As many have heard, John Tory, the mainstream right wing candidate, won convincingly in Toronto and Olivia Chow came in third place, even doing worse than Doug Ford (brother of the famous crack-smoking Rob Ford.)  Much hand wringing has ensued that progressive just can’t win elections in Toronto.

While it’s true that Toronto is hard for progressives to win, which is why Toronto was amalgamated with the suburbs by Mike Harris’s Conservative provincial government, this election tells us only one thing about progressives ability win in Toronto.

Pick a better candidate.

Chow was the polling leader at the start, she lost that lead.  Now I like Chow a lot, because I saw her at work when she was a city councilor, but Tory was a better candidate: he’s just a better speaker, as he spent years as a radio host, and Chow, who is excellent in small groups, is a bad speaker.  The explanation doesn’t have to go much further than this.  In small elections, when she just needs a riding, and can knock on doors, Chow is a great candidate.  In a large election, not so much.