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Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 10


CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of one chapter (generously recorded and given to us by author Terry Fallis) as well as pose discussion questions. You can join the conversation by commenting on the blog posts right here on the Canada Reads site or by joining the discussion group for The Best Laid Plans in the CBC Books Community.


The set-up: In Episode 10, it's election day. Daniel keeps his mind off impending disaster by driving NDP voters to their polling stations, and then meets up with Miriam. Later he settles in glumly at home to watch the returns. And much later, he has to deliver the results to Angus, fresh off the plane from his trip to Papua New Guinea.


The questions:

  1. Daniel bemoans the prospect of Angus winning the riding, and having to go back to Parliament Hill. Do you sympathize with Daniel's predicament? Why or why not?
  2. Miriam comments that she doesn't care who wins the Cumberland-Prescott riding, and adds, "This time around, what really matters is who loses." What do you think she means by this remark?
  3. Daniel is troubled by the realization that the spoiled ballots in Cumberland-Prescott could far outnumber the votes cast for the winning candidate, so that, in effect, the elected MP would not have a local mandate. How concerned do you think voters would be if this actually occurred?
  4. Daniel comments that we are sometimes overly harsh and unforgiving when politicians get embroiled in a scandal. Can you give examples? Conversely, can you name any errant politicians who have gotten off too lightly, in your opinion?
  5. Does Angus's reaction to the news surprise you? Why or why not?


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