I wish you all the very best for 2016 – may you have sufficient wealth and 100% good health.
Some political predictions for the coming year:
- There will be moves to replace both Christy Clark and John Horgan, neither of which will succeed. In the case of Clark there is no obvious heir nor any discernible backbench revolt. The party itself will do nothing as long as it’s in power. It’s very difficult to dislodge a party leader at any time but especially when she’s premier.
- John Horgan likewise has no obvious successor nor any apparent backbench revolt. That’s because no matter what kind of a leader Horgan may be, he has a good chance of winning and no political party dumps a leader who might win.
- The bloom will be off of the Trudeau rose – this is simply the end of the honeymoon when the lovers start taking the odd jellybean out of the bowl instead of putting one in every night.
- The Tories will make a statistical come back only because politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. They will regret that Rona Ambrose can’t run for leader and will change that.
- The NDP will play it cool – they know that Mulcair can’t lead them in the next election but that there’s no hurry to replace a capable opposition leader.
- The move for electoral and parliamentary reform will gather some momentum and, perhaps this is more a wish than a prediction, cooler heads will prevail and we’ll start a slow but steady process of consulting Canadians across the country about what they want. At present we have politicians reacting, as they always do, to what they perceive public opinion to be without settling down to analyze just what that is, what they should do, and what the consequences of any move could be.
- The tension between the general public and the “establishment” over pipelines and LNG plants will heighten and the “establishment”, ever in the past, will continue to be surprised that they are not loved and obeyed as before. The next step to approving the Woodfibre LNG plant will be taken and all hell will break loose, not just in the Howe Sound area, but in the whole province. This is where the rubber will hit the road next.
- In British Columbia, the Green Party will raise its popularity considerably but faced with “first past the post”, will still have colossal electoral obstacles. Public pressure will continue for reform of the system in BC and the parties in the 2017 election will promise, albeit vaguely, reforms.
- Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination, all hopes to the contrary notwithstanding, for the simple reason he will gather the most votes going into the convention. Hillary Clinton will easily win the Democratic nomination and, in a surge of recovered national intelligence, will easily be elected the 45th president. To the surprise of the pundits, the Democrats will win both Houses of Congress.
- In a surprise move, President-Elect Clinton will announce a new Middle East policy which includes recognition of the state of Palestine and a modification of US support for Israel, all as an integral part of a peace process designed to keep Iran at bay, move with Russia to settle Syria, and accommodate the fall of the Saudi monarchy which will have lost its charm, namely money.
- The rapprochement between India and Pakistan will, in fits and starts to be sure, continue with a new deal over Kashmir.
- China will sabre rattle after the Democratic Progressive Party wins in Taiwan but will spend most of 2016 licking financial wounds and reconstruction.
- The UK will, in a narrow vote, stay in the EU but the turmoil of the exercise, aggravated by the refugee problem and the dangerous increase in Germany’s influence, will leave the union badly battered. If the UK does not vote “yes”, that will be the reason.
- Despite the Paris Conference, fossil fuels will continue to grow in exploration, production and use. This is because the industry has been allowed to become all powerful, now partners with the media, so that they can only be stopped by an angry public that isn’t angry enough yet.
- The media in Canada will continue to deteriorate with PostMedia going into supervised bankruptcy. They will eliminate papers in smaller centres and cut back to just the National Post in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. There will be renewed efforts to consolidate an online national “paper”. This will open the door to government intervention in the Internet and all hell will break loose.
- The Blue Jays will choke again, deliciously a little later than in 2015 and the revived, with money of course, Red Sox will beat the Dodgers in seven.
- Someone will win the Stanley Cup but it won’t be the Canucks.