It is somewhat surprising, although not unexpected, that the initial skirmish around the new party (other than trying to brand it the UBP), is about the name.
This hasn't been explicitly raised but is clear to anyone observing the language around the launch:
- the PLP's first statement referred to them as "Bermuda's DA", which is conspicuously intentional
- Jonathon at Catch a Fire (who's always up for a conspiracy) refuses to call them the BDA, opting also for Bermuda's DA with a sort of weird and clumsy argument about global parties using Democratic Alliance. But he's prone to overthinking issues.
- the name was previously used by Alex Outerbridge and
- and the party does not (yet or perhaps ever) have the domain bda.bm registered, although they do have bermudademocraticalliance.bm and thealliance.bm registered.
I'll take the last one last, but it's pretty clear that the PLP do not like the name and want to try not to let the BDA acronym stick.
I understand that, but it won't work because it's a good name, so good it had to be used; catchy and relevant. The election campaigns are right there, two words "Vote BDA". Short and sweet.
You've got to try and shut that down early. It is futile though.
It reminds me of the US, where some Republicans refuse to call the Democratic Party by that name. They call it the Democrat Party, which is a rather subtle dig that the party is not democratic. It really annoys some Democrats, but is just silly insider baseball.
There's also the issue that there was a previous attempt at a party called the Bermuda Democratic Alliance and therefore the new party shouldn't be able to use it. But that doesn't make much sense to me because the party never got off the ground and the name is a good one, was available and is fair game to be used.
The PLP would howl if people said "well, they're not progressive nor labour in any real sense, so we'll just call them "Party". Surely we're mature enough to respect the name an organisation chooses. If that's the name they want to go by then that's what they should be called.
Finally there's something that I looked up immediately when I heard last week what they were going to call themselves, which is the website.
The party conspicuously lacks the registration of the domain "bda.bm". They do have bermudademocraticalliance.bm and thealliance.bm, but there's no way they don't want, or didn't try to get that domain. Zero chance.
So why do they have the other two but not the logical bda.bm?
BermudaNIC, which is part of the Registry General, is a real relic in the way sites get registered: only businesses can register, you have to send a fax - yes a fax - on company letterhead, and the process takes days if you're lucky. (Plus, they don't charge. Government could make a few bucks off domain registrations.)
The process requires human approval versus the US process which is automated. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some games going on around the bda.bm domain.* [See update below.]
Look at Denis's experience when he tried to register it not too long ago:
One of the first ventures into attempting to form the party came in the form of trying to register www.bda.bm. It proved an interesting saga as I was made to jump through endless hoops in what was a clear attempt to find every means to not give me the domain. I was told I couldn't have the domain name unless I was a registered company or charity. So I went to the registrars office and looked up the requirements as well as the listings of the existing UBP and PLP. Turns out, they weren't registered. So I took this evidence back to plead my case only to be told I had to have a request printed on the letterhead and logo of the party. So I went off, composed this and returned only to then be told that I needed to have a party constitution. So I threw his together and returned only to be told that I needed to identify who the officers of my party was, who the treasurers were and that I needed to prove an established presence before I could get the domain name. I tried to plead my case that the foundation of the party I was trying to form was to be solidly based upon the website and that I couldn't possibly have directors and an established presence without attracting more individuals via a website. The manager/director there wouldn't budge and it became obvious that no matter what I did, the bar would be raised ever higher to prevent me.
If the BDA were given the other two domains there can be no logically consistent reason not to give them the other more obvious one. Hence their use of thealliance.bm, which is fine but not really what they wanted I'm sure, although it's not bad either.
If I were in the BDA, which I'm not, I'd repeat the name every chance I had. It's going to stick anyway, but this would help it along.
[*Update: I'm informed that bda.bm is already registered. Which would be odd because it doesn't show up in a domain registration WHOIS search as it should.]