[JN] A Message From Our Sponsors

Christian Rintelen christian at rintelen.ch
Sat Feb 6 21:53:54 CST 2021


the last great exodus (quasi the mother of all exodi) erupted over politics and we (as a list) lost waay too many important members (quasi all).

now this list, still named after the mother of all godfathers, has two admins: john bollinger (whose name tells me that he must have roots in bollingen, switzerland), and me. 

so this formerly strongly us-rooted list is now GOVERNED by  1 1/2 swiss and 1/2 american.

swiss are nerdy. they still believe (and prove, day by day) that a multi-language, multi-ethic, multi-culture,multi-religion, multi-billionaires, and multi-mountain country can live together and prosper together (okay, maybe less) — not on the base of opposition, but of adhesion. adhesion by compromise. only morons say compromises are for loosers. the swiss government consists of seven ministers. we don’t have a prime minister or so; each year per jan 1, one of the seven ministers gets the title Bundesratspräsident, but that’s only for representative purposes. this regnum primus inter pares ends on dec 31. then the next in anciennité takes over. some ministers stay on his (her) post long enough to have this honor twice. that means s/he remained minister for at least 10 years. so our government is quite stable.

now comes the kicker — our government is elected by the parliament. our constituion (modeled after the US constitution btw) dictates that the seven ministers should consist of members from all language regions, but may not come from the same canton. the magic formula (yes, that is the official name!) was introduced in 1957 and defines that the three biggest parties in the parliament get two posts each and the fourth gets one. for 50 (!!) years that meant that the Conservatives, the Liberals, and the Social Democrats had 2 ministers and the Nationalists had one. It bordered on revolution when the parliament gave the Nationalists 2 seats and the Conservatives only 1. It used to be a law that of the seven, our two officials religion (catholics or protestants) should also be represented in equilibrium. this was thrown over board in favor of women. for a very short time, 4 ministers were women. to recap: when our parliament elects the 7 ministers, it has to follow these rules:

one must be native of the italian speaking part, two (or three) from the french speaking part, and four (or three) swiss german natives
one Conservative, two Nationalists, two Social Democrats, two Liberals
not two from the same canton
gender equality

 thats a lot of musts; often too much for a small population like switzerland’s 8 or so million (20% are not swiss citizens). 

add to this, that an elected minister is confirmed and re-confirmed by the parliament with 99.99 per cent certainty. (only twice in the last 120 years has a minister been voted out.) that means that a minister remains on his post until he resigns, which never happens earlier than 8, 9 years — because each minister wants to be primus inter pares at least once… so in case of a vacancy, the parliament has to elect a successor that does not hurt any of the above rules. go figure. 

it means, that very often, not the best are elected, but those that the majority of the parliament can agree on.

by constitution, this mandates compromises from all and is a lot of give and take.

once elected, the ministers among themselves define who gets which office; the newly elected have to take what they get. 

and the ministers — again by constitution — are obliged to govern non-partial, collegially, democratically, and respectful towards the minority. the government must represent laws and decrets or decisions unisono, disaccord must remain in chambers.

this means:

our government consists of seven ministers, each of them not the best, but the best compromise.
our government must rule by respecting the minority i.e. by compromise 

this prevents division and favors adhesion. you cannot govern without respect towards the minority. 

this makes our government not the most efficient and fast. the decisions of our government are never revolutionary and seldom very innovative — but palatable for a majority without supressing the minority. the result is continuity and predictability.

this principle is the same nationwide, for the cantons and for each city and village.

so far, switzerland hasn’t faired too bad with this government by compromise.

 from this cozy, boring perspective, i often wonder about the disrespect, the division, the insulting, and bullying behavior of the governments in other countries all over the world. peace and prosperity for all is only possible with mutual respect for each and everyone regardless of gender, age, education, color, religion, wealth, political stance etc. 

maybe trump wasn’t voted out because of the color of his skin (even though there would have been reason enough…) but for his attitude. maybe the voters just wanted a president they could respect — because he or she treats the minority not as loosers but with the same respect. the sign was clear: you can’t survive alone, only in a group. that’s very human. it’s in our DNA.

’nuff said.  

_ _ _
aka christian rintelen

> Am 06.02.2021 um 22:05 schrieb Philip Yates via Sound <sound at soundlist.org>:
> Perhaps it would help to emphasize that you want to start a STRICTLY OFF-LIST discussion. Not a bad idea, by the way.
> Phil
> On Sat, Feb 6, 2021 at 2:44 PM bear via Sound <sound at soundlist.org <mailto:sound at soundlist.org>> wrote:
> PLEASE - I asked you all to NOT post to the group!!
> Keep your opinions, private. 
> Thank you.
>                _-_-
> On 2/6/2021 3:36 PM, Michael Cameron wrote:
>> Molly Ball is an excellent writer and researcher, we are lucky as a nation to have her.  
>> michael
>> On Saturday, February 6, 2021, 11:54:54 AM PST, bear via Sound <sound at soundlist.org> <mailto:sound at soundlist.org> wrote:
>> Friends,
>> I know this is a group WRT our hobby.
>> However, something I want to share, I think is stunningly important, no matter what your personal
>> views are. It's about what is going on now. So, I have adjudged that it transcends. 
>> Information that is important and significant. Not Covid.
>> I do this for the purpose of sharing, only. 
>> (I would not have seen or known of this, if someone had not shared with me) 
>> Just read it, make note of what is said, and what is shown. (if you wish)
>> Draw your own conclusions, privately. 
>> A note: the opening paragraphs, agree or disagree, are steeped in slanted
>> rhetoric, but what follows is significant to the extreme. 
>> Read with your usual critical thinking capabilities. 
>> Private emails back are welcome.
>> Thanks for your understanding of this unusual post. 
>> https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/ <https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/>
>>                              _-_-bear who is too stunned to form complete thoughts...
>> -- 
>> -- bearlabs.com <http://bearlabs.com/> --
>> _______________________________________________
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> -- 
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