Thursday, August 13, 2009


A lot of ink has, and will, be spilled over the issue of whether or not the New Democratic Party should change its name. We'll see more this weekend at their convention in Halifax.

My friend Ian Capstick has an interesting commentary on this in the Globe and Mail today.

My own take on this issue is that a name change, while not a bad idea in and of itself, isn't really a crucial issue for the party. If the party is smart, some new key policies and a campaign strategy will come out of the Halifax convention this weekend, and these will get press coverage along with the who-hah over the name change, whatever the party's decision is.

While branding is important, it is unlikely to make a difference at the polls for at least a few more elections (witness the number of people who still refer to the federal Conservatives as "Tories" or "PCs"), as everyone will keep using the old name in conversation (much as most people I know who are around my age still talk about the "Skydome" and the "O'Keefe Centre" despite their changes in name). As a long term rebranding exercise, a name change is not a terrible idea, but the short term gains will be pretty much non-existent. A major policy announcement, on the other hand, could attract some real attention.

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At 10:43 pm, Blogger KevinG said...

I have no real interest in the name change and I think your take on it is right.

What I find interesting is how quickly and wholeheartedly the MSM latches on to stories like this. I rather expect that the amount of time spent on covering aspects of a name change is greater by an order of magnitude than the time that might be spent on *any* policy that comes out of the convention.


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