It’s New Year’s Eve and the last day of the 2010s. The champagne is chilling, the food, party hats and noisemakers are ready, and friends and loved ones are nearby.
What’s in store for 2020 when it comes to politics?
We can certainly speculate.
The U.S. presidential election will be held in November. The Democrats will pick a candidate, most likely former vice-president Joe Biden, to go up against the Republican incumbent, Donald Trump.
While it’s impossible to predict the outcome, and it could end up being a tight election, Trump’s bid for a second term in office remains solid.
It will also be interesting to see what happens with the articles of impeachment.
Democratic House majority leader Nancy Pelosi knows the Republican-controlled Senate will acquit Trump. Nevertheless, she wants to have input on the Senate trial and some assurance that the proceedings will be fair and impartial. Just like it was (ahem) handled in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
Neither of Pelosi’s two demands will be granted, and she can maintain possession of the articles of impeachment as long she wants. But the longer she hangs on to the dangling fruit on the political tree and delays the inevitable, the easier it will be for Senate Republicans to chop them down.
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union – Brexit – will finally be underway in 2020.
It took more than three years of fighting, arguing and bantering in the United Kingdom parliament and brought down two Conservative prime ministers (David Cameron and Theresa May). However, the 2016 referendum result to leave the EU will finally be honoured after current Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a resounding victory in the Dec. 12 general election.
Johnson overcame a slightly shaky start as PM and has quickly grown into the role. His leadership skills are getting stronger and more well-defined. His parliamentary speeches and political ads have been exceptional, too.
Many questions remain about Brexit. Will the transition be smooth or rocky? Will there be peaceful demonstrations, violent protests or neither in the streets? Will contentious issues such as Scottish independence and the Irish backstop get resolved? Will trade deals be in place with different countries and economic blocs – including, as fate has it, the EU?
Johnson’s political legacy will be determined by Brexit’s success or failure. Let’s hope he follows the path of his political hero, the late British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, and succeeds.
Meanwhile, Angela Merkel will serve her 15th – and final – year as German chancellor.
Israelis will head into their third legislative election in a year and find out whether Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud or Benny Gantz’s Blue and White can finally form a coalition.
Other countries, including Greece, Poland, Peru, South Korea and Ethiopia, will hold elections in 2020.
What about Canada?
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will face a leadership review in April. The Conservatives and Greens will pick new leaders to replace Andrew Scheer and Elizabeth May, respectively.
Saskatchewan’s provincial election will be held in November and Premier Scott Moe looks like a good bet for re-election.
The biggest focus will naturally be on Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s navigation of a minority Parliament. He will come under intense scrutiny with every piece of legislation proposed in the next year. He will also have to create temporary coalitions on an issue-by-issue basis with the Bloc Quebecois, NDP and even the Conservatives.
Nevertheless, Trudeau should stay in power for the calendar year unless something unexpected occurs – or he does something incredibly foolish. With this prime minister, anything is possible.
I wish all the readers a Happy New Year and all the best for 2020!
Troy Media columnist and political commentator Michael Taube was a speechwriter for former prime minister Stephen Harper.