There is much to be learned from the overwhelming Toronto mayoralty election victory tonight of right-wing Councilor Rob Ford over centrist opponent George Smitherman and left-wing Councilor Joe Pantalone.
But one thing is clear - there is no Vancouver version of Rob Ford waiting in the wings to become this city's next mayor.
Despite pre-election polling that showed a neck and neck race between former Ontario Liberal deputy premier "Furious George" Smitherman and suburban Etobicoke councilor Ford it wasn't even close. And voter turnout soared to 52% from just 39% in 2006's last Toronto election.
Ford cruised to victory with a 47% to 35% margin over Smitherman, while Deputy Mayor Pantalone - outgoing Mayor David Miller's endorsed successor - had just 11%.
And Ford's win was all the more impressive after Toronto's elite lined up to denounce him as a barbarian at the city's gates, an uncouth lout with a past drunk driving conviction [true - and familiar here in BC for having no great effect] and a privatizing conservative who would demolish public services [which may indeed happen].
None of it mattered because - lesson learning time - voters were simply fed up with classic politicians.
Ford is a real, if flawed, person.
Ford wisely ignored the daily attacks from the country's largest newspaper - the Toronto Star - and stuck to his campaign message throughout - to "stop the gravy train" at city hall. He promised to cut taxes, hire more police and slash the number of city councilors in half.
His chief opponent Smitherman unwisely wandered all over the political map, talking about privatizing city garbage collection, bus routes and other services while also trying to appeal to centre left voters - it didn't work.
"The two places where big dollars are spent and where outsourcing are going to be most prevalent are garbage and also with respect to the operations of the Toronto Transit Commission," Smitherman said early in the campaign in March.
Ford also talked about privatizing but came at it from a classic right-wing perspective, so no one was shocked or appalled. And when a Ford advisor publicly suggested privatizing the TTC, the candidate immediately distanced himself from doing so. Advantage - Ford.
Pantalone was never in the running, having no chance to escape Miller's long shadow, but he didn't help himself either by hiring long-time Conservative backroom strategist John Laschinger as his campaign manager.
No doubt intended to show that Pantalone wasn't simply a left-wing candidate, hiring Laschinger simple did nothing to solidify the veteran councilor's attempt to continue Miller's coalition.
And while Laschinger had run Miller's successful previous campaigns, his other efforts included the ill-fated Belinda Stronach Conservative Party leadership effort in 2004.
As for Vancouver similarities - there is no Rob Ford here. Even the unofficial opposition and Non-Partisan Association's partisan blog - City Caucus.com - endorsed Smitherman, not Ford. And Ford wasn't running against an incumbent, while the NPA will be forced to take on current Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in the 2011 contest.
One big difference - Metro Toronto has 44 councilors representing regional wards, plus the mayor.
That system allows councilors to create their own power base, while Vancouver's archaic at large electoral system forces councilors to run city-wide and encourages dependence on political parties which can get the message out.
Put simply, a potential Rob Ford has almost no hope of being elected councilor, let alone mayor, in Vancouver.
Whether that's a good or bad thing will soon be seen.