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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky 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.

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 02.21.06

RICKY BLUE

Before the Fall, Canada's Liberal PM lost his 'Paul'

The legendary Canadian Liberals were set for a fall. So I drove down to Paul Martin's Quebec headquarters in LaSalle on election night. There was more press there than Liberals. There's nothing they like better than a good disaster. And some were hoping for the Titanic.

But although the Liberals were losing, it wasn't a wipe out. They were poised to form a strong opposition. I thought Mr. Martin should hang in. It is always easier to oppose than to govern. (Can you say Gilles Duceppe?)

The Liberals could wait for the Conservatives to reveal an Achilles heel and come back big. (How long could it be until some Stetson-osaurus outrages the Politically Correct East with an "unacceptable" comment about abortion, gays, or Kyoto?)

But Paul Martin wasn't planning to hang in. And to introduce that announcement he told a revealing anecdote about a little girl who ran up to him and called him "Paul." Then, blushing, she quickly corrected herself and called him "Prime Minister." He said that now we could all once again call him Paul - because he was stepping down.

It was quite moving. By saying we could once again call him Paul he was claiming his life back, his "Paul-ness." Somehow, during his tenure as prime minister he must have felt he had lost his Paul. And that's like losing your mojo. Your centre. Your humanity. Isn't that sad?

And telling. Pierre Trudeau would never have announced his resignation by saying: "You can now call me Pierre." He was comfortable as prime minister. In fact, for him, being prime minister was the universe unfolding as it should.

And Jean Chrétien was always Jean. There was never anyone else he could be. But Paul Martin obviously had felt the difference - the disconnect - between himself as Prime Minister Martin and himself as Paul. Enough of a difference to mention it as a preface to his resignation.

As I had waited for him to arrive, I had listened to a supporter who complained bitterly about the PM's advisors. About how Martin had disappeared behind a wall of suits and blackberries. Cut off from the people. In fact, the supporter claimed, this is why the party had lost the election.

Indeed, after the speech I was treated to an example of that. When Martin left the stage he seemed to instinctively move toward us. But he was suddenly prevented from doing so by a phalanx of nervous RCMP plainclothesman (The telephone cords in their ears gave them away) and advisors. Although I was standing beside venerable old time Liberals Francis Fox and Marc Lalonde, we were all rudely pushed aside and almost trampled by them in their frenzy to isolate their boss.

And so were the crowd of local Liberal supporters surrounding us. Even though you can't get much more common-man than the Buffet Sorrento in LaSalle, Prime Minister Martin wasn't allowed to walk around and talk to us. He had physically lost touch with the common man.

There is an expression in French that describes being "comfortable in your own skin." I think that Paul Martin was becoming less and less comfortable in the skin of the ruthless politician and isolated figurehead was expected to be as prime minister and Liberal leader. Martin was a good man. But he wasn't a winning politician. Because to do that he had to lose his Paul.

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