* I wished that 2019 would be a bad year for dictatorships and authoritarian leaders around the world, especially Russia's Vladimir Putin.
In fact, it was a rather good year for right-wing male leaders.
Boris Johnson/s Conservatives won a majority in the December 12, 2019 British election, but the honeymoon will soon be over, The Conservative victory will not put an end to the Brexit agony, as many UK voters surmised. Getting a deal done will not be so easy and it will not happen as quickly as Boris would like it to. I'm afraid that there will be tough times ahead for Britain, economically and politically. Brexit will open up a can of worms with Scotland and Northern Ireland. Also, the British economy will decline due to Brexit and Johnson will not protect the National Health Service (NHS).
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is still hanging on to the leadership of his Likud party, although he has been indicted on charges of breach of trust, bribery and fraud. As a result of the charges, he is legally required to relinquish all his ministry posts, with the exception of the post of prime minister. On March 2, 2020, Israeli's will be going to the polls for the third election in one year.
Vladimir Putin continues to rule Russia with an iron hand as does Kim Jong-un in North Korea. Putin holds the puppet strings that control Donald Trump and the United States of America/
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is in power and he is anything but environmentally friendly. He thumbs his nose at wildfires in the Amazon. He bullies and harms indigenous people who are trying to protect the rainforest, known as "the earth's lungs."
The bright spot for democracy is Hong Kong. It is valued by the people there and they are trying to preserve it.
* I hoped that 2019 would mark the final year of the presidency of Donald Trump. I wished that he would resign or that he would be impeached and convicted - the sooner, the better. I said that every day he remains in office causes damage to the United States and to the rest of the world. I stated that my nightmare would be that Trump would be able to run again in 2020.
Well, 2019 did not mark the final year of the Trump presidency. He remains in office and he fully intends to be the Republican candidate for president in 2020. The good news is that he has been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives and he is awaiting a trial in the Senate. It is highly unlikely that he will be convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate, but he will be held accountable for his crimes and misdemeanours. He is not happy about being the third president in American history to be impeached. He knows that that dubious distinction will be forever attached to his name.
Anything could happen between now and the November election. There may be a few surprises.
* I wished that the United Kingdom would remain in the European Union.
Alas, now that Boris Johnson has a majority government, there is little chance that the UK will remain in the European Union.
* I wished that the Toronto Maple Leafs would win the Stanley Cup, their first victory since May 2, 1967. My dream scenario: Mitch Marner would score the winning goal with about 50 seconds left in the third period of the seventh game.
Although the Maple Leafs didn't get past the first round of the playoffs, The Toronto Raptors brought joy to the city when they won the 2019 NBA championship.
* I hoped that 2019 would be a good year for those who are concerned about the environment and that some significant progress will be made in the fight against climate change.
Greta Thunberg, the teen environmental activist from Sweden, led an inspiring campaign to save the planet for future generations. She stood up to world leaders and told them in no uncertain terms that they are not doing nearly enough to fight climate change. Unfortunately, populist right-wing politicians and their followers are preventing necessary measures from being taken. More people, however, are concerned. There were many climate change protests in 2019, but the protesters, especially young adults, have to show up and vote for candidates who take a strong stand in support of environmental protection.
Here in Canada, the Conservatives lost the October 21, 2019 federal election partly because they did not have a credible plan for environment. It hurt them enormously in the highly populated City of Toronto, where the environment mattered to voters. The Conservatives lost all 25 of Toronto's parliamentary seats. They are in the process of choosing a new leader who will have to seriously address the climate crisis if the party is to return to power.
* I wished for a really major breakthrough in preventing, curing or controlling one or more of the world's most harmful diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, Parkinson's etc.
The good news is that several major medical breakthroughs occurred in 2019. They will benefit those with everything from peanut allergies to prostate cancer. Biogen, a biotech company, announced in October that it is seeking FDA approval for a new drug called Aducanumab, which is reported to be the first drug to reduce cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer's Disease..
* I wished for fewer wars and more civility in the world in 2019.
Unfortunately, I didn't see any improvement there. I still remain hopeful that the pendulum will swing and that some of the more populist right-wing leaders will be defeated in elections.
Here is my 2020 wish list:
* I fervently hope that Donald Trump resigns from office in 2020 or loses the November election. He is becoming more and more unstable. Every day he remains in office, he poses a very real danger to the United States and the world. It would also be nice if the Republicans lost control of the Senate, so that Mitch McConnell could no longer be the "Grim Reaper."
* I also hope that Benjamin Netanyahu will finally be ousted from power by Israeli voters.
* I will lower my expectations for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2020. I hope they will go deeper into the playoffs. If they somehow win the Stanley Cup, I will be thrilled, but I am not counting on it. If the Leafs fall short, it would be great to see a Canadian-based team win Lord Stanley's Mug. That hasn't happened since 1993. It's due.
I hope the Toronto Raptors can repeat their NBA championship victory, but it won't be easy.
I don't have high expectations for the Toronto Blue Jays, but I hope they have a much better record than last year. I think they will.
* I once again wish for more civility in the world. It may not happen until Donald Trump leaves the White House. This is not to say that Trump is the only cause of all the incivility and gracelessness. However, he is undoubtedly one of the leading causes of the lack of civility in the United States and around the globe. As president of the world's most powerful country, he has a great deal of influence.
* I also wish for less war and terrorism.
* I hope that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan are successful and that Canadian athletes perform well and honourably.
On January 1, 2021, I will write another wish list and I will let you know if any of my wishes came true.