New Year Predictions 1998
|December 26, 1998
By : Timothy W. Shire
As each year ends it seems appropriate to consider just what the new year will bring. For years I have indulged myself with making predictions and then I have passed them around to my acquaintances almost like it was my duty. The importance of this process is dubious because predictions are almost entirely based upon our knowledge base and the insight we have into what will be is so much dependent upon our understanding of what has been. Knowing full well the inherent problems with the process I have plunged forward anyway because I have enjoyed the whole thing, considering what might happen and speculating what awaits us.
This year, I am taking the easy road because I realise that I have been far to selfish with this and instead of telling everyone what I think it might be a way more fun to find out what my friends and acquaintances thing is in the offing. So as my New Years greeting to you this year I am sending you a short little survey to help you make a set of New Years predictions of your own. You can do what ever you chose with the results, send them back to me, share them with friends or file them in the trash. IF you send them back to me I will put the results of your predictions and those of others together and share them on our web site. Nothing scientific here just plan speculative fun.
1. The economy in 1997 was confusing with the stock market doing a serious dance routine and the far East
looking pretty bad. All the turbulence in 97 is likely to have continuing affects into 98, particularly with
regard to the Far East where Korea’s bail out and Hong Kong’s banking problems will continue to erode
confidence in the Eastern economy.
In 1998 the stock market will:
a. continue its present modest recovery
b. recover only to experience a correction in April
c. show little improvements in the first quarter
d. slump seriously in October
2. With unsettling situations in the world stock markets there has been some serious attacks on currency as
money from the stock market has come free and investors have put their money into safe areas. This has
caused the American dollar to rise and by comparison our dollar to rest uneasily at .69
In 1998 the Canadian dollar will:
a. continue at its present value
b. experience a modest rise in value to .75(US)
c. slip even more and spend much of the year at .65(US)
d. gradually creep up to .73 then remain there.
3. The weather and climatic conditions have dominated our day to day banter for some time as we have
experienced here in the prairies the mildest winter ever. The effects of the warm Pacific current, El Nimo,
will not dissipate rapidly but could continue to have affects into the fall.
a. Light precipitation will continue for the rest of the winter giving us a dry early spring with poor
b. Extra ordinary heavy snow fall in January to March will result in yet another wet spring with some
flooding and excellent growing conditions.
c. Late spring storms will accompany unpredictable and weather extremes throughout the year with
violent summer storms and very high temperatures in June.
d. A major drought will engulf the prairies this summer and farmers will have to plow under their fields
while massive forest fires ravage the North.
4. “The Sick Man of Europe”, Russia and its sickly leader Boris Yeltsin will continue to shake along the road
to stability. Yeltsin’s health and that of the economic conditions in the country are parallel and the hardships
for its people will continue.
In 1998 Russia will:
a. Experience gradual improvements with the settlement of land ownership and more stable currency.
b. literally collapse into chaos as the leadership of the country becomes unclear and military leaders fail to
agree on a course of action.
c. struggle along much as it did in the past three years without resorting to a coup or civil war.
d. begin to identify US and Western interests as hostile and harden its attitude as it begins a strong move
to national unity and national awareness.
5. Israel’s and Palastine’s peace process has effectively stalled and there is always the potential for increased
levels of conflict and trouble.
In 1998 the Middle East will:
a. see the renewal of the peace process brought about by American encouragement.
b. see no solid improvements in negotiations as Israel continues to encroach on what the Palastinians
consider as their lands and Hammas will continue its horrible bombing attacks.
c. Yassar Araffat will end his leadership of the Palastinians opening up an internal struggle for leadership
while the Israel Prime Minister will be ousted from power.
d. conditions remain stable and calm for almost all of the year as attempts are made to compromise and
work things out.
6. South Africa has the potential for being a very troubled place on this globe as Nelson Mandela with draws
from the leadership of the country and street violence goes unchecked.
In 1998 South Africa will experience:
a. massive civil disorder as the black population becomes ungovernable and the government lacking funds
and resources collapses unable to maintain order.
b. economic resurgence as the economy grows stronger and the black population begins to appreciate
the improved financial situation.
c. continued degradation of social services and white people will accelerate their movement out of the country.
d. peace and harmony as new leadership within the ANC asserts itself and is able to get the co-operation
and loyalty of the population.
7. Medical and health issues have certainly been a big part of 1997 as Canada’s Medicare program is under
attack as the federal government withdraws financial support and provincial governments have other priorities.
In 1998 we can expect:
a. Even further health cuts as provincial governments close hospitals and permit the development of two
tier medical services with doctors being able to bill patients and reintroduce competition into the
medical health care system.
b. budget successes with the federal government and most provincial governments so that the crunch
is lessened and more money becomes available to rejuvenate the system.
c. the Canadian public will demand that Medicare be preserved and enhanced, despite the existence of
right wing governments.
d. b & c
8. A recent poll shows that Canadians while embracing pro-business governments like that of Mike Harris,
Roy Romanow and Ralph Klien still are very much attached to social programs associated with an earlier
era. This puzzles many as voting and political beliefs seem to be out of step.
In 1998 we can expect:
a. political backlash from the extremes of Harris, Romanow and Klien.
b. continued support of the political right while the majority long for more social programming
but do not organise themselves at the ballot box.
c. BC’s government to fall as the result of “recall”.
d. Harris and Klien will begin to moderate their rhetoric copying the Romanow “we’re doing the
best we can” stance.
9. So who looks good this year to go all the way to the Stanley cup and win? Detroit is doing fine, so is
Montreal, the Avalanche should be involved. Pat Burns in Boston and Vancouver are potential surprise
teams so who is it going to be?
The 1998 Stanley cup will be won by:
10 If we can predict hockey we can consider football.
The 1998 Grey Cup will be won by:
a. The Riders
Happy New Year everyone.