No matter what party wins the Ontario election, the next government won't be extreme

It’s tempting for political parties to portray elections as stark choices between a safe path into the future and a dangerous one. But the truth is the political spectrum in Canada is remarkably narrow compared to those in other countries.

It’s hard to argue, for example, that the 10 years of Stephen Harper’s government were dramatically different from what would have happened if Paul Martin had been prime minister. Maybe it’s the geography; maybe it’s our political system pushing everyone to the centre; maybe Canadians are just very moderate. But we don’t have the same swings from left to right that happen in other countries, including a few of our allies in Europe. So spare us the rhetoric. There are important choices to be made in elections, both on substance and style. There are differences between the party platforms. But it’s rare in Canada that the very future of our existence is at stake.

So for Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals to portray Doug Ford or Andrea Horwath as extreme is a bit of a stretch. We tend to get the same kind of government no matter what party we elect.

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