ND lapel pin. Photo: David J. Climenhaga

Alberta’s New Democratic Party is considering a name change to reflect the new political realities of Alberta and Canada.

“This is the 21st century and we need a name that reflects the political situation in Alberta, Western Canada, and the whole country now,” said a party insider, said to be associated with the discussions, which are said to be taking place.

AlbertaPolitics.ca has also received an exclusive copy of a photograph showing a pin mocked up with a new logo reflecting one of the new names under serious consideration.

“Everybody knows we aren’t getting along with those eastern troublemakers in the national party, let alone those in B.C.,” said the insider, who is not authorized to speak about the name change talks, and not authorized to use bad language when doing so.

The pro-oilsands-development Alberta NDP was angered by passage of a motion at the federal NDP’s April 2016 policy convention in Edmonton calling for consideration of the Leap Manifesto, which if implemented would restrict development of the oilsands and pipeline construction, and by the B.C. NDP government’s talk this year of restricting the flow of diluted bitumen through a planned pipeline to the B.C. Coast.

“Some of our strategists thought it would be a good idea if we could get the word ‘conservative,’ or even ‘oil,’ in there, or maybe just name the party after the provincial flower, the Wild Rose,” the source said. “But most of us thought we should go for a change that only modernizes the brand a little, like calling ourselves the New Democrats, or the NDs, without any reference to the party.

“Anyway, other parties’ members party at their conventions. We mostly just hand out leaflets.”

The source said the Alberta NDP mocked up the ND lapel pin just to see how it looked.

“You know, it’s all about rebranding. Like New Labour, only more like the New Democrats in the States. Modern. Not Tommy Douglas, medicare and the rest of that that old-fashioned stuff,” the source added. “Seriously? Mouseland?

The party is still open to suggestions, though. About the name, that is.

It is not known what federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh thinks of this idea, but a spokesperson for B.C. Premier John Horgan said the B.C. New Democrats would be delighted if their Alberta counterparts changed their name to something else.

Dear readers, do not fret. Before you cancel your donation to the Alberta NDP, check the date. This is your blogger’s annual April Fools joke … I think. At any rate, everything in this story was just made up by the author, mostly out of spite, for the occasion. In other words … it’s real Fake News! If it’s not very funny, well, that’s the zeitgeist. Old Alberta New Democrats will recognize the lapel pin, and the reason it still exists in a few sock drawers, like the author’s. Speaking of which, in case you were wondering, Pam Barrett was not Dave Barrett’s daughter. DJC

Photo: David J. Climenhaga

David J. Climenhaga

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with the Globe...