Friday, January 27, 2017

27JAN2017 - Updates and thoughts (2017 predictions)

I have a few suspicions on what the "themes" of the year will be, when we all look back at things 11 months from now.

  • The Unusual
  • Fake News
  • Repeating History

The Unusual replaces The Unexpected; the theme of 2016. Take the fact that former UK Prime Minister said he likes to name birds after Boris Johnson before shooting them, or that Trump apparently likes even his showers to be golden.

In a similar vein is fake news; but this will play out differently. Rather than people posting fake stories and claim they are real, people will start looking at real stories and claim they are fake. This will be the major direction "fake news" will take this year.

Lastly, I expect repeats of history to be a major theme as well. Take for example Jason Kenney and Brian Jean. Jean is the boring not-too-popular leader of a right-wing party in a place with two right-wing parties that uses green as it's primary colour; while Kenney is liable to become the next PC leader, and merge it with the other small-c conservative party to create a merged Conservative Party.

Peter MacKay and Stephen Harper already did this dance, and we saw how it turned out. The boring guy won the leadership because the PC leader had just run and won a leadership campaign and didn't have the ability to properly fundraise or get volunteer hours from those who already 'gave their all' to get him elected as party leader.

In terms of general politics, a few things to update.

Iceland finally did pick a government, Independence will sit in coalition with Bright Future and Reform. Interestingly, despite winning 21 seats, compared to the combined 11 for the other two parties, there will be 6 IP members of Cabinet, 3 Reform, and 2 BF. Only one poll has been released since the announcement, and it shows all government parties down slightly, with the Left-Greens being up by a significant margin. The next election is expected in 2020.

France will see the Socialists hold their presidential primaries on Sunday, which will solidify the main candidates from each party.

The Netherlands votes in March. The nativist PVV has a lead, but will have difficulty finding coalition partners should they win a plurality.

Germany has seen the SPD elect a new candidate for Chancellor in this year's election. All the polls since 2013 have shown the current CDU/SPD coalition will win a majority of seats, and that alternative left coalitions will not have enough seats to displace the CDU; but this new leader may shake things up.

Western Australia votes in March, Labor is expected to win.

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