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Tyee’s Spin Doc on His (Mostly) Political Prognostications for 2019

Notley’s crew out. BC’s vomit vote. And plenty more Scheer comedic brilliance.

By Steve Burgess 8 Jan 2019 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

2019 is dark and full of terrors. Please invoke your mystical powers of prognostication to pull back the curtain on the mysteries of the year to come.


Dear Imp,

It is true; the future is mine to see. But with great power comes great responsibility. I will look through the beaded curtain of time for you but beware: I reserve the right to mix some inaccurate predictions in with the accurate. I do this solely to keep you on your toes. Too much foreknowledge can lead to complacency. Also, I will provide no winning lottery numbers. Company policy.

Let’s begin:

There will be an Alberta provincial election this spring. (No, that’s not the prediction, wise-ass.) Dr. Steve predicts that afterwards, a lot of people who have been bitching about Premier Rachel Notley will find themselves reminiscing about those good old Notley days of yore.

With 2019 also being a federal election year, Canadian voters will become more and more familiar with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. There is little the Conservatives can do about this. They’ll just have to work around it somehow. Expect Conservative ads to rely on a lot of still photography — where their leader is concerned, moving pictures with sound are not ideal. Voters may eventually experience some confusion when they find their ballot does not include an option for “Not Justin Trudeau.”

Alternately, the Conservatives may focus their strategy on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. They will run ads showing Singh with kittens and bunnies and happy children in a desperate attempt to raise his popularity. Simultaneously, they will publish doctored photos appearing to show Maxime Bernier and Singh shaking hands, an image sure to alienate many a Bernier voter. An ugly anonymous smear campaign will accuse Bernier of tolerance and respect, prompting fierce denials from the People’s Party leader. Despite such tactics, Justin Trudeau will indeed be re-elected, thanks in part to the Liberals’ daring “Buck-a-Joint” proposal.

The upcoming provincial by-election in Nanaimo will be won by the NDP, avoiding a potential disaster for the governing NDP/Green coalition. However, more trouble will loom from another quarter. Last month, B.C. Speaker of the House Darryl Plecas promised to explain the reasons why two Legislature officials were escorted out of the building. He swore that if his revelations did not make members of the public want to “throw up,” he would resign. Plecas will indeed reveal the facts of the case within weeks. But in a stunning upset, only 38.7 per cent of eligible B.C. voters will vomit, while 61.3 per cent will retain their lunch. The failure of his regurgitation referendum will force Plecas to resign, leading to a legislative stalemate and eventually a new provincial vote, which in turn will induce mass vomiting. But too late.

Global warming will continue to be a major political cause with people taking to the streets the world over to say, “Yes, we want a solution, but not [insert proposal here].” Some of these people may be wearing colourful vests.

The sun will rise and set, rain will fall, and Donald Trump will continue to plumb Stygian depths of hateful, vulgar idiocy. Many predict that Trump’s amoral depravity heralds a new era of political evils. But as time passes it will become increasingly clear that the despicable precedents he sets are sui generis. Other politicians and public figures will not be granted the same leeway to say vile things or replicate his arrogant incomprehension. The same standards that once led politicians to be damned for an affair, an intemperate remark, or even an odd-sounding yee-haw will remain in place for almost everyone else. Candidates who think otherwise will discover that their cries about double standards are flung into the tempest. It’s the Trump Exemption. Deal with it, haters and losers.

Elias Pettersson is the best thing that has happened to the Vancouver Canucks in a long time. Therefore he will either be struck by a very small asteroid while standing on a street corner or be bitten by a rabid chinchilla at a petting zoo and expire, but not before biting Brock Boeser on the leg, which will have to come off. That is how things work for our professional hockey team. You know this.

Elections aside, the real race in 2019 is for the Iron Throne. When Game of Thrones resumes in late April, Queen Cersei will be poised to triumph but ultimately will be defeated — not by dragons or the Army of the Dead but by a new hero who will rise up to destroy the forces of evil. Then shall all the realm bend the knee to the brave knight, Sir Mueller. The End. Roll credits.  [Tyee]

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