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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 03.29.06

RICKY BLUE

A political act of Quebec escapism

I want to register a protest vote. At first I think that not voting would do that. But that is not really a protest vote, that's a non-vote.

And I feel it is my civic duty to vote. After all, if you are given a right and you do not use it, then you deserve to lose it.

So I go to my polling station. I feel that after complaining about the Liberals for the last four years, how can I then vote for them?

It would be as if I was an abused spouse who calls the police and then won't press charges. Well, I'm sorry my dear Liberal spouse, but I am going to press charges this time.

So who should I vote for?

The Québec Solidaire is locked in a Marxist past and the Greens' time has not yet come. And obviously I can't vote for the Parti Québécois. As a Canadian that would be a suicide vote.

But now I have another option - Mario. My hand shakes as I grip the pencil. I can feel the sweat on my brow.

Could Mario ever be elected premier? They say he doesn't have much of a team.

And that is apparent on my ballot where the Action Démocratique candidate is identified as being part of "L'Equipe Mario Dumont" instead of simply being identified with his party like all the others.

I guess the ADQ knows that if they get my vote, it would be for Dumont, not for what's-his-name, the candidate who I am actually endorsing. In fact, I have no idea who the guy is.

And here am I, filling in the little circle. I tell myself that I am voting for Mario, not for him.

This is like shooting in the dark, I think. So I stop. I have second and third thoughts.

But it's the only way I can help break this crippling separatist/federalist impasse that has held Quebecers hostage for the last thirty years.

I say to myself that I will do it for my children. Indeed, this whole electoral campaign has been dominated by the referendum question.

By that I mean the question of, 'should we have a referendum'?

If the Liberals really had any guts, they would promise a referendum to end separatist referendums.

But they are cunning enough to know that they profit by the PQ's adolescent obsession, by saying, "You think we're bad? Look at these dingbats!"

Can I trust Dumont? I don't really know yet. But I know I can't trust the PQ.

And I am tired of being taken for granted and ultimately shafted by the Liberals, recently with the taxation-without-representation agglomeration council.

So I'm voting for Mario. He said he would abolish the agglomeration council. This is important to me.

This is a reason to vote - other than national unity. I have a positive reason. I pluck up my courage and I make my mark.

As I drive home from the polling station I see an election sign on a telephone pole at the side of the road. There's the guy I voted for! Holy mackerel - I voted for him? What will people think? Thank God it's a secret ballot.

Later as the returns come in I say to my wife, "Look at the ADQ!"

She laughs. "How can a bloke like you be so in touch with the people of Quebec?"

As it turned out, the Liberal candidate in my riding could have phoned in another win. So my little protest was safe.

Yes, we are all still captives on the Island of Montreal. But in the rest of Quebec - as in my little polling booth for one brief but ecstatic moment - we escaped.

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