It is my belief that, while prophecy is impossible, one can predict the future with some degree of accuracy if they simply pay attention. With that in mind, here are a few predictions for the year 2012.
1: The world will not end, it won't even come close.
The 2012 "end of the world" hype will come to a peak sometime over the summer, but by the end of December, we'll all be laughing at the fools who believed this. If I could make a prediction for 2015, I'd say that by then, everyone who fell for 2012 will pretend they didn't, much like they did a few years after Y2K.
2: SOPA will turn out to have nearly no effect at all.
As has been demonstrated by Firefox's DeSOPA add on, it's not hard to get around it. Also, all that the major search engines would have to do to get around it would be to move their bases to somewhere outside the USA. Most people will not be affected at all even without these workarounds (everyone outside the USA will be completely unaffected without any extra work). And this is assuming the bill even passes without significant rewrites and isn't stopped by the US Supreme Court.
Speaking of stupid government moves and courts...
3: The Canadian Wheat Board is here to stay.
Our government has almost passed legislation in Parliament that will end the Wheat Board, which regulates the sale and purchase of Canadian agricultural products. So why am I saying the Wheat Board's in no trouble? Our own courts have decided, through a complex process called "looking at the laws we have in place", that the bill the Conservatives are pushing is illegal and thus can't become a law. See, in 1999, a law was passed saying that Canadian farmers have to be consulted regarding all major changes to the Wheat Board. They weren't consulted, and if they are, the vast majority want it to stay around. So, the Conservatives will lose that battle. If they manage to pass the bill, it'll be (at best) unenforecable and useless.
4: Canada will become less free and democratic.
Well, that's already been going on for a while, so really it'll just be a continuation of a trend. Oh, we'll still vote and all that, but unless people stop voting for the Conservative party, we're doomed.
Speaking of lack of democracy and freedom...
5: NDAA will be shown to be a step in the right direction.
Hear me out.
People are freaking out over the fact that that bill, recently signed into law in the USA, allows the government to detain people suspected of terrorism without charge. Of course, these people have been asleep the last decade, since that has been happening for some time. In other words, this changes almost nothing. Now that it's a law, they aren't doing it illegally, and that's it. But laws can be changed or struck down, and when it's struck down, detaining citizens without charging them of a crime or giving them a lawyer will be strictly illegal. Given time, NDAA can end the Bush era's nonsense.
6: Obama will beat whoever the Republicans finally choose.
But then, that's obvious given what they`re working with.
7: Kim Jong-Un will be just like Kim Jong-Il.
By that, I mean he'll keep his evil confined to his own borders. There is talk amongst pundits and bloggers of him maybe bombing South Korea, but with China backing off its support of North Korea, the USA's support of South Korea, and South Korea's clear advantages in technology and military power, it would be beyond stupid and crazy to actually attack them. The last Kim did boast of his country's military, but since he never invaded anywhere, especially South Korea, I believe he knew exactly how much his ass would be kicked. I doubt the younger Kim is significantly dumber than his dad, especially given that all his dad's advisors are still there to tell him that.
8: The advance of gay rights will slow, but not stop.
Most of the world is still reeling from the multiple recent failures of capitalism (or rather, successes of Reagan/Thatcher capitalism) so social issues have taken a back seat to economic ones. However, I do expect a few more countries which already legalize gay civil unions to fully legalize same-sex marriage, and I actually expect California's Prop 8 to be fully annulled this coming year too. However, we won't see anything major, like the legalization of homosexuality in any country where homosexuality is illegal.
9: The Occupy movement will lose steam and dissipate, having done nothing.
Sadly, that's already happening, but some Occupy camps are still up. The ones that are left will continue for a little bit longer, but the banks will not be significantly harmed by them. By the summer, I expect the Occupiers to become disillusioned non-voters, hostile to all political parties yet unwilling to use their votes to force any of them to work for the people. In other words, this will end up doing more harm than good.
10: Thomas Mulcair will become leader of the NDP
Both parties have no official, permanent leader as of now, and both are holding their leadership conferences in 2012. The NDP does have other options, and picking Pat Martin might be more strategically advantageous in the long term, given his charisma and his Western roots. However, Mulcair, being the first NDP Parliamentarian in Quebec is the best choice if they want to keep their support in Quebec, where most of their seats currently are, and he's a safe bet in general.
I previously had a prediction that Justin Trudeau would win Liberal leadership, under the false assumption that their convention was in 2012 and that Trudeau was running. Oops.
There are a few things in addition to these that I wanted to weigh in on, but they're too close to call. Here they are:
Attiwapiskat (it's basically 50/50 whether we'll leave these people high and dry or help them out, sadly)
The decline of religion (the economic troubles we're undergoing may bring a resurgence of religion, as people may turn to god(s) for comfort or help, or it may help continue the downward trend, as people see that their prayers haven`t been answered. I also couldn't tell you if a recovery would lead to an atheistic revival or a religious one. Too soon to call)
The Republican nominee (it'll be impossible to tell who wins this nomination until about a few days after the nominee is announced)
How much better the Avengers movie will be than every other movie (I'm not sure whether it'll be the best movie of the year, the century, or all time)
Those are just my thoughts on how the new year will be. As always, feel free to leave any thoughts of your own in the comments section.