So, Ariel Sharon’s new party in Israel will be called not National Responsibility but Kadima (Hebrew for Forward). Shimon Peres, the recently deposed leader of the Labor party has now joined Sharon (as was widely expected). He is not explicitly joining Sharon’s new party, but is likely to win a post in any government that Sharon would form. Many of Peres’s former Labor colleagues are saying “good riddance.” Then Peres’s son, Gigi, had some parting words about the new leadership under Amir Peretz, a Sephardic Jew. He compared the takeover of the Labor party to General Franco’s rise in Spain:
The Falangists who came from southern Spain, came to Madrid as a fifth column and destroyed the republic. This game is totally transparent; One Nation people from North Africa took over and stabbed them in the back.
The younger Peres later apologized for the remark.
Meanwhile, Likud’s internal problems are increasing since Sharon’s departure.
More later, certainly, on the Israeli party scene, but for now just some thoughts on the name. Steven Taylor suggests it is:
A good choice, given the goal of the party to position itself as the party of progress and change in the context of the peace processs.
I suppose so. It onbliquely and cleverly implies that certain other parties are “backward.” But don’t you miss party names that actually convey something about what the party stands for, other than vacuous concepts like moving forward and supporting national unity? Forward conveys little policy content, though it is not as bad as such names as The Iraqis or Colombia First or Thais Love Thais or my all-time favorite, Go Italy.
So, I think I know what a party called Liberal stands for, and likewise Labour, Conservative, and Socialist. I suppose Democratic and Republican don’t convey much, but conveying little is consistent with the general weakness of collective party incentives in the US fragmented political system, and the labels are at least well established.
Somewhere in recent years the art of party naming has become something of a lost art. In that context, Forward is not all that bad. It beats National Responsibility, or Hope, as was also considered. But it is not all that good, either.