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Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 18


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 chapter 18, Angus goes from being hailed as a hero (by workers at the aggregate plant, when it's shut down for environmental violations) to feeling the wrath of his constituents during a town hall meeting. Though Daniel tries to help Angus weather the storm of anger and doughnuts, this experience makes Angus reflect on his approach to politics. Daniel and Lindsay decide to go on a road trip to Ottawa, just in time for a snowstorm.


The questions:

  1. In the situation at the aggregate plant, the "good guys" and "the bad guys" are clear. Do you think the interests of workers and management are always at odds? Why or why not?
  2. Though Angus stands up for the little guy in this case, the Liberal party as a whole is portrayed as backing the interests of its big corporate donor. How much of an influence on party policies do you think donors generally have in our political system?
  3. Before the town hall meeting, Angus tells Daniel, "While I care precious little what the voters think, I do believe I've a duty to explain my views with clarity and candour." What does this philosophy reveal about his character?
  4. The Tories claim that tax cuts will be an economic stimulus, while Daniel sees them as financially irresponsible because they will add to the deficit. Which argument do you feel has more merit, and why?
  5. Daniel thinks that the town hall meeting gave Angus some perspective. What do you think the meeting taught him, and how is this reflected in his letter to his wife?


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