Happy New Year!
This New Year we're going to keep it simple and start off 2017 with Alberta Diary's Top 10 political predictions for the year ahead of us. Here they are:
1. Thanks to whomever replaces him -- Charlie Angus, c'mon down! -- Thomas Mulcair will start to look pretty good as federal NDP leader. It'll be too late, of course.
2. Jason Kenney will win the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party on the first ballot in Calgary on March 18. The PC Party is not doomed, however, despite Kenney's plan to dismantle it and merge it with the Wildrose Opposition, because many Wildrosers will be unconvinced by his rhetoric and that of his backers that resistance is futile.
3. World oil prices will rise more than expected in 2017 ... but not enough more to usher back the out-of-control boom so many Albertans long for -- leaders of the two principal Opposition parties excepted, of course.
4. Despite several polls predicting an NDP victory in British Columbia, Liberal Christy Clark will surprise everyone and win a third term as premier of B.C. during the provincial election scheduled for May 9, 2017.
5. Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley will reshuffle her cabinet early in the New Year and invite former Calgary Tory MLA Sandra Jansen to join. The NDP will continue to gain traction for its policies and see modest growth in its popularity for this effort.
6. U.S. President Donald Trump will commit the first of the unconstitutional and/or criminal acts that will lead to his impeachment in 2019.
7. To both federal Opposition parties' distress, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will remain stubbornly popular with voters in all parts of Canada, even here in Alberta after work commences on the Trans Mountain pipeline and Line 3 expansions.
8. Neither the Wildrose nor the PC Opposition parties will break out of their approximate tie in the polls, with all three major parties sitting around 30 per cent through most of 2017. However, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean will remain slightly more popular with conservative voters than Kenney.
9. Both the Wildrose Party, which will act first, and the PC Party will try to change their names to "Conservative Party of Alberta" or something similar. Both, especially the Wildrosers, will encounter resistance from Elections Alberta. If they fail, both will then try to call themselves the Unity Party. Both will reject your blogger's suggestion they rename their parties Thing 1 and Thing 2.
10. Given their choice among 13 candidates, including an anti-abortion crusader (Brad Trost), two overt alt-right trolls (Kellie Leitch and Chris Alexander), an economic nutcase (Maxime Bernier) and a distinguished Parliamentarian around whom Canadians could rally with enthusiasm (Michael Chong), federal Conservatives will choose the economic nutcase.
Readers are welcome to take note and write in December 2017 to remind me of how many of these predictions I got wrong.
These predictions also appear on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.
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Image: Wikimedia Commons
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