ANOTHER VIEW

An extraordinary list of predictions

The weather is horrible throughout the early part of the year, and a poll shows that most of the people blame it on Brian Mulroney

CHARLES GORDON December 26 1994
ANOTHER VIEW

An extraordinary list of predictions

The weather is horrible throughout the early part of the year, and a poll shows that most of the people blame it on Brian Mulroney

CHARLES GORDON December 26 1994

An extraordinary list of predictions

The weather is horrible throughout the early part of the year, and a poll shows that most of the people blame it on Brian Mulroney

CHARLES GORDON

ANOTHER VIEW

The safest prediction for the new year is that there will be dozens of predictions about the new year. The main trick about predicting is to get one’s predictions in early because readers can only tolerate a hundred or so. Already, a matter of days before 1995, these are a bit late. This blemish on these predictions should be counterbalanced by their sincerity.

Here, now, is Your 1995:

• Federalist forces led by Jean Chrétien easily win the Quebec referendum, defeating the sovereigntist forces led by Lucien Bouchard, who has lost the interest of the media, now that he is well. Within weeks of the referendum, opinion polls turn massively against Chrétien. “He hasn’t done anything for me that I can remember,” a typical voter says.

• Reform party Leader Preston Manning says the referendum result vindicates his party’s policy on constitutional matters. Party documents list the policy as ‘We’re not antiQuebec but.”

• The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation moves Prime Time News to 2:47 in the afternoon for a reason that makes sense at the time.

• Canadian Football League Commissioner Larry Smith announces that the integrity of the Canadian Football League has been strengthened by further expansion into the United States and by the adoption of a more appropriate and up-to-date name: the American Football League. The league also announces that all previous player quotas having to do with citizenship have been dropped: Canadian teams no longer have to employ a fixed number of Canadian players. The only limitation on who can play in the league is a new one, adopted at the request of the new American owners—no Cubans.

• The New Democratic Party sweeps to re-election in Ontario on the basis of a platform replacing universities and hospitals with casinos. “With the revenue we make from casinos,” Premier Bob Rae promises during the campaign, “we can build universities and hospitals and research centres into gambling addiction.” The voters, after learning of this on the CBC 2:47 news, massively re-endorse the NDP. “I never won anything in a university, not even a free lottery ticket,” says a typical voter (as luck would have it, the same one who was talking about Jean Chrétien a few paragraphs ago). Rae is moved by his victory. “You mean I have to do this again for four years?” he says.

• A Canadian movie is shown in a Canadian theatre. The American film industry protests.

• The federal government unveils a major new health initiative. It will further reduce taxes on cigarettes, thus making them cheaper, but will require that all cigarette packages be brown and carry the label “DONT BUY THIS.” The antismoking lobby will protest, saying that the proposed brown color is too attractive to young people and that the package should be changed to another color, but not black.

• The CBC announces that most of the time after the 2:47 news will be filled with town-hall meetings of worried ordinary Canadians, discussing what topics there are for town-hall meetings of ordinary Canadians to be worried about on television now that the referendum is over.

• The weather is horrible throughout the early part of the year, and a poll shows that most of the people blame it on Brian Mulroney. When the weather turns better, the people credit it to Jean Chrétien, until he wins the referendum.

• The year’s hottest international best-seller is about an angel who has a near-death experience, recovers from six fatal illnesses, raises cats, once went out with O. J. Simpson’s cousin and has an affair with a member of the Royal Family. The year’s hottest Canadian best-seller is about hockey.

• In a desperate move to regain the favor of the voters and head off the appeal of rightwing Republicans, President Bill Clinton promises to deport homeless people, institute a lottery system for allocating hospital beds and increase the deductibility of corporate boxes at football games. These moves are condemned as “communism” and “too little too late.”

• The Montreal Expos win the World Series after a strike-shortened season. The season consists of three games, but they are all good ones and have high television ratings. English-language CBC decides not to show World Series games because airing them might conflict with the 2:47 news. U.S. Republicans accuse the Expos of employing Cubans.

• The federal government unveils its new anti-drug policy. It consists of legalizing soft drugs and putting them in plain brown packages clearly labelled, “THIS ISN’T GOOD FOR YOU AT ALL.”

• Using the dispute-settling mechanism of the Free Trade Agreement, the United States pursues the matter of Canada having allowed a Canadian movie to be shown in a Canadian theatre. This, the United States alleges, violates the spirit of free trade. Canada defends its policy but agrees to one concession. Warning labels will be placed on all Canadian movies.

• In Canada, the Alberta government proposes increasing the deductibility of corporate boxes at hockey games and a lottery system for allocating hospital beds. Criticized for not going far enough, Premier Ralph Klein says that deporting homeless people is a federal responsibility.

• The federal New Democratic Party decides not to have a leadership convention at all. It issues a statement saying that leaders only get you noticed, and nothing good ever came of that. The party continues under its interim leader, but nobody knows who that is.

• The Grey Cup, now called the Gray Cup, is won by an expansion team, the Fargo Roughriders. Until cooler heads prevailed, the team was called the Fargo Argos.

• As the bad weather continues, Jean Chrétien’s popularity declines further. However, just in time for the festive season, a new book reveals that Brian Mulroney stole Christmas.