What's in a name...

What's in a name...

There is a proposal at this weekends NDP convention in Halifax to drop the "New" from the New Democratic Party of Canada moniker. Several generations have grown up with the "New" attached to the Democratic Party in Canada. I think its a good idea to drop the "New" as well. Michael Byers, a professor at UBC and NDP candidate in the 2008 federal election thinks its a good idea as well, you can see his article in the Toronto Star today.

The people most fearing the potential NDP name change are the Liberals. The Liberals biggest threat is the NDP and their worst nightmare is the potential of the NDP with a name change to be seen by many younger Canadians for their polices rather than the dreaded red scare the NDP has been hobbled with at the hands of very effective Liberal campaigners and their supportive media.

Put a name change together and the prospect that the next election will see no party with a majority, the Democratic Party stands to make gains, likely at the expense of the Liberal Party. No wonder Liberals are running scared.

Mr. Ignatieff has returned the party's traditional core support levels – and revived it in Quebec – but the Strategic Counsel poll found they have lost the traditional edge among women, younger voters, and Canadians who live in cities and large towns, crucial to their hopes of victory. The NDP vote has remained firm.“The Liberals have plateaued,” said The Strategic Counsel's Peter Donolo. - The Globe and Mail, August 11, 2009
One of the reasons for this lack of growth has to be leadership on issues. People have a good idea what the Conservatives and the NDP would do. People have also seen what they get with Ignatieff and they haven't warmed up to it. Two big issues Liberals fumbled, E.I. and the Republican attack in the US on Canada's healthcare system.

As tens of thousands of vote rich Ontario workers lost jobs every month, Ignatieff proposed a committee to spend the summer studying the idea of change. What these workers needed was action, not another delay. The Liberals will pay dearly for that miscue.

Next up is the outright attack by the right in the USA of Canada's healthcare system. Now we all know and appreciate that we don't have a perfect system, its still better than the US healthcare system. Canadians are more than a little ticked off to see our country being maligned in this manner. They want Canadian leaders to speak out. Only NDP leader Jack Layton has stood up.

Name change or not, the next election will see the NDP going after both Harper and Ignatieff. This is a taste of what you will see from the NDP provided by National Director Brad Lavigne...

“Mr. Layton has written a book about investing in Canadians and their communities. Mr. Ignatieff has written books defending torture,” said Lavigne.

“Mr. Ignatieff has defended and supported the war in Iraq … If Mr. Ignatieff or Mr. Harper were prime minister in 2004, Canada would still be in Iraq today.”

Lavigne also scoffed at Ignatieff’s proposed changes to reform the Employment Insurance system saying the Liberal leader was “out of the country” when the system Canada has today was crafted.- By PETER ZIMONJIC, National Bureau, Sun Media
The NDP name change throws a big wrinkle in the Liberals election plan. They know its a smart move, its an opportunity to re-brand the NDP and they have little time to counter attack, unless the Liberals decide to find some other "face saving" means of supporting the Harper government until the spring.

What's in a name, ask any Liberal.

update: I found a post by the Northern BC Dipper supporting a name change. He does a good job of it!

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