The BC Liberal Party has proposed a new name: BC United.
After sorting through more than 2,000 suggestions, the party says it’s selected a rebrand it wants members to approve this year.
“BC United expresses a long-standing commitment to unity across a broad party of members,” Caroline Elliott, the party’s vice-president, said in an interview.
“The name BC United emerged as the clear choice and that’s the name that will go forward to party members by the end of the year.”
Party members will vote on whether to switch to the new name or keep the existing BC Liberal identity under a process to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
But even if the rebrand passes, voters may not necessarily see BC United on the next election ballot. The party is reserving the right to keep its existing BC Liberal name for one more campaign if the governing BC NDP calls a sudden early election before the next scheduled date in 2024.
“We’re going to be smart about how we do this,” said Elliott.
“We owe it to members, recognizing we’re not the governing party and don’t control the election timing. The NDP has broken the fixed election timing before, and there’s no doubt they will do so again if it’s in their interests… we will ensure that flexibility is there so we’re not tying our own hands.”
Liberals considered a variety of other names, including some runner-up choices that didn’t quite make the cut:
- The BC Party (unusable because it’s already registered with Elections BC)
- Together BC
- One BC
“BC United was an obvious choice among members, and that was across the province,” said Elliott. “Only a handful really got more than passing support.”
The name BC United comes without the word “party.” Elliott said that’s deliberate.
“We went with that opposed to the BC United Party as we think it better reflects a renewed, refreshed approach to politics,” she said.
“I think sometimes us political people need reminding that the vast majority of British Columbians don’t belong to a political party.”
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Rebranding a party that was once a dominant force in BC politics, holding government for 16 years under premiers Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark, is not an insignificant move.
Falcon has said the purpose is both to show voters a visible sign of renewal, as well as eliminate mistaken confusion that the party is a provincial wing of Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals.
The name will require a total overhaul, including signs, websites, social media accounts, and legal steps under Elections BC.
It’s also not the only step towards renewal, said Elliott, who cited the recent Surrey-South byelection win by Elenore Sturko, a well-known LGBTQTS+ advocate and RCMP spokesperson, as another example of the modernization of the party.
“We’re under no illusions,” she said. “We know that renewal is way more than a potential name change, and meaningful renewal I believe is already underway.
“It’s way more than a name change.”
Rob Shaw is Daily Hive’s Political Columnist, tackling the biggest political stories in BC. You can catch him on CHEK News as the on-air Political Correspondent.