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Calgary humiliates Toronto with its election results

With all the hubbub around Toronto’s municipal election—and it has received attention far beyond our little hamlet—we’d forgotten that other cities hold elections, too. Even places outside of Ontario! Calgary, for example, held its municipal elections yesterday, and the results were pretty stunning: Naheed Nenshi, a Harvard-educated Ismaili Muslim, came from behind to take 40 per cent of the vote, despite polling in the single digits as recently as August. According to the Calgary Herald, it was quite a night:

Nenshi, 38, originally considered a long shot, defeated longtime alderman Ric McIver and former TV anchor Barb Higgins in a race that attracted voters in droves. By midnight, Nenshi had opened a lead of more than 21,000 votes over second-place McIver, capturing about 39 per cent of the popular vote, compared with McIver at 32 per cent and Higgins at 26 per cent. A son of immigrants who graduated from the prestigious American university of Harvard, Nenshi is Calgary’s first visible minority mayor. He has also become the first leader of Muslim faith to head a major Canadian city.

Meanwhile, in Toronto, we’ve been given our choice of white men since Sarah Thomson dropped out—though, of course, George Smitherman is gay, and thus a minority. He’s also a former deputy premier whose experience of the past 10 years has perhaps been slightly different from that of a Muslim, even one from Harvard.

Hues and creeds aside, Toronto’s election is going to make for an interesting final week: polls are tightening, endorsements keep rolling out, and turnout looks like it will be high. But at this point—unlike Calgary—it’s pretty clear that the mayor-elect will be one of the two candidates who’ve been leading for months.

• Calgary chooses Naheed Nenshi for mayor [Calgary Herald] • Kevin Libin: Calgary’s new mayor, that other guy [National Post]Calgarian becomes Canada’s first Muslim mayor [CTV News] • Don Martin: Nenshi victory puts Calgary’s Cowtown image to rest [National Post]

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