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Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 9


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 9, as the sex scandal continues to dominate (so to speak) headlines, Daniel attempts damage control — which raises some eyebrows, and the ire, of Liberal staffers. In Cumberland-Prescott, pollsters find that support for Cameron has bottomed out, but votes are shifting to "undecided" rather than the Liberal camp.


The questions:

  1. Even though it goes against his partisan principles as a Liberal, Daniel decides to try to bolster Cameron's campaign by blitzing media outlets with emails in his defence. Do you think party loyalty should take priority over his promise to Angus? Why or why not?
  2. Daniel speculates that the prime minister delayed making a statement on the scandal because the Tories did a quick poll to gauge public reaction before deciding how to respond. How much should public opinion influence a government's actions in matters like this?
  3. Daniel's analysis of the prime minister's speech is that he "had done very well under trying circumstances." What do you think of the PM's remarks?
  4. If you were a staunch Conservative voting in the Cumberland-Prescott riding, would you support Cameron, opt for another party or spoil your ballot? Explain your choice.
  5. What function does Angus's absence — and his lack of awareness of the turn of events at home — play in the narrative?


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