From a lint-carpeted little corner of the collective psyche, the dusty crystal ball of fractured fortunetelling makes its 2012 appearance – not unlike the soon to appear groundhog – to once again forecast completely outrageous and steadfastly imprecise predictions.
First, the crystal ball declares that political tension will be a major feature of the news over the next few months as factions try to insinuate a fall election to push aside Ontario’s Liberal minority government. Even if this happens – and the crystal ball is wobbling on this – the Liberals look so conservative that this time they gain seats and regain their majority.
On election night, a reporter will ask a smiling Dalton McGuinty whether he now considers himself a blue Liberal, while the leader of the provincial conservatives will declare himself a blue conservative.
In the United States, President Barack Obama faces off with Mitt Romney during the presidential election and comes out a winner. Ambivalent Republican voters give Obama the edge, as the election subtext becomes one of racial versus religious acceptance.
As we proceed through a weak economy, new small businesses emerge and in one remarkable case, an enterprise formed by a group of 20-somethings building on their Occupy experience causes a mini exodus during what will be a colder than usual winter in Eastern Canada. The group sells $25 return tickets for chartered bus trips headed for campgrounds in Florida for the winter.
Coincidentally, winter riots break out in the Florida panhandle when too many panhandlers traveling from the frigid north overwhelm the locals. Rioters coin a new slogan, ‘We are the mushy middle.’
The federal government will deny spending thousands of dollars per month in an effort to win the $50-million LottoMax prize as a way to pay down the federal deficit. They will also deny that mathematicians and Las Vegas odds makers were hired on contract to pick the best numbers. One odds maker gives the story to a major daily under conditions of anonymity.
An advocacy group in Toronto will work out a deal with Calgary wherein the two cities will job-share their mayors; as such, each city swings between joy and despair, depending on which mayor is serving in which city at what time.
Even so, the Toronto mayor sinks so low in popularity polls that people start referring to him as ‘the underdog’, whereby he begins to gain some public sympathy. Subsequently, votes on a few issues he supports finally swing his way.
Rumours start to circulate after a hysterical Michael Jackson fan swears he has seen the late “King of Pop” shopping in a suburban Toronto shopping mall. The story becomes even more interesting when the Kardashian name becomes attached to it.
In another sign of global warming, alligators are spotted in Lake Ontario.
To absolutely everyone’s surprise, Caribana takes place this summer. The Toronto mayor is photographed during the parade eating a roti.
For an entire week during March, there will be no delays or other service disruptions on the local public transit system. As a result, Torontonians will enjoy an upswing in mood and many will credit the boon with it being Naheed Nenshi’s turn to run city hall. (See previous mayoral job-share prediction.)
Vince Carter returns to the Raptors and, except for some early pushing and shoving, all is forgiven.
Searching for new horizons, resigned Jamaica Prime Minister Bruce Golding, begins condominium shopping in Toronto.
December 21, 2012, come and goes without incident, but not before thousands sell their homes and all their possessions in anticipation of the end of the world, again. The real estate sell-off leads to an uptick in the U.S. economy.
The Maple Leafs comes this close to winning the Stanley Cup. Torontonians celebrate as if they have actually won, leaving the rest of the hockey world shaking its collective head. A new saying is born: “As delusional as a Maple Leaf fan”.
A note on 2012…
Happy New Year to all. Here’s wishing each of us gains the internal wherewithal to remain centered during what is expected to be a bumpy year – we’ve already had a tragic start with the violent deaths of more than one young man.
We will no doubt be given to ponder the Mayan calendar end of time scenario – some people need the adrenaline rush this kind of drama brings – but will nonetheless have to deal with realities that are more practical in real time.
So, here we go.
By PAT WATSON