understand this political tactic but we have to be realistic and acknowledge that after yesterday’s result, no sane PQ strategist would launch a referendum anytime soon. And even if they did, we can still vote No. The PQ cannot unilaterally separate us from Canada.
7) Change is good.
Since I could vote, I have always voted Liberal. However, yesterday I felt like we desperately needed change. I am immensely grateful for Monsieur Charest’s 28 years of public service but I am, like many Quebecers, thirsty for change. Every individual and institution, public or private, at some point becomes complacent and a victim of its own success. That is why startup companies upstage large incumbents every day in every industry. That is why many public offices around the world come with a maximum term length. Monsieur Charest and his Cabinet showed signs of complacence in the way they (mis)handled the student protests. This is a good time for the PLQ to take a time-out, cool off and come back stronger in the next elections.
As Quebecers, we have to work together as a team to achieve our collective goals. We had a month to debate the different options we have in front of us. Each one of us picked their preferred option and expressed it by voting yesterday. Now, we have to put aside our differences and respect Madame Marois and the government which is being formed. We’ll have our say again at the next election, which is probably not too far in the future - maybe in less than a year. Until then, let’s drop the negativity and stop the fear-mongering. Let’s enjoy this fine democracy and take advantage of the unlimited opportunities in front of us.
Life is not perfect here, but it is pretty damn good. Vive le Québec!
(1) We have to factor in other things like the complete loss of productivity in the public sector (ministers were campaigning instead of tending to their portfolios) but this is still pretty good.
(2) Except in the context of the Loi 78, which I sincerely hope gets repelled ASAP.