Rex Murphy Keeps it Real!

Rex Murphy is a Canadian gem: a true patriot who often captures and expresses the conscience of this nation … and, in my opinion, also reflects so often our collective soul …coast to coast to coast.

For those who have not had the pleasure and privilege of hearing him,  Murphy is  a veteran CBC broadcaster, whose weekly Point of View, Thursdays on The National, is the consistent BEST three to four minutes each week on Canadian television.

Last week, he took on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s rush to change Canada’s entire electoral system.

I wrote about the federal Liberal government’s rush to change the way Canadians elect our MPs and our governments topic May 16: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/national-electoral-reform-yes-but-only-if-approved-in-a-clear-referendum/

And on Thursday, May 19  Murphy also examined the issue … much more eloquently than I.

Every Canadian should listen to Murphy’s remarks on electoral reform.

Here’s the link: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/689060931669

I urge you to pass Murphy’s piece on to everyone you know who cares about this country and our democracy. It’s their future …and the future of many generations of Canadians …  that is at stake.

We should ALL be concerned …VERY concerned.

Please listen … pass it on … and then I hope you will also contact your MP and also the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau … and urge them: LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE on any new electoral system.

After all, this land BELONGS to the people … not the government.

Harv Oberfeld

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15 Responses to Rex Murphy Keeps it Real!

  1. morry says:

    Ever since his radio days i have always loved to listen to Rex. I often, not always, agree with his comments. His latest piece, is dead on.

  2. 13 says:

    Mr Murphy makes his case. But dont sell yourself short Harvey. Your blog post was just as compelling as his editorial. Hopefully the young PM heeds the advice and allows Canadians to decide how we elect the next Federal government.

    (Response: I think Murphy brought home very strongly how important it is for WE, the people, to make sure that WE, the people …not politicians… decide HOW we will elect our representatives. h.o)

  3. RIsaak says:

    Electoral reform with out a referendum is Gerrymandering! Especially considering the current party in power on achieved a 40% approval rate at the polls. What were those ardent LPC supporters saying about Harper when he had 40% of the voters approval?

    (Response: Good point. In fact, we all know that some ridings have very many more residents/voters than others … so by allowing each MP EQUAL vote in the Commons to decide on the country’s voting formula would indeed give MORE power to voters in smaller ridings and LESS in the larger ones. This must not be allowed to happen … and not only PCs and NDPers should stand up against such unfairness …but Libs too who care more about the country than Trudeau’s rush to impose such a major change by PARTISAN POLITICS. h.o)

  4. Lew says:

    This commitment was prominent in the Liberal Party 2015 election campaign platform:

    “We will make every vote count.
    We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.
    We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.
    This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”

    I agree with the process except for the last sentence. It should be replaced by, “A referendum on proposed legislation developed as a result of the committee’s recommendations will take place in conjunction with the next federal election.”

    No reform will take place unless a focused structure with timelines is established to propose alternatives. But no alternatives should go beyond the proposal stage until the people have spoken.

    (Response: Your recommendation would be a BIG improvement … although I would still want to see what the committee/Parliament come up with to ensure it does not, once again, give BC and the West second-class status and favour Ontario, Quebec and even the Maritimes. h.o)

  5. DBW says:

    Canada became country on the votes of a handful of privileged, male landowners not a referendum.

    And we have tinkered with our voting system -eg giving 50% of the population the right to vote – without referendums.

    But I get what you are saying. Who trusts anybody anymore – especially politicians – to do anything for the common good rather than for their own selfish ends.

    So any major changes from fptp should be discussed significantly and involve plenty of public input.

    For now however I see no problem in using a preferential ballot. Australia has been using it for almost 100 years and brought it in without referendum in part because the Labour Party was gaining power while the right was splitting its vote.

    Our party leaders are elected through a form of preferential ballot going to third and fourth votes before a winner is declared.

    A preferential vote ensures each riding has someone with 50% of the vote even though it is second or third choice.

    It gives independents and minor parties a fighting chance as strategic voting is effectively eliminated. In Australia many ballots have the major parties as the last choices.

    I think that kind of system could be implemented without a referendum.

    (Response: I would probably support the preferential ballot system (would have to see the details.) And so would you. BUT what happens if the Liberal dominated majority impose something else..totally horrible for BC and the West …totally favouring the large block of central Canada voters? History has shown there is NO party that is ever willing to go to bat for us IF it would cost them dearly in central Canada (although I WILL say the Tories have on occasion come closest to braving that …much better than the Libs or NDP). h.o)

  6. !? says:

    Rex seems to be a little short on how the parliamentary system works in Canada.

    At least he had the courage to admit that the Liberals made an undeniably clear statement that the process would change – something the CPC & NDP are still struggling with. The rest was just fluff shoring up an indefensible position.

    There is no obligation to hold a referendum and to suggest otherwise is to make a mockery of our process of parliament.

    (Response: My objection is NOT that the system should change: actually agree with that. BUT the new system should be one approved by the voters…not just imposed by any particular government. It would cause great instability to the nation …and probably our economy and world wide credit rating … to have our electoral system change with this government and then possibly the next and then perhaps the one after that. h.o)

  7. !? says:

    PS. I just reread what you wrote and you did a much better job than that eastern windbag in articulately lucidly about why we should go to referendum… don’t sell yourself short.

