With 2011 and it's election done with, what can we expect to see in 2012?
- Christchurch Earthquakes (and all the darned aftershocks!)
- Voting system referendum proves MMP a winner
- General election, returning a strong and stable John Key led government
- Cancelled census
- Rugby World Cup, and New Zealand's glorious win
- Alisdair Thompson
- Don Brash and John Banks took Rodney Hide's job
- Shifty people in the Green Party vandalized National's billboards
- Tomatoes reached $16 per kilogram
- Ports of Auckland Ltd strike
- Pike River Mine, ctd
- Dictators Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi, Kim Jong Il and Steve Jobs died
- Europe's economy is swirling around in the toilet thanks to Greece, Ireland, and Italy to name a few
- Peter Dunne, King of the Uncool, got Kronic and other legal cannabinoids banned
- Planking swept the nation for about a week
- Japanese earthquake with the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor incident
- "Happy Feet" the penguin was rescued by DOC probably to get eaten by a whale
- KFC served the Double Down for a little while, just to troll the health Nazis
- 'Occupy' protests began in New York City, then solidarity protests emerged here
- The royal wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton
- A disruption in service for BlackBerry users almost plunged the world into chaos
- Roger Kerr passed away
- US Politics became more interesting with Democrat incumbent Obama against a range of Republican candidates including the good Ron Paul, the bad Rick Perry, and the ugly Herman Cain
- That awkward handshake...
- The Arab Spring
- Cold weather brought snow as far north as the North Island, but not Auckland, as much as everyone thinks it was
- The Russian election with a 140% turnout giving Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev another term of corruption
- Darren Hughes
- Carl's Jr opens in Takanini and Glen Innes in Auckland
- A TV ad with "ghost chips," space head," and "Leeeeeegend."
- Osama bin Laden
- That stupid volcano in Chile with its ash cloud creating problems
- Charlie Sheen
- South Sudan splits from Sudan
- Winston Peters returned to parliament with a vengeance, bringing with him the Clown of Campbell's Bay and the Failed Weatherman
- A helicopter epic failed putting up a Christmas decoration in Viaduct Harbor, Auckland
- Barack Obama finally ends the War in Iraq, but leaves it still a shithole
Overall, a year of contempt for the status quo for some, and to the rest of us a year of random unpredictable shit happening pretty much because "fuck you, that's why." A clear difference between New Zealand and the rest of the world and an interesting pattern of how the two are connected, in many interesting and bizarre ways. Our economy seems entirely at the mercy of government expenditure and the whims of economies overseas, especially without biggest trading partners being China, the United States, and Europe. On the other hand, we've bucked the trend by not following the rest of the world in big austerity measures, big rioting and public backlash to economic policy, or losing rugby games!
People in New Zealand have been fairly content with their lot this year, as reflected in the 2011 general election results, with social issues being fairly low key, and people having good faith in the re-elected National government. We've been brought down by grounded ships, economic downturn, devastating earthquakes, and kept on edge with uncertainty; but we've had some positive stuff too, like hosting and then winning the Rugby World Cup, being comparatively safe from the global recession with business mostly as usual across the country, getting even more deliciously unhealthy food in Auckland, and getting a glimpse of a winter wonderland with snow as far North as Palmerston North. (It did not snow in Auckland, I was there when it allegedly happened, and I would know snow when I see it!)
The next post will be on predictions, expectations, and hopes for the new year 2012. Coming soon!