Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Don't Do It – NDP Name Change

If the NDP (New Democratic Party) changes it's name to the Democratic Party it will be the final formalization of the repudiation of the Regina Manifesto and the abandonment of not just socialism, but of social democracy by the NDP.

It will be the acceptance of a political shift of power in Canada to the right in the name of hopefull electoral success. What else could be the desired result than the NDP replacing the Liberals on the centre left, and the Ignatieff Liberals taking the place of the former Progressive Conservatives on the centre right, with the Conservatives becoming the third party and pushing the Liberals to the right, rather than the NDP pushing them to the left.

The NDP has a proud record of accomplishments from Medicare to public pension and Canada's social safety net. Becoming a Liberal Party with Liberal policies may get it elected, but we will never see the party having the type of social and economic impact on Canada in the future, that it has had in the past, if it goes down that road.

If the NDP feels a name change is required to define itself to the Canadian people I would suggest calling themselves the Social Democratic Party of Canada. After all they do belong to the Socialist International along with the European Social Democratic parties. Indeed a name change to Social Democrats would give the NDP a perfect opportunity to explain social democracy to Canadians and it would identify the NDP with western european political parties that have sucessfully governed their countries.

Or, if they fear that name and they really feel a name change is necessary, keep the identity of the NDP and call themselves the New Democracy Party to put emphasis on their policies for electoral and democratic reforms, such as proportional representation.

Even the Working Peoples Party of Canada or Ordinary Canadians Party would be better than the Democratic Party which most Canadians identify with the wishy washy liberalism of the American Democratic Party. You would only do that if you wanted to be identified as Liberals because you believed electoral success was more important than principles.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

NDP candidate Michael Byers has quite a different take. I've always thought of the US Democrats, on average, as to the right of the Liberals, but he seems to think of them as in line with the new NDP.

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/679100

Given the party's actions to make sure controversial topics like marijuana legalization stay out of the convention, it is clear they want to adopt a centrist, mainstream image. Whether this will get them the votes they imagine is questionable. If the NDP presents itself as too centrist, some people may decide that the NDP is no longer the place to register their vote for a progressive push to whoever wins the election.