Here's my top 10 story list for 2008. Readers should be warned - not all may eventuate!
1. Helen Clark is rolled
Clark was feted as Politician of the Year for 2007. But how real is it to put on a pedestal a Prime Minister who has presided over a major attack on our democracy by legislating for a political funding racket?
Clark's colleagues will ask hard questions once they start hearing feedback over what Kiwis think of the Electoral Finance Act. The big question is whether her colleagues have the guts to roll her and put Phil Goff in her place. Or will they stand by like lemmings and wait for the electorate to take its revenge? Goff will be in Marrakech as the barbecue chatter heats up.
2. New Zealand explodes in wave of civil disobedience
I've been surprised at how many people I respect marched up Queen St to protest at the Electoral Finance Bill. Many had not marched since they trucked up to the Inter-continental Hotel - alongside Goff and Clark - to protest against Spiro Agnew's visit at the height of the Vietnam War.
People are so outraged that once the official election campaign starts next week they will fund viral internet campaigns and billboards to try to defeat Labour.
3. Climate change science consensus breaks
More prominent scientists will dispute the extent of the man-made global warming scenario. Four hundred scientists, many of them current and former participants in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have already criticised claims by the panel and former US Vice-President Al Gore.
A minority report issued by the Senate environment and public works committee lists the scientists by name, country and academic/institutional affiliation and features their words, biographies and weblinks to their peer-reviewed studies and original source materials gathered in 2007.
In New Zealand, rational scientists will still be demonised by Government and some business organisations.
4. John Key and Bill English cut succession deal
Key offers English a secret deal that he will step down as Prime Minister after two terms in favour of his Treasurer (English).
The former currency trader recognises that English - who virtually single-handed ran the Electoral Finance Bill story that catapulted National back up the polls - deserves to succeed him. This assumes Key has read the lessons from the reigns of Tony Blair and John Howard about what happens to unity when talented finance supremos are left to fester for too long.
5. May Budget unleashes election bribe season
Michael Cullen announces a programme of rolling tax cuts which will immediately begin with a one-off dividend or payback to all New Zealanders (not just taxpayers) by dividing up his latest Budget surplus in their favour.
The dividend or bonus will not require a massive regearing at IRD (just a simple arithmetical divide) and will be promoted with massive public advertising urging Kiwis to put their cash into KiwiSaver. Later tax cuts will depend on Labour's re-election. But National will trump them.
6. Supreme Court tells David Collins to take a running jump
Some newspaper editors savour the possibility of public martyrdom by being thrown into jail on contempt of court charges for publishing evidence subject to suppression orders.
But Supreme Court boss Sian Elias is so appalled by Parliament's failure to pass terrorism laws that actually work that she tells the Solicitor-General, David Collins, to pull the case against the editors who published the results of the police snooping operation on the Urewera 12. Phew.
7. White House Interns must be at least 70
Hillary Clinton's first decree after being sworn as the first female US President is to apply an age threshold for White House interns.
8. Jeanette, Winston, Rodney and Peter hit the job market
Kiwis abandon the uncertainties of MMP to cast their party votes for Labour and National. Things have finally got too serious to waste votes on parties that don't want power.
The Maori Party is the only third party to make it over the 5 per cent line. Jeanette Fitzsimons, Winston Peters, Rodney Hide and Peter Dunne all gave it their best shot but Labour and National were out for themselves this time. There were no seat deals.
9. Mark Prebble tenders resignation
The State Services Commission boss is the first head to roll on a change of Government. Prebble will present his resignation as for the good of the commission, clearing the way for somebody new with no baggage to run the shop.
He will be the only public service boss to walk the plank. But there will be no offer of a research job at quarter-pay rates to smooth his exit.
10. Alan Bollard drops interest rates
The Reserve Bank Governor has a surprising change of heart on the impact of inflation on the economy. He will accept English's line that borrowing to fund tax cuts is not inflationary, it's just a matter of how you view the cut (half full or half empty). Kiwis with more cash in their pockets will look on Bollard with surprising fondness and postpone plans to move to Australia.
Fran O'Sullivan is taking a break. This column returns on January 26.