Before I tell you about the coming year you had better check and see how I made
out with last year's predictions.
Essentially you could have missed being around in 2000 and just read my predictions
a year ago and you would know had happened. My only major gaff was to get confused
about the Olympics, but then that is easy to get confused about.
Let's look at the general outlook for the year 2001, what can we expect things to
be like. Two big changes could influence the course of our lives this coming year
and we need to consider them.
The worst of the farm/agricultural decline is not over, certainly the farmers have
had it tough but things could get even tighter. The price of fuel and transportation
are not going to go away and those elements further erode the profitability of agriculture
even with the prospect of modest increases in wheat prices expected this coming summer.
Governments, provincial and federal have turned their backs on this segment of society
and of the economy and with more subsidies in the US Canadian farmers are without
allies of any kind.
The second factor in 2001 is the unsettling situation in the United States. The new
President "W" Bush (who by the way did not win the election, but was selected
by the supreme court) is weak in his mandate and this weakness will be reflected
in US governing of itself and international initiatives. Patriotism and chest thumping
aside the US must live for the next four years with a lame duck president. The consequences
of this are far reaching, touching everything. Even before the man is inaugurated
the US economy has gone from boom to talk of a recession. The nasty stuff will take
more than a year to develop but the good times are behind America now.
The Bush administration is pretty much unaware of anything North of the Hudson river
and will make demands on Canada through the letter of NAFTA that will shock everyone
and relations between Washington and Ottawa will be in the arctic zone. Pressure
on lumber, cattle, grain and paper will be obvious but social programming will see
Ottawa, despite its mandate unable to govern the country as it would like as its
colonialisation situation become more and more apparent.
Now for some specifics:
- Axeworthy, yeah with so many people viaing for the job of premier, Axeworthy's
organisation and planning will pay off as he becomes the new premier of Saskatchewan.
- Cabinet shuffle in Ottawa will take most by surprise as everyone has come to
believe the Jean will leave well enough alone, sorry folks Jean can do what he wants
he owes little to anyone and will scheme his way along. Paul Martin will be appoint
to external and the former head of the Royal Bank will accept humbly the role as
Minster of finance.
- The British Election will have a lot of sound and fury to it but Tony Blair will
- In BC don't make any bets on any possible outcome, though the new premier is
as unpopular as could possibly be that will not necessarily translate into votes
one way or another.
- Canadian dollar will remain under pressure and could slip modestly throughout
- Oil prices at the well head will return to stability but at the pump we will
see it rise sharply in April then decline slightly through the summer and up again
in September. Don't be surprised to hand over $1.00 Canadian for a litre in December
2001. At the same time natural gas prices will maintain a positive trend upward expecting
to be about 25% annual increase each and every year from now on.
- The cost of petroleum will be identified as the main cause of inflation as the
cost of everything rises about 10% but this will not turn into a recession but will
only be a slow down without expected rises in unemployment with the exception of
the auto industry which is in major trouble with layoffs in the spring and fall as
GM will lose almost as much as Daimler Chrysler. Daimler will be looking for a buyer
as it attempts to sell Chrysler in the fall.
- The AIDS wars, they won't be called that but Africa, especially almost all of
East Africa will be in the throws of a series of bush fire wars. Armies of people
most of whom are HIV positive will realise how little they have to lose and violence
organised and otherwise will turn the continent into a savage and horrible place.
The UN will attempt to use local organised countries to slow the fighting but the
developed nations will wisely avoid this series of conflicts that could last for
many deadly years.
- Cultural diffusion is one of the big features as it is identified in 2001 as
movies, TV, Internet, all are blurred and just as in music the common shared experiences
of the past will be a thing of the past.
- Three incidents in 2001 between the West and Russia will see the emergence of
the new cold war. Russia will discover its economic and political solutions are one
and the same and they do not involved interactivity but self determination and concerted
self development. Vladimir Puton's power and far reaching authority will result in
a new nationalism as the fatherland asserts itself to its rightful position in the
- Yet another year of Peace in China, the flow of American money and solid economic
basis will keep this giant in check but look to the sky as the first Chinese Astronauts
orbit the planet.
- The free wheeling 90s are behind us and regulations will begin creeping steadily
into American and Canadian aviation. The US air travel system continues to grow more
and more unreliable and Air Canada loses huge amounts of money prompting it to ask
for and receive government subsidies in the fall.
- Mexico, the changes in Mexico begin to take effect, modest and gradual but positive
in every way. More US investment is flowing into the country and with it a new prosperity
that will see the government able to carry out its programs but also desperately
in danger of corruption scandals.
- President Bush will mount yet another stupid and ineffectual war on drugs as
the US attempts to do something about its own social problems by stemming the flow
of illicit drugs.
- Colorado is my pick for this years summer season of hockey as they win the Stanley
- Who would have thought it but in baseball 2001 is the year for the Giants.
- Calgary goes to the Grey Cup in 2001 and loses.
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon gets the most academy awards this
year but fails to get best picture.
- If you want to become a super star in music you better like country music 2001
is the year that country music, which is essentially 70s rock music, looks for a
finds three new hot male vocalists, one is a Canadian.
- How long can you tread water. If you live in Southern Manitoba the spring of
2001 is another wet one but Winnipeg dodges the bullet.
- Israel, definitely a problem, the Palastians do not want peace and never have,
they want Palastine back, always have. The hard line party of Sharon will win the
election and the US will have to step in to prevent a full scale war, this will be
a good thing for Bush who badly needs something to do that will improve his standing
in the eyes of the American public. However, if he fails to get in to this issue
with solid conviction many Jews and many Arabs will die as a protracted struggle
that could fester away for several years bleeds onward.