Friday, August 14, 2009

The Name Game: Talk About the Pot Calling the Kettle Black

I just read an article by former Reform Party, Alliance Party, Conservative Reform Alliance Party and later Conservative Party MP, Monte Solberg.

In it he is discussing the 'new' being removed from the New Democratic Party's name and states that "Name change won't help group that's not new" and leaves the "impression that the NDP desperately want to be a branch plant of the Democratic Party of the United States of America".

Hello???!!! How many name changes did your party adopt before successfully concealing the fact that they were a 'branch plant of the Republican Party of the United States of America'? What's that they say about people in glass houses?

I'm not thrilled with Jack Layton myself these days, but c'mon.

Dippers dippy idea
Name change won't help group that's not new, democratic or a party
Sun Media
August 13, 2009

So, the New Democratic Party is considering a name change. Good.
Organizations that have hung around for decades don't usually get away with calling themselves "new," except in a relative way.

For instance New England will always be much newer than England, so it still works.

When I think of the New Democratic Party really the only new that fits is the "pneu" you find in the word pneumonia, as in gravely ill and barely breathing.

All of this is far more complicated than it sounds. Just dropping the "new" leaves us with the Democratic Party of Canada.

This could leave the unfortunate impression that the NDP desperately want to be a branch plant of the Democratic Party of the United States of America.

In fact it might be seen as the NDP being so excited about the Obama presidency that they've even signed onto his Buy America policy.

Either way it could cramp their style when they inevitably, and I'm sure reluctantly, attack everyone else for being too pro-American.

If they dropped "democratic" from their name I doubt it would change any one's perception of who they are because they've never been particularly democratic. Actually if the NDP ever did tap the wisdom of a large and diverse group of Canadians to help them chart the way forward they would have long ago ceased to be the very strange, stunted and socialistic NDP of today, with their tiny sliver of seats.

Most importantly, if the concept of truth in advertising has any meaning at all for our brothers and sisters in the NDP, the one word they must discard from their name is "party."

If there was ever an organization whose entire demeanour was at odds with the fun and merriment of a party it is the NDP. (And the Conservatives are a barrel of laughs)

To be certain there a few among their number who have figured out that they should, as G.K. Chesterton would say, take their issues seriously while taking themselves lightly.

Unfortunately these happy few are vastly outnumbered by the sad and sour many. If it is a party, it is a pity party. Either way, it is false advertising.

No matter what it is called, the bleak outlook that permeates the horrible grinding gears of the present day NDP is so entirely spirit crushing that it deflates me to even write about it.

What I mean is the NDP often seem to be quite literally hopeless about the future of humankind. They have the odd habit of arguing for a more socially just future on the one hand while on the other hand convincing us the future is so grim that we will be lucky to not have to see it.

My advice to all parties is that the winning and winsome strategy is the strategy of gratitude. It is also the only strategy that is really grounded in reality.

It is the attitude of being so completely grateful for the world, its many flawed inhabitants, and our own good fortune in being able to experience it that we never cease in our striving to make it better.

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