It’s time once again for the Nation to consult our tea leaves to give you, our faithful and discerning readers, a scientifically sound set of predictions for the year ahead, some serious, some less so. And boy oh boy is 2008 shaping up to be an exciting year!
Federal elections in both Canada and the United States have the potential to change our world for the better, with saner policies on global warming, ending imperial war-mongering and helping less fortunate populations at home and around the world.
At the risk of engaging in wishful thinking, the Nation goes out on a limb to prepare you for the phrase we will be using in 12 months’ time: U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, who will win November’s election in a landslide, with Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress swept in on his coattails.
With a minority Parliament nearing its second anniversary and Canada’s Tory government under Stephen Harper looking increasingly vulnerable, the opposition parties will pull the plug in early spring to force a general election… which will produce almost exactly the same result: a minority Conservative government headed by Stephen Harper.
We will, however, see the election of Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Nova Scotia, where she will knock off that sexist stuffed shirt Peter Mackay, giving him plenty of time to play with his dog in a field of potatoes. Most interesting of all, according to our inside sources, will be the out-of-left-field candidacy of an upstart Cree politico who will surprise all comers in the unpronounceable riding of Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou.
The Beijing Olympics this summer will take place in the environmental and political apocalypse that is the Democratic People’s Republic of China. We predict that heavy smog will cause the cancellation of several events, including the marathon. Political repression will end others, as Chinese secret police move in to arrest all athletes whose governments recognize Taiwan or accept the practice of Falun Gong, carting them off for summary executions with a bullet in the back of the head, their vital organs to be sold off on the world transplant market.
The Stanley Cup will not be won by the Toronto Maple Leaves… nor, sadly, by the Montreal Canadiens. But the Cup will come back home to the Great White-and-Brown North when a bunch of Scandinavians playing for the Ottawa Senators will make Canada stand tall and proud once again. The Nation’s Capital will take months to repair damages from the resulting riot. Meanwhile, Don Cherry will burst a brain valve and die suddenly. He will be given a state funeral televised live on CBC, which will nonetheless renew his contract.
The Senior Cree ladies’ broomball team nude calendar will sell out within days of its publication, amply funding a trip to the world championships in Utsjoki, Finland, where they will be the life of the party at the nearby Mammut Snow Hotel.
Arts and Culture
Matthew Mukash will begin quietly preparing the terrain for his reelection bid the following year by releasing an album of banjo tunes. A Juno nomination will soon follow, as will the requisite Aboriginal Achievement Award.
Celine Dion will play an unannounced concert in Whapmagoostui during her 2008 world tour. The diva of kitsch will run off with a friendly polar bear that innocently wanders into the Whapmagoostui Social Club, saying “Rene is a white haired geezer, but I need a real bear!”
The Nation’s star humour columnist Sonny Orr will publish an unauthorized autobiography, which gains international attention after Oprah picks it for her book club. Shame and degradation soon follow as it is discovered that several chapters have been cribbed from the infamous “Letters to Penthouse” books. Sonny Orr will sue the author. And win.