Oh, For Pity's Sake

The dog days of August are upon us, and here in British Columbia that means the Great Burning is on. A singular convergence of global warming, promiscuous predatory beetles and years of government cutbacks in forestry has birthed a new summer tradition in The Best Place On Earth, with thousand of fires raging in and out of control....

And as the evacuees from the towns and villages settle into their temporary campgrounds in school gyms and other places of refuge, a little bit of comic relief is more than welcome, and this week in true Canadian fashion, it comes from Ottawa...

It seems there's a move afoot among the intelligentsia (sic) of the New Democratic Party to change their name. They seem to think the HOV lane to power might pivot on changing their name to
"the Democratic Party".

According to the CBC...

"The federal New Democratic Party will consider dropping the word "new" from its name when delegates gather for the party's annual convention in Halifax in two weeks(1). The 1,000 delegates expected to attend the conference will either move to adopt the abbreviated moniker right away, reject it, or appoint a task force to study the name change (2). Ontario NDP Brian Masse, who is in favour of a change, said the current name is dated. "Is it another 50 years that we stay 'new'? Another 100 years?" Masse told CBC News in an interview Tuesday (3).

1) Convention in August. Good call. I think people are just desperate for reasons to stay indoors this time of year.
2) I'm betting task force.
3) I don't know. Perhaps you could ask people in New York City?

and elsewhere in the news...

"We've established ourselves in the mainstream, and [we're] going to be there for the future, so to me it's about an exciting opportunity to talk about renewal (4)."

The party has called itself new for no less than 48 years. Nothing is new that long (5). “It was new before I was even born,” said Ottawa NDPer Paul Dewar (6), chuckling at the silliness (7). “I would be happy to see the change.” Brad Lavigne, the party's national director, said several riding associations are pressing for the change (8) and that given the level of interest it will be a high-priority issue at the convention (9)."

(4) Someone's trapped in their own spin cycle here. Maybe you should take a time out until you remember how to talk.

(5) People in New Delhi,
New Zealand and in the states of New Jersey, New Mexico, New Hampshire and New York may not be with you on this, Paul.

(6) What does your date of birth have to do with anything?

(7) I am so loving the whole smug thing here.

(8) How many ridings, Brad? What are there names?
Are they all or both or whatever in southern Ontario?

(9) Do you think voters in Windsor, or on waiting lists for isotope-related medical attention, or on patrol in Afghanistan tonight share your sense of priorities?

Don't forget there is a party that already calls itself some very similar to the
Democratic Party just south of us, guys, and when it comes to intellectual property, our American cousins can be rather litigious... "sue first and ask questions later" if you know what I mean...

I'm also thinking there could be some nasty blowback on this "new is so old" thing from the hinterlands. New Brunswick might think the next step will be you telling them it's either "Old Brunswick" or just plain "Brunswick" from here on in...

and Newfoundland may vote against you en mass to forestall the day of choosing between "Oldfoundland" or "Foundland"?

There's also apparently some issue avec le nom en francais- something about the acronym for Partie Democrate" sounding like some offensive slang term for gay people?
Might want to take a look into that, maybe...

I'm not seeing much upside here. guys. Sorry to rain on your priorities and everything, but hey, out beyond the canyons of your mind and/or the Ottawa city limits, this isn't one.

This is a stupid idea. The fact that anyone in the NDP would think about it for more than 5 seconds is disturbing. The fact that ranking party people are talking to the press about it, putting it on the agenda and call it a priority makes me want to throw up.

... and if I sound a bit peevish, blame on my memories of a party that never had a majority in the House of Commons but who still managed to make life better for millions and millions of Canadians with just their ideas, their sincerity and their integrity.

Of course, that was a long time ago.

Before you were born.

Back when they were New...


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