A poster on CBC suggested that the BC NDP are Social Democrats, not socialists as they have been referred to for ever and a day. While this might seem a mere semantic make-over in attracting more political support, such a rebranding of the party has some interesting implications. They are obviously reaching out to the middle-of-the-road voter who has grown disenchanted with the right-of-centre alliance government and would not mind a democratic change of sorts as long as it isn’t radical. Yesterday’s by-elections – both won by the NDP – may have fractionally begun to achieve that shift in moderate vote but, for the most part, was only a protest vote against a government that has lost touch with its core support. If I were a member of the NDP, I would quickly get over the joy of last night and get back to wooing the moderate voter with your new party label, which, by the way, has been around for decades in Britain. While the forces of democracy are definitely demanding greater public accountability, it is by no means a slam dunk or a done deal that everyone is on side with the cause. I suspect that in the next little while, the political interests of the right will coalesce again to push back against what they might consider unwarranted change from the Left. I have been involved in BC politics long enough to realize the importance of not resting on one’s laurels, especially by-election results where one outcome was won by vote-splitting. Watch for John Cummins to be snapped into line or even marginalized later this year and a coalition of Liberals and Conservatives with somebody else other than Clark at the helm.