Perhaps the party ought to have a new name but becoming the Democratic Party would confirm only that the party is moving further to the right than ever and trying to associate itself with the Democratic Party in the U.S. Maybe the NDP position on Afghanistan should change as well and the party should urge Harper to keep on sending troops and supplies idefinitely to support their hero Obama and the Democratic Party of the U.S.
One thing is sure there will be nothing about socialism in the name. No doubt even the name Social Democratic Party will be too radical. The party seems to be adopting the Third Way of Labour in the UK in fact embracing capitalism to try and save a few remnants of the welfare state and concentrate on getting a group of "progressives" into power so as to enjoy the perks of power.
So will the acronym be DP party? Dimwits party. Depressed Party. Doldrums Party.
NDP considering dropping 'new' from their name
By Juliet O'Neill, Canwest News ServiceAugust 3, 2009
NDP leader Jack Layton at a Toronto campaign stop, Sept. 29, 2008.
Photograph by: Brett Gundlock/National Post, National Post
OTTAWA -- Nearly 50 years after the New Democratic Party was founded, its members are soon to decide whether to lop "new" from their name.
The question is whether to do it abruptly in two weeks at a convention in Halifax or to put it to a consultation process and make the decision in two years at the half-century mark.
Whether the NDP should be renamed the "Democratic Party" promises a lively debate and vote by about 1,000 delegates at the party's national biennial convention in Halifax Aug. 14-16th.
"It's simply that we're no longer new," Windsor West MP Brian Masse said in an interview.
"We're an established Canadian party that has shaped many public policies in Canada, that has been instrumental in health care, pension reform and progressive environmental and economic issues. I think this is a natural evolution. Drop the new from the name and run with the 'Democratic Party.'
Masse and other proponents of the change reject the idea the NDP seeks a shortcut association with the more popular Democratic Party in the United States.
"I don't think anybody's going to confuse Barack Obama and Jack Layton," scoffs NDP activist Ian Capstick, a media consultant who worked for Layton, the party leader, for several years.
Five riding associations have proposed resolutions for the convention to remove "new" from the name. Three of them - Windsor West, Victoria and Western Arctic - want it done at the convention.
Two others, Ottawa Centre and Hull-Aylmer, propose the national executive conduct consultations on a name change and come up with recommendations for the next convention two years away at the half-century mark.
"If we just change the name without changing the way we do business, it's not really a worthy project," says Paul Dewar, MP for Ottawa Centre.
While Dewar wants to "get the ball rolling" on a name change and believes NDP provincial governments are open to a change, he says it has to be part of more profound internal renewal.
He says the NDP has to modernize its methods to connect better with Canadians involved in environmental, human rights and other issues outside of party politics.
In related resolutions, delegates will be asked whether to separate the NDP's provincial and federal memberships, which total about 70,000.
"As the caucus gets larger, as we build our infrastructure and get our party into more of a breakthrough mode, these issues are taking on a greater significance," says NDP national director Brad Lavigne.
The NDP holds 36 of 308 seats in the Commons, making it the smallest of the four parties. It holds two of ten provincial governments - Nova Scotia and Manitoba - and has in the past governed in B.C., Ontario, Saskatchewan and Yukon, but never at the federal level.
NDP national director Brad Lavigne says Layton is not weighing in on the name change or membership split. Layton does not take a position on constitutional proposals, which require a two-thirds majority. It's up to the grassroots to decide, Lavigne said.
The Canadian Labour Congress has not taken a position yet either, said a spokesman for the union umbrella organization.
"I don't think it can be cosmetic," said Capstick. "We have a problem. We're not hitting over 20 per cent in the polls. And it's not a problem that's unfixable. We are a growing political movement that can grow bigger faster. A re-branding exercise would allow us to refocus."
Capstick says other parties, notably the Conservatives, have survived and flourished through such changes. The remaking of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation into the NDP in 1961 "revived the left."
Masse says his riding association intends the change as a positive step that reflects pride and confidence in a party with a 48-year record of achievement. He is not campaigning really hard for the change, however. "I don't believe in a confrontation for a name change," he said.
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