Fearless political predictions for 2017 and beyond

Plain Rhetoric
By Bill McQuarrie
December 27, 2016 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Like the Great Carnac of Johnny Carson’s era, it’s that time of year again.  Time to pull out the crystal ball, the Ouija board, some old tealeaves, a copy of the National Enquirer and figure out what 2017 will look like.

Some would suggest - and I will neither confirm nor deny - that a wee dram of Irish whiskey is involved in this prognostication process.  Instead, I prefer the rumour that suggests it is based purely on science.  

Methodology aside, remember you read it here first and will be amazed with the accuracy of each and every prediction of the future.  And now, the envelopes please...

Starting with the provincial election and an easy one, Todd Stone will sweep Kamloops South.  It is his to lose and unless he pulls an Adrian Dix, it should be a cakewalk.  

Topping the list of contenders for his potential Adrian Dix moment are Ajax and Trans Mountain Pipeline, so stay tuned.

North Kamloops is a bit different and will be a closely fought battle with Christy Clark pulling out all the big guns on behalf of Peter Milobar.  It will be a Hail Mary attempt to rescue the riding in the closing days but I predict Milobar will lose to Barb Nederpel by a slim margin of 300 to 500 votes.  

With Milobar out, he’ll continue on as Mayor, finish his term but will not run in the next municipal elections.  That will leave the door open for Ken Christian and Tina Lange to battle it out for the mayor’s chair.  

Kevin Krueger will not run for mayor or for city council, as Ajax will have been decided. Krueger will also come to terms and accept that the younger voters of today do not appreciate the old Social Credit Foghorn style of bluster and intimidation politics. Mind you, having said that, Krueger may see this as a challenge and want to prove that bluster still trumps commons sense, so I hedge my bet just a bit.

The BC Liberals will approve Ajax but federal approval will have so many conditions and strings attached that KGHM will slowly and quietly pack their bags and leave town.  

In attempt to recover their costs, KGHM will try to sell their permit to another mining company but will have no takers.  It will become a never-ending story with the fate of the land and the mine in limbo for years to come.  It will only stop when the City eventually buys the mining rights, recovers the costs through land development and retires the approval permit along with any possibility of a future mine at that site.

Cathy McLeod will remain a bit of a question mark until the Conservatives finish with their silly Republican style leadership extravaganza.  A bit like an episode from Monty Python’s Flying Circus with McLeod wisely stayingout of this show.  I suspect McLeod is thinking enough is enough and so I predict she will choose not to run again.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline will meet all the permit conditions and go ahead with building the pipeline.  The federal liberals will lose all their Lower Mainland seats in the process but will make up for those losses in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Facing a provincial election and needing all those Lower Mainland seats, Christy Clark will find herself between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the pipeline.  It’s an opening for the NDP and Greens and Clark’s only hope will be to split the left vote.  

The strategy has worked before but I predict some significant losses for Clark.  She’ll hang onto government but will have entered into a dangerous time for both her and the party.

I predict this will be Christy Clark’s last election and last term as premier. Maybe Terry Lake should have hung in there for one more term after all.  It was to be the last step in his self directed political trilogy of, Mayor, Cabinet Minister and Premier.

Speaking of declines, Justin Trudeau’s popularity is scheduled to take a big dive in 2017.  It will be mid mandate and time to do the dirty work of making all those necessary but unpopular decisions.  We should see him finish the year in the low 30’s before beginning the 2 yearclimb out of this hole.

Last but not least, Donald Trump will start making noises about all that fresh water Canada has and won’t share with his America.  Fortunately he won’t have time to go from threats to action as I predict he will have a full scale and epic meltdown when his own party supports impeachment hearings before the end of 2017.