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NDP shoots itself in the foot over the handling of the name-change issue.

So apparently, the NDP Convention “ran out of time” to discuss the question of whether to change the NDP’s name to just the Democratic Party. It wasn’t prioritized as an important issue, and delegates declined to change the order of votes to make it higher priority. So, apparently, it goes off to some committee of the national leadership to consult about (in otherwards, they’ll try to bury it and forget about it).

I’ve had one NDP delegate/blogger, Tyler Kinch, try to argue with me on Facebook that the NDP “spent time debating policies that will bring jobs back to Canada” and prioritized that. Right, but did any of those issues/resolutions get any notice in the media prior to the NDP Convention? Nope.

What did was the possibility of the name of the party being changed – a move that had broad support amongst NDP voters/followers and amongst Canadians in general, according to one poll that was done on that issue.

So, the one issue that got the public’s attention was the potential name change; it got good publicity, had good public support, and the delegates/leadership turn around and didn’t even allow it to a vote? At least if it had been brought to a vote and rejected, that would have been a tad more excusable and defensible (party purists/traditionalists want to keep the current name, etc etc) then burying it so low in the agenda it wasn’t even gotten to. I told Tyler that was a waste of good publicity and a wasted opportunity. It doesn’t bother me a lot, because I think changing it to the Democratic Party was a bad choice. I still prefer Social Democratic Party. So, if there’s a silver lining in all this, perhaps the NDP federal council will open the floor to other name change proposals besides the Democratic Party. However, it speaks volumes that the NDP delegates would shoot themselves in the foot like this over the one issue that had any public buzz or mention in the media by not even getting it brought to a vote.

Actually, that’s not quite correct about there only being one issue that got any airplay. The fact that Brad Lavigne decided to turn Dana Larsen into a martyr also got media airplay. So, the 2 things that the NDP Convention will be remembered for was that the proposed party name change didn’t even get voted on, and that Dana Larsen was banned from the NDP Convention. The policy resolutions will barely get a mention in the media, if at all. Not exactly a public relations success, I’d say.


25 comments to NDP shoots itself in the foot over the handling of the name-change issue.

  • sorry steve

    the resolution debating the color of the sky did not have time to make it to the convention floor

  • jimmy

    Calling the sky red doesn’t make it actually red either.

  • Getting defensive doesn’t make the sky less blue.

  • Tyler Kinch

    Constitutional amendments need to be debated. It’s our friggin’ constitution! It would be dangerous to speed up the process just to debate a name change.

    My suggestion for next time would be to have a separate block for Constitutional Amendments and Party Business.

    Constitutional Amendments are important but they will take time.

    I was disappointed that we didn’t get to vote on splitting provincial and federal memberships, something that was prioritized before the name change… but I don’t think any of this was filibustering.

  • I suspect Libbloggers would find something to complain about even if the NDP had adopted the Liberal policy book (whatever it is) wholesale. The same applies to the MSM.

    Obama proved, I think, that you can win an election regardless of what the MSM is talking about. And a number of MSM outlets will be out of business in the near future. So, really, who cares what random nonsense they want to talk about?

  • jimmy

    SteveV you clearly did not watch the convention 50+ Resolutions were passed by the convention in around 8-10 hours of debate. From what you gather you just made up some facts and decided to post them on the internet.

  • From what I gather, a lot of “issues” weren’t debated. As a matter of fact, other than election prepardness and sucking the Obama teet, pretty much a whole lot of nothing. Just the facts please.

  • I’m not sure how this can be described as the NDP shooting itself in the foot. It was an interesting idea, but there was one poll released and too many editorials written on this issue in my opinion.

  • Hm, I pretty much agree with you on this one Scott. Surprisingly.

  • Jimmy

    Anthony Di Domizio I was there it wasn’t really a filibuster it was actual constitutional amendments we had to get through. There was a lot of debate becuase of regional biases, honestly I think the No to the Name change people wanted to speak on it just as much as the yes people did but we had other things which took up the time. Even if we had the 20 minutes back we wasted on reading the 7 pages it would not have been enough time to get to the name change. Things have to be debated.

  • Jimmy

    From your point of view 1500 delegates deciding they would rather debate other things democratically is a failure. Can I ask are you a Liberal? I think that the delegates doing what they wanted and debating things they thought were important is much better then the Leader of the party deciding (like in some parties).