    Doesn’t change my position though.

  8. Rainclouds says:

    Agree with Murphy on this important issue but generally view him as pompous, droning, blowhard.

    Best weekly minutes on CBC are Andrew Coyne and Chantal Hebert (really miss Bruce Anderson). far more insightful and nuanced in my opinion

  9. e.a.f. says:

    Rex Murphy? just another term for time to turn off the t.v.

    while some want him removed from CBC I have always supported his continued existence there because he does represent a view shared by others in Canada and we are a country of free speech.

    personally can’t remember when he said anything meaningful. omg watch Rex Murphy, time to go.

    (Response: Perhaps if you do watch this particular comment…you may find he did say something “meaningful”? h.o)

  10. Keith E. says:

    It would have been easy for Rex to dig into obscure parts of the dictionary, then come up with a piece on that appalling fiasco in the commons beat to death by the media and CBC in particular. But didn’t.

    He, along with you Harvey hit it dead centre.

    Should the liberals impose a new voting system without a referendum, – the will of the people, what is to stop the next government doing the same.?

    And now the (ex) liberal senators are independents, would they along with the conservatives block a bill that didn’t have a majority of the peoples agreement.?

    (Response: The way a nation votes MUST be decided by the PEOPLE. Yes, the Libs promised to change the system and won a majority … but let’s keep it real: what people voted for was a CHANGE in government and overall new approaches to issues. It was not a specific mandate for a specific issue. I didn’t anything on the ballot that said the Lib party alone would dictate the exact nature of how any new system …and it’s time Liberals who are REALLY Liberals started speaking up and joining the Tories and NDP in opposing Trudeau’s dismissing of the PEOPLE’S right to say Yes or No to any new proposed system. h.o)

  11. skidder says:

    I respect the intelligence of Rex Murphy and his ability to use the English language in a simple, beautiful, insightful way to stimulate the listeners own thoughtful intelligence. (although I sometimes wonder if some viewers have any) I did hear his ideas on electoral reform, as I read yours, and I wholeheartedly agree with the message!!!

    (Response: I hope that not just the Opposition, but community, social and business groups across the country will pick up on the issue …and start applying a lot more pressure on Trudeau/Libs to give the PEOPLE a fair say in whatever new system is decided upon. h.o)

  12. OldIslander says:

    I agree fully with his views on electoral reform. I suspect that the Murphy-bashers above, simply lack the breadth of vocabulary necessary to fully ‘get’ him. 😉

    I used to enjoy the years he hosted ‘Cross Canada Checkup’, too. During those hours on Sunday afternoon, he became the ‘common man’ who gently and persuasively drew his callers out, challenging their views as required, but always left them feeling good about having called in. You could tell by his voice that he was often personally moved by what some of his callers had to say.

    (Response: I agree. Readers will know I am highly critical of CBC National for its slip in recent years into far left wing advocacy propaganda …not real two-sided reporting anymore: however Murphy is a gem … and their Thursday “national” panel CAN be good, when it occurs to them to have panelists from not just Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. h.o)

  13. Rocker Rich says:

    Yeah, Rex is the cat’s meow for OCD folks, like myself, who must run to a dictionary to discover the meaning of an obscure word he’s dropped into his National editorial. Except for their complete physical dissimilarity, Rex and Conrad Black seem like brothers-in-dropping-complex-bon mots.

    I agree that his critique on the Liberals’ high handed electoral reform plans was spot on. Too often with Rex, I think he pulls his punches on political issues when commenting on CBC. Rex’s real views manifest in his op-ed contributions to the National Post.

    Last Thursday’s tv editorial was one of the few times let loose for his public-broadcaster audience. I hope his on-air candour continues

  14. Psam Frank says:

    It would be impossible to find an electoral system worse than first past the post. The only reasons to support this electoral system are lack of comprehension or recognition that this self serving system serves one’s own interests with unfair advantage and one wishes to maintain that unfair advantage due to lack of conscience.

    The Constitution says that “every citizen has the right to vote in an election of members of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein”. Is that right available to be exercised today? Tomorrow? Any time in the next month? Why not? Is there demonstrable justification in the interests of freedom and democracy for the periodic denial of this right? Would it be possible to have this right be available to be exercised at any time instead of only periodically?

    Yes it would be possible. Ten years of experience among people who have collectively used elections to choose representatives in which each voter has one vote that can be cast for any candidate at any time and changed to a different candidate at any time after that have shown that only a person not interested in silly old concepts like empirical evidence would think that the denial of this right was justifiable.

    This doesn’t need a referendum. It needs the government to be taken to court. Denial of constitutional rights is against the law for an elected body to do and the courts are there to remedy such a situation.

    Read sections 1, 3, 24, and 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-15.html#h-38

    (Response: I believe most voters don’t want to be involved/bothered with exercising their voting rights more than just every few years: they have many other issues, every day concerns and interests that take priority. As for going to court..good luck! Taking on any corporation or government these days …. esp on substantive issues that challenge their abilities to operate …ie status quo … would takes year and millions of dollars …not something anyone I know would be interested in pursuing. h.o)

  15. Lew says:

    The Liberals have backed off on the committee makeup. Hopefully they’ll back off on legislation without a referendum on any significant changes.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/liberals-back-down-on-electoral-reform-committee-1.2928083

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