What's in a Name?

May 17, 2021 3:10 AM
By Merlene Emerson in Libdem Voice

Chinese fortune cookie advertWhat's in a Name?

We conducted a Survey recently on a proposed name change for Chinese Liberal Democrats. This initiative was partly spurred on by a rise in Sinophobia and Covid19 anti-racism against people of Chinese and East Asian appearance. Singaporeans and South Koreans alike have suffered race hate attacks under Covid19. We would like to reach out to represent and speak up for them too.

In addition, there has also been a move over the last decade, particularly amongst those working in the arts and media to identify themselves as "East and SE Asean", a term that has entered the lexicon.

Nevertheless some others feel we will lose our goodwill and recognition built up over the last 15 years if we were to change our name from Chinese LibDems or CLDs.

Here are the results of the on-line survey:

51% would like to change our name, 30% said no, and 19% don't know.

Given the choice of names offered in the survey, the most popular was BESEA (British, E & SE Asian) Liberal Democrats with 46%, followed by CESEA (Chinese E & SE Asian) with 23% and ESEA (East & SE Asian) with 15%.

Some additional suggestions and comments made included:

  • Liberal Democrat Indo-Pacific Group or Liberal Democrat Asian Group (We are a primarily a political party and the Liberal Democrats need an entity which can focus on the main foreign policy challenge of our times.)
  • Chinese, covers anyone of Chinese heritage globally, but East & SE Asian, is more like saying Western European.
  • Shouldn't include "chinese" as that would be redundant duplication.
  • As the wife of a non-Chinese Singaporean and the mother of a mixed heritage child as above I would like to see a name that reflects non- Chinese heritage British South East Asians. I'm really in two minds as to whether to include "British"
  • I think names should be simple and what people can remember and relate to.
  • Some sort of non-acronym name might expand your reach without losing it being clear what you're about.
  • I think that we would lose a lot if we change the name which is now firmly established.

    Next steps

    We will be calling an extraordinary general meeting and putting this to a vote by current members. If you would like to have a say, please join us here (https://chineselibdems.org.uk/en/page/join-us) before 30 May 2021. As it will be a constitutional change we will need two thirds to vote for the change in order for it to pass.