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"Communicate Real Meaning", Rex Tells Politicians

Rex Murphy is concerned about the lack of serious thought in the pronouncements of Canadian politicians. Rhodes Scholar Murphy, whose commentary on current events on CBC's "The National" reveals deep insight into issues affecting Canadians, can certainly recognize serious thought, or the lack thereof, when he sees it.

According to Murphy, politics has turned into a vehicle "for the satisfaction of personal intent." He gave the example of a Newfoundland Cabinet Minister, a fisherman, who wanted the Forestry portfolio because it came equipped with fishing cabins. It is this attitude that "drains all the thought out" of politics, said Murphy.

To rapt attention and thunderous applause, Murphy told the September meeting that politics is no longer about the clash of ideas, having been replaced by the calculation of a message that politicians think will match the mood of the moment. Instead of thinking about what they want to do for their country, and crafting communication to eloquently communicate that vision and those values, today's politicians are more interested in the devices of communication than in the message itself. "We have information, but we rarely have meaning," expanded Murphy.

The public has been led to believe that politicians need writers, communication directors and executive assistants because they are "too busy" to craft their own communications messages. This is simply not true, said Murphy. Lincoln was busy with the Civil War when he wrote the Gettysburg address. Churchill, as well, crafted his most eloquent and stirring communications in wartime. Their words, unlike those of today's politicians, "went to heart," said Murphy.

Murphy talked about how the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001 made us realize that "what we truly value is what is most common and most attainable," the company of our family and friends. He talked about how our governmental institutions have been built up over long periods of time as the manifestation of our values and how they needed to return to communicating real meaning about what it was they did. "We have to re-iterate the value of what has been built," he said, "and if it's failing, the essential relationship between those who are governed and those who are governing is gone."

By Jadzia Jagiellowicz, President of The Medanalyses Group Inc. providing medical writing and market analysis services to the pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare industries.