Martin has a good point. The "new" in New Democratic Party has lost its referential aspect of denoting that it is new but it retains its emotive significance as part of a brand name as the advertisers would put it. As Martin puts out other instances where the term "new" no longer denotes new are widely accept such as New York or New South Wales and on and on.
The success of the Doer government has little to do with the name but a great deal more to do with the fact that in practice the Doer government has been little more than a progressive conservative government rather than a Conservative government. As a result the term NDP in Manitoba has lost its radical scare value for the most part. Anyway Manitoba has often had NDP governments and the sky did not fall.
Winnipeg Free Press
Taking 'new' out of NDP a dead N: Martin
By: Mia Rabson
OTTAWA -- Would a New Democrat by any other name be the same?Canada's largest lefty party is gathering in Halifax beginning Friday for its annual meeting and one of the items on the agenda is to consider removing the "new" from New Democratic Party.
The party has had that moniker since 1961 when the western-based Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress joined forces to form a new national party.
The Conservatives got flak for calling themselves Canada's New Government for almost two years after they were elected in 2006.
So almost a half-century of being the "new" NDP is longer than one would consider novel.
While issues such as reforming the tax system, greening Canada's policies and protecting the needy are among the weightier items being considered at the convention, it's almost certain the great name debate will get the most attention.
That ruffles Manitoba NDP MP Pat Martin's feathers.
"I'm completely against it and resent the attention it's getting," Martin said. "Should Nova Scotia just be called Scotia? Should New York rush to change its name to York?"
He said it would make no sense for the party to distance itself from its most successful chapters, particularly the NDP in Manitoba which has ruled for a decade under Gary Doer and is still riding high in popularity and voter satisfaction.
The federal NDP has for years been searching for a way to duplicate the secret of Doer's success. This convention seems to be marking a big step in doing that with resolutions drawn from Doer's own playbook. That includes one to eliminate the national small business tax.
So dumping the "new" from their name, and distancing themselves from Doer's brand, seems like a counterintuitive plan.