Last year, I wrote my first “fail-proof political predictions”. I was… mostly right.
I said Trudeau would win a weakened majority thanks to an ascendant NDP and Andrew Scheer would fail to inspire voters. Not bad. Other than the precise machinations of the voting result, I got the thematic effect correct.
I predicted Jason Kenney would win, and Doug Ford would learn to govern more calmly. I suggested the Ontario NDP would start fighting over whether Andrea Horwath should keep leading them; they probably should’ve. The Ontario Liberals, I argued, would get into a leadership race with Steven Del Duca as frontrunner. That one came true.
I was wrong on Brexit: Theresa May did not call a second referendum to break the parliamentary deadlock. Instead, Boris Johnson won a general election. And my prediction that Donald Trump Jr would be indicted was wrong; instead, his father was impeached, and has yet to turn on his Vice-President, as I guessed he would.
So, with what I will call a .500 batting average last year, I will hazard to offer up some more guesses for 2020.
The National will give up trying to have four different hosts, giving national treasurer Rosemary Barton the conn all to herself, and rightly so.
The Conservative leadership race will be a battle royale, and concluded by this time next year. I have no particular insight into the internal dynamics of the Tory Party, but I take Conservative strategist Jenni Byrne at her word when she says Pierre Poilievre will win.
As for the Liberals, they’ll have relatively smooth sailing with a decently strong minority and a divided and leaderless Official Opposition. They’ll begin to work with the provinces on a long-term play to win the NDP’s backing through a pharmacare plan, but the devil will be in the details. In the end, it’ll be the Bloc Quebecois who keeps the Liberals in power, given that the Bloc is quite happy with its standing in the House and is in no rush to risk it in an election.
Will the NDP finally worry about the fact their Ontario leader, Andrea Horwath, is not going anywhere, and is already eclipsed in fundraising and the polls by the leader-less provincial Liberals? They should. But will they? I doubt it. That party is hapless and they like being hapless, it seems.
In terms of other personnel, I will reiterate a plug that can double as a prediction: the Liberal government should appoint former Ontario industry minister and Windsor MPP Sandra Pupatello as the next US ambassador.
Speaking of the US, Donald Trump, will be acquitted by the Senate in the impeachment trial, despite losing two Republican votes, and he and Mike Pence will face off against Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. They will be trounced in terms of the popular vote by over 5 million, and Warren will eke out a narrower win in the Electoral College, becoming the country’s first female president.
The first question for the new president will be what to do with her predecessor, accused as he is of so many crimes. She will not pardon him as Gerald Ford did with Richard Nixon, but will instead sit back and watch as New York Attorney General Letitia James obliterates the Trump family through a series of targeted investigations into their corruption and avarice.
In the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson will pursue Brexit, but, despite his majority, it will not be smooth sailing. He’ll also invest heavily in the NHS, positioning himself as a kinder, gentler Tory who cares about working people. Labour will struggle to define what it wishes to be: avowedly socialist like Jeremy Corbyn, or more Liberal, like Tony Blair. David Milliband will not seek the leadership. But I have a funny feeling Alastair Campbell, Mr Blair’s former spin doctor, might. You heard it here first.
Greta Thunberg will win the Nobel Peace Prize as the climate continues to disintegrate.
On that happy note — Happy New Year! Here’s to the next decade of human existence, whatever it may bring.
Photo Credit: Toronto Star
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