Saturday, December 22, 2012

2013 Predictions

Justin Trudeau will become the next Liberal Leader and the party will actually air an advertisement or two as part of a determined strategy to define him and the party before the Conservatives do. Something the Liberals failed to do with Dion and Ignatieff.

Gerard Kennedy will become the next Liberal Leader in Ontario; working with the NDP, there will be no provincial election in 2013.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will lose re-election.

Canada's economy will only grow by 1.7%, much lower than the 2.0% the federal government currently projects for 2013 (The IMF and CIBC recently lowered their forecasts to 1.8% and 1.7% respectively). Consequently the government's long term forecast for GDP growth will be seen as overly optimistic if not foolishly erroneous.

-The Conservatives will predictably blame this lower growth on the uncertainty in the US, the worsening economic environment in Europe, and lower commodity prices; but in reality the problem is this government fails to plan for known risks. For instance growth could be sustained if GST was raised and reforms to entitlements like OAS (so people who don't need it, don't get it) were made to allow for stimulus through increased R&D and infrastructure spending. Of course providing clarity to foreign investors would also be a substantial benefit to Canada's economic growth, something this government is also failing to do.
Canada's deficit will be larger than government projection. Finance minister Jim Flaherty has forecast a deficit of $10 billion for 2012-13, but with previous tax cuts, increases in spending, and milder economic growth, both domestically and internationally, the deficit will be closer to $15 billion.

Unemployment will be relatively unchanged; though most likely in the higher range between 7% and 7.5%.

Less new businesses registered and fewer patents in Canada. A trend that began in 2009 will continue as less new businesses are registered. With patents broadly correlated to R&D spending, recent years of lower funding on research by the government and businesses will all but certainly lower the number of patents applied for and granted. Both trends will show that Canada's lower growth rate is a long term phenomenon and not a short term one.

NDP will face internal struggle. As fortunes improve for the Liberal Party some within the orange party will make some public airing of a disagreement or tension with Mulcair; but more than likely something about the NDP leader will get leaked.

BC NDP will win in the most western province's election; garnering around 55 of the possible 85 seats.

The federal government and the CBC will have a public confrontation; either a senator will make a public argument against the crown corporation; a government actor will bring greater scrutiny on its finances; or, some questionable business practice or actions of a high ranking employee will be heavily criticized.

Defense Minister Peter McKay will be shuffled into another cabinet position as an attempt to reset to his public image.

The United States will ease over fiscal slope for a few weeks until Democrats get most of what they want, higher tax rates for the rich and no real cuts to social security, however other reductions in entitlements will be given up.

The United States will ban assault weapons.

Hillary Clinton will not completely fade from the public stage, preperations for a presidential run in 2016 will manifest, albeit less pronounced than Republican contenders.

Israel will conduct an air strike on Iran with tacit US support; followed by a sort of retaliation that will muddily bring into play regime change in Syria. As some Syrian rebels have terrorist affiliations, terrorism will remain in the small bloodied nation and be more troubling than what existed under Assad prior to 2010.

A large portion of Egyptians will begrudgingly accept President Morsi, but a strong visible minority will continue to protest. Tension between government and demonstrators will worsen, economic output will continue to suffer, reinforcing a deteriorating cycle.

Japan will become more confrontational with China. With a new swath of nationalistic leaders elected in Japan, diplomatic conflict is likely; not only because of a dispute over a few small islands, but by the new government's position on changing the constitution to finally allow for the creation of a national army.

Cuba will further reform its economy and North Korea will introduce primitive changes, edging it towards a Chinese economic model.

Europe will strengthen its fiscal union, especially after German Chancellor Angela Merkel is re-elected, but public spending will lower the region's overall GDP even more than expected.

A cancerous Hugo Chavez will step down as President of Venezuela.


The Mound of Sound said...

Is Hugo Chavez "cancerous" to you because he's afflicted with cancer? said...

Hugo Chavez is cancerous because he's afflicted with cancer and has pervasive influence in the region.