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Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 13


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 13, Daniel is spending much of his time fielding angry and abusive calls in which he must defend his MP. Angus stays on track by taking the path of most resistance. Less time is spent on the Hill, and more time in Cumberland-Prescott. But as Angus's immersion in political life accelerates, Daniel's love life continues to move at a glacial pace.


The questions:

  1. Bradley Stanton is coming down hard on Daniel over the flurry of press that Angus is receiving. Why do you think Bradley feels so threatened by the spotlight on Angus?
  2. Both in chess and in politics, Angus is a strategic player. What do you think he was trying to accomplish with his line of questioning during the House question period?
  3. Angus took a bold stance in suggesting alternative plans for Norman Sanderson's Shoe Company, a business issue that is far more complex than simply changing the product of a manufacturer. Daniel remarks that Angus's idea has "win-win" stenciled all over it. Do you think Angus is being too naive about what he can accomplish in office? Why or why not?
  4. In light of Angus's new deal with the Sanderson Shoe Company, Daniel muses: "Working on Parliament Hill tends to limit your vision and push you towards the art of the possible, not the ideal, solution." Do you think this is generally the case in government? Why or why not?
  5. The chapter ends with the subtle reminder that Daniel's character is still blossoming on the sidelines. How do you feel about the way his character is developing?


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