Tom Walkom writes that, if a Martian landed in North America's Attic, with the express purpose of studying Canada's three major political parties, he might very well be befuddled. They seem very much alike:
Tom Mulcair’s New Democrats, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals support balanced budgets, tax cuts for small business and subsidies for families.
They support building pipelines to move oil and gas to market, although they differ on which ones should get the nod.
All three parties are fans of free trade in general. The Liberals and Conservatives support a trade and investment pact with the European Union. The NDP hasn’t yet made up its mind on that one, although it does back free trade with South Korea.
There are differences, of course. The Dippers are the only party advocating a national day care program. However:
There is an eerie similarity among all of these sworn political enemies. At times, Mulcair’s NDP is reminiscent of the Liberals of past decades. At times, Trudeau seems to be advocating Harperism with a human face.
Perhaps the NDP victory in Alberta will force all three parties to differentiate themselves. And it might cause smart Conservatives to question Stephen Harper's claim that Canadian values are Conservative values. But, at the moment, Canadian voters seem to have the same choice Henry Ford gave those who bought his Model T. They could have any colour they wanted, said Ford, as long as it was black.