Ontario Votes Live Blog
As for the results...well, Ford ran a good campaign. I'll have more on that tomorrow. For now, I think it's important for progressive Torontonians to keep things in perspective. There's only so much the mayor can do - he won't be ripping up the streetcar tracks any time soon, or cancelling the Toronto marathon.
Plus, this is good news for McGuinty - it gets the "angry protest vote" out of everyone's system and gives McGuinty a possible stalking horse to run against in a year's time. This wasn't a conservative wave sweeping across Ontario - many progressive candidates, including Maurizio Bevilacqua and Jim Watson, won tonight.
While the results aren't shocking - I'd predicted a Ford win - it does leave me a big bafflegabed. I mean, I leave Calgary and now they've got Naheed Nenshi and I'm stuck with Rob Ford. I feel a bit like Eeyore with the conservative rain cloud following me around.
8:10 pm: Ford wins. Well, that was anticlimatic.
8:06 pm: The downside of the scan-trons is that you get results right away. With a third of the polls in, Ford has built up a massive 51% to 31% lead.
7:30 pm: My fellow Toronto elitists have begun arriving...we've already had to open up a second bike rack for overflow parking. The wine is chilling, the hors d'oeuvres are cooking, and the recycling boxes have been placed out for everyone. The fun is about to begin!
7:08 pm: Fun drinking game for tonight. Drink a shot of gravy every time someone talks about "the gravy train". See if you can avoid passing out before they declare a winner.
6:35 pm: My prediction for tonight - Ford 45%, Smitherman 41%, Pantalone 12%. But I'm hoping to be proven wrong.
6:25 pm: Just got back from voting for George Smitherman.
The exciting revelation of the day is that Toronto will be using scan-trons for this election - which means Canadian democracy has finally caught up technologically with most 1994 Grade 6 classrooms. Presumably, this should make for a quick reading of the ballots tonight.
Given how close the polls are, this election is going to be all about turnout. So your litmus test tonight is really this - are the lines longer in Etobicoke or in downtown Toronto? The answer to that question will decide the election. For what it's worth, the lineup at my polling station (downtown) seemed about as long as for the federal election.
I'll be hosting a "Toronto elitists" election night party tonight and will be live blogging all the festivities and snark, so be sure to tune back in here later.