    Going into convention the name change could have been put anywhere on the order by the delegates. It could have been 1st it could have been 72nd or 400th that is the way it goes when you have a number of people voting on the order. The NDP delegates decided strengthening the Womens committee, modernizing their preamble, and tidying they Constitution was more important then a superficial name change. I can see you don’t get democracy so whatever.

  • I just got back from Ottawa and Montreal. I was only able to receive the news from my car radio. Personally, I would agree with Scott that the NDP delegates could have talked about the name change issue. They could have voted or deferred the motion. It would have looked better than preventing the issue from getting to the floor through filibusters.

    Other than the name-change issue, I did hear a CBC radio news clip with Jack Layton talking about the big bad banks. No matter what you think about banks nickel and diming everyone, Canada’s banks are in better shape than their American cousins thanks to both the Liberals and Conservatives.

    We can argue that the media weren’t concerned about important issues such as pipelines, electoral reform, Native rights, pay equity, and EI reform. Unfortunately, these issues directly concern few people. These are narrowcast issues through eyes of the media. The next election will be about the two giants: Harper and Ignatieff. Layton will not get exposure if he talks about the above issues and big bad banks.

  • See Jimmy, that is the problem with a publicity stunt…you do it to get publicity…but if the stunt ends up sucking, you’re screwed even more.

    How many people watched the NDP convention on TV, 500?

    The party didnt bother talking to the media about policy this weekend. The only policy they spoke of was this name change. Their MPs spent their media time talking about a policy the party didnt even end up debating. The end result is NOBODY outside that convention centre plus about a thousand more people will know what happened in Halifax this weekend.

    You make the publicity stunt to draw the media in, but then youre supposed to have something else to talk about. They didnt have anything…and too top it off, shelved debate on the one issue that got them attention, which will result in bad press, and a more negative view of the party.

    From a public relations standpoint (and we know how important that is with the NDP) this weekend was a disaster.

  • Jimmy

    I love Anthony. “I didn’t watch the convention, don’t know what happened at it, don’t care, but I will poop all over it becuase it is the NDP.”

    There were good ideas debated and adopted. Resolutions passed on Native rights, pay equity, and EI reform. You however are so blind you are not willing to say “I didn’t watch but the only thing that is important is a name change.”

    Sorry the NDP has priorities other then pleasing you although if it is so important pay your membership fees go to the next convention and have your say.

  • sadly, no. I only watched the news. Where I heard opinions about the name change from Paul Dewar, Libby Davies, Ed Broadbent, etc etc. I also saw that Jack Layton had no comment.

    Thinking back, I guess Jack knew it wasnt going to be debated anyway.

    If they wanted to steal the attention with a bold new policy, the least they could have done was talked about it rather than the name change.

    This turned out to be worse than the Seinfeld Convention…at least Seinfeld was funny.

    this convention was more like the Seinfeld finale convention…a lot of hype, bad ending also about nothing

  • What did they debate?

    Did any of them bother telling anyone?

    • Greg

      @Anthony Di Domizio,

      Did you watch any of the convention, Tony? Just asking, because from what I saw they debated everything from pipelines around the Great Lakes to electoral reform.

  • So it’s considered “shooting itself in the foot” for the NDP to spend its time debating the issues that were considered most important by delegates, rather than letting the media dictate what was or wasn’t worth talking about? Wow…just, wow.

  • It wasn’t prioritized as an important issue, and delegates declined to change the order of votes to make it higher priority. So, apparently, it goes off to some federal committee for the national leadership to consult about (in otherwards, they’ll try to bury it and forget about it).

    Well, the name change right away option wasn’t prioritized high on the list #20, however, the creation of a committee to consult on the name change was (#6-#7). The problem was that first of all the housekeeping resolution on the resolution was read verbatim (all 7 pages), and as a result of procedural games, this resolution was split. As a result, not a whole lot was talked about, even reforms more important then any name change.

    • @Northern BC Dipper, I just think if party procedural hoo-ha happened at a Liberal convention, NDP supporters would be apoplectic. “The Liberals are undemocratic bla bla bla”

      reading a seven page resolution verbatim than dividing into 10 resolutions is the same as shutting the thing down really. The one issue that has gotten the NDP any media attention in the last year is this…and they REALLY blew it

  • Oh the NDP…such a tease!

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