The "New" NDP
It seems everyone has weighed in on the possibility of an NDP name change. I could wax on at length about the pros and cons of this but, the short of it is, it's a dumb idea and it won't happen.
Having gone to many a convention, you always get a motion or two that the media focus in on a lot more than the party members, and I suspect this is that sort of motion...I'd be surprised if it gets over 20% support in the actual vote. I know a name-change motion would be shot down in a second by Alberta Liberals - an organization that has a lot of good reasons to do something like this. So I can only assume the equally idealistic NDP would be just as quick to back away from this one, even if it made sense.
And I have a hard time seeing the benefits of dropping the "new". Consider:
1. A name change is a branding exercise and, as much as it pains me to say it, the NDP brand isn't in awful shape. They've gained seats in three straight elections, to the point where they're as successful now as they've ever been.
2. They have two provincial NDP governments who it helps them to be associated with - the only place where the NDP brand gets pulled down from its provincial wing is in Ontario (ironically enough, because of a Liberal).
3. A name change only really makes sense if the party is going under a major ideological change...and even though there's a good argument to be made for that, it doesn't sound like something the Dippers are considering. Otherwise, it's just a gimmick that won't do anything but confuse voters. It also makes for a nice hammer to hit the DP with - "a new name, but no new ideas" yada yada yada.
4. Latching their horse to the Democratic Party makes sense now, with Obama as popular as he is. But, considering how often Jack Layton has used "american" in the pejorative sense over the past few years, it's an odd donkey to hitch your wagon to.
5. Even if "new" doesn't make a lot of sense for a 50 year old party, this is a country that still has the somewhat oxymoronic "Progressive Conservative" Party...I think we can accept it. And, from a marketing perspective, "new" isn't a bad adjective to be associated with.
So, yeah, ain't gonna happen. For better or worse, the old NDP is here to stay.