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Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 16


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 16, Daniel enjoys the sweet taste of revenge in one of Ottawa's finest restaurants. Angus makes headlines yet again — at a public meeting, an irate constituent lobs a melon at the stage and he throws it right back. Both of our protagonists sit down with their new business partner in the Sanderson deal. They call him "Slick," and it's not because he has a way with words.


The questions:

  1. Angus is eager to shine the spotlight on Muriel. Is there an outstanding Canadian, past or present, you hold in high esteem? Who is it and why?
  2. Do you think Angus is justified in throwing the melon back at his constituent? Why or why not?
  3. After the highly publicized incident, Daniel reflects: "There are some honest and upstanding politicians in this country who try every day to do the right thing, make the right decision, choose the right path, yet still, seldom get it right. They're not dumb. It's just not that easy." Discuss the factors that might make it difficult for a politician to "do the right thing."
  4. Daniel blames the resistance to the halfway house on the "not in my backyard syndrome." If you were a resident of Cumberland-Prescott, where would you stand on this issue, and why?
  5. Angus discloses that he "cannae believe I'm enjoyin' myself so" as an MP. What do you think accounts for his change of heart?


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