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I was recently asked to help a dear, respected friend by canvassing door-to-door for the upcoming provincial election.

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As a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor, I recently instructed various courses specific to civics and citizenship. What an opportunity to do field research on what voters think in Windsor-Essex County.

So, what did voters share about who they will support in the upcoming election on June 2?

Voters appeared to me to be influenced by the following factors:

1. Those who will cast votes motivated by anger fueled by their individual experiences with funding cuts, the COVID-19 pandemic or their protest of local projects like the new regional hospital.

2. Those who will vote for the party endorsed by their workplace union or association. For example, unions within the automotive sector recommend voting for the party most aligned with their philosophical perspective rather than which party has supported investment for the sector which will create sustainable income for area residents.

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3. Those who historically vote for a particular party without assessing the party’s successes, failures or capacity of the party leader to fulfill the position of premier.

To my surprise, I was also introduced to a new distinct perspective. Many residents wanting to know who will best help our community of Windsor-Essex?

Among the views within this group they recognized that the Ontario government’s spending is influenced by the party which is in power.

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So, these voters ask who will favor Windsor-Essex County if local MPPs are not from the party which is in power?

This group chooses to vote in a way that will introduce a strategic vote for Windsor — seemingly voting for the party which is most likely going to win the provincial election so that Windsor will be on the receiving end.

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It appears to me many in this group have done their research on which party has invested the most in our community.

This group also seemed to take the viewpoint that being an MPP is a job.

What has been the job performance of currently elected MPP for Windsor-Essex? Did they attend work? How effective were they in performing their duties? What important achievements did they bring to this community?

When was the last time any important local Windsor-Essex achievement was announced by either themselves or their party?

Among the assessments is how (despite the current election promises meant to gain votes) have the various parties performed while in power, especially with a focus on Windsor-Essex?

Many voters also seem to embrace change and recognize how Windsor-Essex continues to become one of the most multicultural, vibrant and talented cities in Ontario.

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The diversity of our voting population brings an appreciation of the freedom to vote, along with a realization that voting makes a statement on how we want our community to thrive and grow.

This group is very grateful to be able to vote.

So, congratulations Windsor-Essex. It was refreshing to see this thought process going through our neighbourhoods. This perspective provided an assessment tool to help determine how our votes will count for the community of Windsor and Essex County.

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It is a time when we need to expand our manufacturing base while embracing our expanding skilled labor force. We must ensure our future infrastructure will keep us all housed, healthy and safe.

The first step to achieving this is exercising your vote.

When you vote on June 2 or in an early election poll, please remember Windsor-Essex is our home. We all want the best for our home, workforce, seniors, children — and all of our residents.

Every vote counts.

Lydia Fiorini is executive director of the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Essex County.

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