Lydia Miljan, assistant provost, November 25, 2015. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Miljan expecting a ‘nasty’ campaign

The federal election campaign is officially underway with 40 days until the country heads to the polls.

“I think it’s going to be a nasty and brutish election campaign,” said Lydia Miljan, associate professor of political science at the University of Windsor. “The gloves are off and the government is really going to be trying to not only keep the seats they have but also get seats from areas they think might be vulnerable.”

Miljan said there are some interesting races shaping up in the region.

In Windsor West, NDP incumbent Brian Masse is up against former MPP Sandra Pupatello. While Masse has held the seat since 2005, Miljan says with NDP rating low in the polls nationally Pupatello has a chance to scoop up that riding.

“She’s going to be able to run on her record. The fact remains that even though Brian Masse is the incumbent she’s had experience at cabinet and making tough decisions,” said Miljan.

The Conservatives have Henry Lau running again in Windsor-West.

Miljan said Windsor-Tecumseh could also be shaping up for an interesting race with two well-known names vying for the Liberal nomination. Windsor City Councillor Irek Kusmierczyk and well-known lawyer Linda McCurdy have both announced their bid. It’s not known yet when the riding association will hold a nomination meeting but Miljan says either candidate could put up a fight against NDP incumbent Cheryl Hardcastle.

“She’s only been in for one term. I haven’t heard anything against her but likewise, I haven’t heard a lot from her coming from that riding. She doesn’t seem to get the headlines or a lot of attention,” said Miljan.

The Conservatives have Leo Demarce running in the riding.

As for the Essex riding, Miljan said Conservative candidate Chris Lewis could give incumbent New Democrat Tracey Ramsey a fair fight.

“I think that the Conservative machine that used to be behind Jeff Watson is really going to be pulling out all the stops to help Chris move ahead of Tracey Ramsey,” said Miljan. “But on the other hand, Tracey has been a very effective MP.”

The Liberals have nominated Audrey Festeryga in the Essex riding.

Miljan said the region should expect visits from all the party leaders before heading to the polls on October 21, 2019.