Does the NDP need a new Brand?

The new democratic party of Canada is the oldest political party with Canada’s first prime minister as an example of it’s esteemed membership.  Yet in this election and most of my adult life the perception of the NDP projected by many of it’s competing political rivals has been one of a wasted vote on a party that would just open the coffers until they were dry.

This election I took the time to review the party platforms and proposed budgets to make an educated vote, but a thought got caught in my mind:

How would I vote on instinct?

If I hadn’t had the time (thanks to taking two days off to watch over my sick child) to review the combined 183 pages of political platforms (and I only reviewed 3, my apologies to the Green and Bloc, Communist and Pirate Parties, and all the others) how would my instinctive vote have been cast?

Liberal,  I think is how I might have votes if asked to make a snap decision.  I consider myself forward thinking and on a core level I identify with the idea of being a liberal personality.  The energy from the red colour branding, the idea of moving forward, exploring new ideas are all attributes I would associate with being liberal.  This is branding at work.

If I asked “what does it mean to be Conservatives?   Green?  Quebecois?  Liberal? Regardless of the town or city I think the answers would be fairly similar.  Some people would know I was asking a political question, some might answer if I had asked an identity question but a majority would fall in a narrow spectrum of answers.  (This might be a fun research study.)

But what if I asked “What does it mean to be NDP?”  It’s not the same, it’s not a one or two word identity that someone might use to describe themselves without intending to reference a political party, even if we asked what it meant to be a New Democrat I suspect the answers would vary widely.

Now this post is not meant as a criticism but an outlet for the thought energy related to a party that drew more and more attacks during the election process while drawing more and more support.  I think with a different brand, one more easily identified with there may have been a mark difference at the finish line.

What do you think, if this a brand you easily identify with or could they use an update?