Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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.

Ricky 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.

His columns are archived here

Posted 11.24.05


My lesson in civic democracy

I am back, dear reader, after running for a city council spot in my district of Beaconsfield, Quebec. As Citizen Blue, I was embedded in the election process. I dipped my toes in the great democra-sea. But I did not win.

I accept that with a mixture of regret and relief. And I rejoice in lessons learned.

Not being a politician I wanted to see if I could become part of the process and keep my integrity. In fact, the only promise I could keep was to be honest. I know I really have no control over anything else.

Besides, I made that promise to my wife.

So, as most of the other 'independent' candidates lined up behind a mayoral candidate, creating a block, and becoming like members of an undeclared party, I stubbornly remained independent.

Why did I lose? Not enough votes.

Duh! It's a numbers game. Numbers of dollars you spend. Numbers of doors you knock on. Numbers of hands you shake. Numbers of votes you get. (You have to forget that studies show that most germs are passed from person to person during the act of shaking hands.)

I heard complaints of "sign pollution." But I don't agree. Election signs are the flowers of democracy. And democracy is a beautiful thing.

My election signs were simple: my name on a white background with a check mark. That's all a voter would see on the ballot. I put them up with "my team" - myself, my son, and my minivan. Marking the territory gave me a warm feeling. Must be what a dog feels like.

Like all wars, an election is won on the ground. So I had to get over my natural terror of what salesmen know as 'the cold call' - knocking on strangers' doors. The trick is to win more votes than you lose.

In one conversation I ventured that taxpayers should have the right to cut down a tree on their own property. The voter forcefully replied that no human should ever cut down a tree anywhere at any time. It was then that I realized that I had just lost the Druid vote.

Because a platform is an agenda, and I had no agenda, I asked the people what they wanted. And I wrote down their answers.

A sound wall on Highway 20. More stop signs. More speed bumps. Outlaw leaf blowers. Install flashing lights at the Woodland interchange. Stop drug dealing on Beaconsfield Court. Stop the Jehovah's Witnesses from building a hall on Beaurepaire Drive. Stop car break-ins at the Beaurepaire train station. Restock the ticket machine with coins. Improve our dismal snow plowing and removal.

Don't waste money. Make a pie chart of each tax dollar to find out what goes where. Because Montreal stole our city and now they are making us pay for it, mount a class action suit. Take Beaconsfield back to what it was before the forced mergers.

And don't lie.

A tall order! So to all those successful municipal candidates who took the time and effort to be part of the democratic process, and were elected, I congratulate you. And I sincerely wish you the best of luck.

Our city is now in your hands. Keep your ears open and listen to your electors. Spend our money wisely. Remember, democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the ones who will get all the blame.