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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 08.07.15

RICK BLUE

Could Canadian senate scandal really be work of mastermind Prime Minister Harper?

MONTREAL | Over the last nine months it has been informative to read journalists report on the scandals of the [appointed] Canadian Senate. It is not just the facts of the cases; it is the mood of their reports. They seem to all contain a sense of overwhelming disgust and weariness. As if the whole thing is a depressing exercise in human failure.

And according to polls, it is having an effect on Canadians. We are all having second thoughts about our "House of Second Thought." Indeed now 41 per cent of Canadians seem resigned to the fact that our Senate should be abolished. And 49 per cent want it at least reformed. Only six per cent want to keep the status quo.

And so it occurred to me that we could be witnessing one of the most cunning political moves in the history of our country.

You see, when Prime Minister Harper originally came into federal politics he was determined to, if not completely abolish, at least reform the Senate. He, like most westerners, saw it as a bastion of eastern power. And so they thought that at the very least, by making it more like the American Senate, say with two elected members from each Province, it would more fairly function for the country as a whole.

And failing that, scrap the thing completely.

Last year he tried to get the Supreme Court behind him. But the Court ruled that implementing elections or term-limits for senators would require the agreement of at least seven provinces representing more than 50 percent of the combined population of the provinces. Furthermore, abolishing the Senate would require the unanimous agreement of all provinces.

A very high bar indeed. So he gave up and said that it was off the table.

But imagine, just imagine, if Stephen Harper was as devilishly cunning as some of his enemies seem to think he is. Imagine if he had not given up but had instead orchestrated the drama that went on all last fall, winter, and spring. He appointed these recalcitrant Senators. And it was his office that brought about the scandal. All he had to do was lead them to the trough and let the opposition parties and the press do the rest.

There is an old saying that some occupations are a thankless job but an appointment to the Senate is a jobless thanks.

But perhaps our PM found a real job for his appointees. And that job would be to destroy the Senate from inside.

In fact, given the difficulties of changing anything in the Canadian constitution, perhaps the only way to reform or abolish the Senate is for the Senate to reveal itself as the shockingly anachronistic and elitist institution it is.

So for someone who wants it to change, could things be any better? And so I am not at all surprised that now there is a rumour that Prime Minister Harper will once again call for the abolition of the Canadian Senate.

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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