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Rick Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Rick Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Rick Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding West Island Gazette..

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 06.19.15

RICK BLUE

In Canada, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair will have to deal with the Clarity Act issue in the coming federal election

MONTREAL | Since the New Democratic Party swept into power in that most unlikely of places, Alberta, there has been much talk about the increased chances of the federal NDP in the fall national election.

Because Albertans were sick to death of the Tories, the timing was right. And if the timing is also right across Canada, another miracle could happen.

But there is one piece of timing that might not serve the federal NDP so well. And that is the new leadership of the Parti Québécois.

Pierre-Karl Péladeau has been getting a lot of press ever since he announced his candidacy. And now that he is leader of that separatist party, his constant repetition of the phrase "I want my own country," is one that appears more ominous.

So what does this have to do with the federal NDP?

Part of the federal NDP's success in the last election and its rise to Official Opposition status was due to the great Orange wave in Quebec. This was brought about in no small part by its clever co-opting of the old Bloc Québécois. In order to corner the Bloc's fed-up constituency during the last federal election, the NDP signed a little something called the Sherbrooke Declaration.

In it the NDP promised to repeal the Clarity Act if ever they became the governing party of Canada.

The Clarity Act is a bulwark against the duplicitous strategy the separatists have been using for the last forty years. It states that the government of Canada will not negotiate the succession of a province unless a referendum provides a clear majority to a clear question.

It strikes at the very heart of the separatist ruse. Separatists claim that a majority of 50-per-cent-plus-one is enough to break up the country. That means they think they can start a new country even if 49.9 per cent of the population is against it.

Imagine the chaos that could ensue? The Canadian government would be forced to protect Canadian citizens in Quebec. Partition would surely be a given.

Separatists also believe that they can ask any question they like as many times as they like in order to get the result they like. And then they can interpret the result any way they like. That is why we always see questions about "Sovereignty-(place whatever noun you need to reassure Quebecers that they will retain their Canadian passports here).

"Clarity" is their mortal enemy. Now, I don't know if the Sherbrooke Declaration was the NDP using the separatists to get elected or the separatists using the NDP to get rid of the Clarity Act. The jury is still out on who was using who. But it was definitely one of the great hornswoggles in Canadian political history.

And you can bet that this little blemish is going to be revealed nationally in the next federal election. The other parties would be fools not to use it to its full advantage.

So the more attention that PKP gets, the more likely the separatist threat is going to be perceived as very much alive by the rest of Canada. And that will make the protection of the Clarity Act appear that much more important.

The federal NDP will have to twist itself into a pretzel to downplay this issue.

I was in Alberta just after the election. Many of the people to whom I talked to explained the success of the provincial NDP by saying simply that "change is good."

But this willingness to experiment might not apply nationally during the next federal election. Change might not seem so good -- if you care about the future of our country, that is.

To read Rick Blue's complete column on the West Island Gazette, click here Rick Blue in the West Island Gazette
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