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Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 15


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 15, Angus delivers his speech to the Engineering Society, drawing some interesting comparisons between the laws of science and the nature of politics. The hovercraft becomes fully operational, thanks to Daniel's help. And while Angus is delighted by his achievements so far, a darkness still remains in him.


The questions:

  1. Angus state that the laws and principles governing science and engineering also preside over politics, and he makes some very interesting points in support of this statement (see page 232). What do you think?
  2. Draw a comparison between politics and some field of endeavour that you are familiar with (e.g., I teach tango lessons. Politics is a lot like the art of tango because...).
  3. Do you feel that the balance between action and character development is successful at this point in the novel. Why or why not?
  4. Angus has done some impressive work internationally. In what way can an MP's experience working abroad help with his or her handling of local affairs?
  5. The government is facing tough times in parliament but in Daniel's view, nothing tends to stiffen a government's spine as much as an aggressive and relentless opposition. As he puts it, "As a species, we really don't like being told what to do." Discuss how this aspect of human nature may be expressed in other avenues of life.


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