Saturday, August 15, 2009

What is in a Name?

What is in a name? Very much if the wit of man could find it out

You have to love the Dog Days of Summer as it pertains to news. Not only is August the warmest month and the month when gardens are in full bloom and displaying their wares, you have generally slow news. Yes there still are wars happening and celebrities are still doing stupid things. Certainly a study of any flyer reveals that stores have begun their push for all things school related. In fact one store is selling pencils for 39 cents.

What makes this season interesting is not the fact the Detroit Tigers are still in first place in the AL Central, way to go boys!

It's some of the nuttiness that seems to be happening on both sides of the border. For example, in the States you have the various town hall meetings that are dealing with people's opinion of Health Care Reforms. For the most part these seem to be civil affairs but then again, every so often the crazies take over and you have this:

Yes, all that has happened in the last forty something years have been manipulated by the Kenyans so that Barak Hussein Obama could become President. To say these Birthers are lunatics is in a way an insult to honest, salt of the earth lunatics everywhere. Of course you have to put them in the same catagory as the flat earth society and those who believe in Death Panels. As for the latter, even everyone's favourite former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has given an opinion of this matter:

As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we're saying not just no, but hell no!

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

I could go on with the States, but this is not the theme of the blog. I want to talk about the silliness of Canada. Right now all sorts of attention, comments and news ink is being spilled over the NDP's Annual Convention in Halifax. HFX09, as its being called is the Party's annual meeting in which and I suppose it is possible, the Party will plan its election strategy for the next couple of elections, which should take place in the same time span as the next two Harry Potter movies.

One issue that seems to have captured the popular media is the potential name change for the Party. It seems after 49 years, there are some thinking its time for a change. The suggestion is going from NEW Democrats to Democrats. So that the party would change from NDP to DP.

There is a few reasons for this, besides the fact that 'New' seems odd for a party that's been around since the 1930's, perhaps a name should be changed. After all this would not be the first time, since it started out as the CCF.

I suppose the question, why just Democrats? There are some who suggest it is an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Barak Obama and the Democratic Party of the United States. Canadians love Barak. In fact had we been able to vote, it would have been a total runaway with all 20 electoral votes of Canada going to President Obama. This may be the reason why there is so much popularity for the change. A recent poll discovered this:
45 per cent of Canadians and 59 per cent of federal NDP supporters are in favour of the name change. One in five, or 20 per cent, are opposed, and more than a third, or 37 per cent, are undecided.

62 per cent of Canadians and 75 per cent of federal NDP supporters believe that if the federal party changes its name, the provincial NDPs should also adopt the Democratic Party name.

Another good reason is the fact that so often, the Party is mistaken for the New Democratic Party of Sri Lanka, I mean its bound to happen.

As the columnist Cathal Kelly wrote:
There is the whole apathy-of-the-electorate thing to shake off. Then there's the allure of hitching your wagon to a rock star politician.

"I guess they're hoping for some kind of subtle link," says Roger King, the Toronto-based spokesperson for Washington's Democrats Abroad.

The problem I have with dropping "New" is it does not stake out what the Party believes. Think of the other names, when we hear Liberal, we take it the party follows the policy and programs of liberalism. The Liberals Party of Canada follows that ideology for the most part throughout its history. It is what is accepted when we hear that name.

The Conservative Party has had a number of changes, it was Conservative, then it went Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and now, through the merger between the Reform/Alliance Party and the Progressive Conservatives has come full circle. But through it all, it was seen as the party of conservative ideology.

What does the Democratic Party believe? Democracy? I would assume almost all of the Canadian Political parties believe in Democracy. Even those who hate Stephen Harper and think he's the love child of Adolph Hitler and Attila the Hun must admit he believes in democracy. In other words, the name means nothing. I'm not going into the issue that the initials DP (Dee Pee)is actually a rude swear word in French, because everything is eventually a rude swear word in some language. It's a throw away word, it speaks of nothing different, all it says is the party believes in democracy. What else?

Plus, historically speaking, the NDP has always had an anti-American slant to its ideology, so how identifying itself with the country they don't really like will do. Might make the party a bit paranoid that's for sure.

Some have suggested the name Social Democratic Party, which would put the party in line with most European Social Democratic Parties, which it is closer in ideology. It would allow the party to put itself and accept itself as a party of Socialism International, which also includes parties such as the Labour Party of the UK.After all, in comparison, the Democrats of the US, if put on the political spectrum would be some place between the PC and Liberal party. More of a Central- Central Right party. After all, it still is debates universal health care, which even the Conservatives believe.

So it will happen tomorrow. If you go to the NDP website you can watch the live stream, it should make for compelling watching.

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