File photo for editorials by Scott Tibballs (Scott Tibballs/The Free Press)

Comment: Pondering party names

There appears to be confusion over the name of the BC Liberals, so maybe it’s time to clear that up

Over the few weeks of the provincial election the naming of the centre-right political party in BC came up a few times – from the Kootenay East MLA himself, from his challengers, and in comments online and in person. Apparently, there’s debate and confusion over the name of the party – BC Liberals.

Concerns appeared – to this observer at least – to be around whether the brand was on-point given their more conservative leanings, and confusion/questions on whether the BC Liberals were associated with the Liberal Party of Canada.

The answer to that second point is pretty simple: No. The BC Liberals stopped being affiliated with the Liberal Party of Canada almost 50 years ago now. Since then they’ve diverged quite a ways.

Discussion was much less about the dictionary meaning of the word “liberal” and more about association with the Prime Minister of Canada’s brand as leader of the Liberal Party.

That there was any confusion over the name, I admit, confuses me. I don’t even get to vote here and I know that the BC Liberals are the generic centre-right option on British Columbian ballot papers. Though, I’m also from a country where the “Liberal Party” is the conservative option on ballot papers on state and federal levels, so I was ready for that curveball anyway.

But the fact there was confusion at all? Yeah, that’s a problem for the BC Liberals.

Maybe a brand change is in the cards? It must be floating around somewhere in BC Liberal HQ. I know our newly re-elected MLA Tom Shypitka has talked about this on social media before, has batted away implied connections to the federal Liberal Party in debates and has spoken to me in brief about the name of the party being a hurdle he often has to clear.

So why not change the name?

In some parts of the world political party names are far more exciting than the vague names Western political parties adopt. Labour, Liberal, Conservative, Democratic, Libertarian, Republican, National – all pretty ho-hum, no?

In Indonesia, political parties run with names like ‘Golkar’ (Party of Functional Groups), The ‘Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’ and ‘Gerindra’ (Great Indonesia Movement Party). Take a look at their logos too – angry bulls, angry birds! – much more interesting than leaves and mountains and sunrises.

Then you’ve got ‘Servant of the People’ party in Ukraine, the ‘Taiwan Statebuilding Party’ of Taiwan, the ‘Economic Freedom Fighters’ of South Africa (where they also have the ‘Good’ party).

Descriptive party names can work too, like the ‘Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ of Australia and the ‘Rent Is Too Damn High’ party of the U.S.

Or maybe some joke party names, like ‘Party! Party! Party!’ in Australia, the ‘Anarchistic Pogo Party of Germany’, the ‘Donald Duck Party’ of Sweden – and of course, the Rhinoceros Party of Canada. Most of these groups hang around as long as a joke has to before it gets old, and are long gone.

It’s fun to think what the parties of Canada could re-name themselves to fit more with descriptive or amusing titles, like ‘The Bourgeois Struggle’, or ‘The Bleeding Hearts Party’, or maybe ‘Renting is Wacky.’ Their opponents would certainly have a laugh.

Notwithstanding the provincial results from October, the BC Liberals are, of course, not a joke. But it could be their name has gotten a little old, and a hold-over from times gone past. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but given how many people out there can get the BC Liberals mixed up with the (very unrelated) Liberal Party of Canada, a re-brand could be needed. That anyone can get confused at all is a problem.

Whatever happens, hopefully no bright spark decides to go the way of the centre-right parties of Yukon or Saskatchewan and propose re-naming the BC Liberals to the ‘BC Party’, which is even more vague than a debatable misnomer, not to mention unimaginative.

While we’re here, when does the New Democratic Party stop being ‘new’?



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC Opinions

Just Posted

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The ‘official’ opening of 2nd Edition Coworking in downtown Fernie, a project five years in the making by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber Brad Parsell, incoming President of the Fernie Chamber Norm Fraser, outgoing President of the Fernie Chamber Anita Palmer, and Mayor of Fernie Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Chamber cuts the ribbon on 2nd Edition

The new coworking space in Fernie is now ‘officially’ open, but has been operating since early 2021

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks with the new AED SaveStation installed at the Sparwood Leisure Centre. (Contributed by District of Sparwood)
Sparwood installs public AED

The SaveStation was installed thanks to a grant from CP Rail

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read