Champagne ToastOne of the most unpopular administrations in U.S. history will leave office this January, passing the presidency on to Barack Obama, a man millions expect to be a transformative leader. Obama will take the reigns in the midst of a worldwide economic meltdown, with American troops fighting two wars abroad, the climate in crisis, and that’s just the beginning.

The time is ripe for political resolutions to ring in the New Year.

The coming year should be the time we “return to integrity and put pressure on our government and corporate leaders, our employers and colleagues, to do the same,” Courtney E. Martin writes for the American Prospect. It’s time to “hold one another accountable to our highest selves,” she argues.

Taking a global perspective, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon trumpeted a more concrete resolution at his last press conference of the year, the AFP reports: “2009 will be the year of climate change.” He continued, “We must reach a global climate change deal before the end of the year [2009]—one that is balanced, comprehensive and ratifiable by all nations.”

Obama is widely expected to heed the call to step-up American leadership on climate change. And he’s already made a slew of other promises for new direction, including pledges to “value science,” create millions of jobs, initiate health care reform in his first year in office, shutter Guantanamo Bay, and restore America’s stature on the world stage. Here’s hoping these New Year’s resolutions aren’t forgotten by March.

Have any political New Year's resolutions of your own? Share them in the Utne Salons, or in the comments section below.

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