News: Windsor West, Lowest Voter Turnout in the Province —
Voter turnout in Windsor West as a percentage of eligible voters in the riding was the lowest in the province at 43.83 per cent. It brings no honour to the major parties which are supposed to act as primary organizations which link the citizenry to governance. Nonetheless, the number of people who voted was higher by 2,598 than in 2014.
The riding contains both the University of Windsor and St. Clair College; however given that the date of the election was moved by the Liberal government from October 2018 to June 2018 there was no possibility for a large mobilization of university and college students on their campuses which could have boosted turnout in the riding. At the time of making the change the Liberals claimed that it would contribute to boosting turnout due to better weather in June.
The campaign in Windsor West was an example of how the party system operates to either completely suppress the concerns of the people or reduce them to a ping pong match where concerns are used to score points against rivals. This is how the building of a new mega-hospital was used by the three so-called major parties even after local activists exposed it as a scheme to close two local hospitals and add no additional beds.
In the final days of the campaign the Liberal candidate sought to distance himself from the program of the Liberal Party provincially to build these mega-hospitals by closing and amalgamating local hospitals and privatizing services. He said he disagreed with the planned location and would fight if elected for the municipalities in the county to pick up “their fair share” of the cost of the new hospital. The Liberal candidate even put out campaign literature made to look like a grassroots community newspaper that supported what he had to say on the mega-hospital.
Meanwhile the PCs said the issue now that a mega-hospital is being built is to make sure it serves local needs, while the NDP claimed that the decision was a local one and that it wants what is best under the circumstances for the residents of Windsor.
By the end of the campaign, signs opposing the closure of local hospitals had sprung up on lawns across the riding.
Windsor West also contains the Ambassador Bridge with a second span to be built that will cut across Sandwich Town in the west end. The residents raised this as a matter of concern during the election, especially the refusal of the Ambassador Bridge Company to respect the rights of those living just to the west of the bridge among the boarded up homes it has left there to rot.
The campaign in Windsor West shows clearly the importance of the people speaking for themselves and intervening on an organized basis to defend their rights.