October 14th, 2014 by Jan

I just finished The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis.

I picked up this book at the recycle centre. They have a terrific book exchange there. I chose the book because it was a Canada Reads winner in 2011. I think one good way to choose a new book is by the awards they win. They don’t usually give awards to bad reads. The yearly Canada Reads contest tends to select the type of book I enjoy reading.

This book is a perfect book if you want to know a bit about the crazy world of Canadian politics and still keep it light. Of course it’s fiction, so our hopes are raised with the prospect of reluctant politicians that is free to speak the truth, do what’s right, and call bullshit — bullshit, when it’s bullshit.

Good ole Angus McLintock, only agreed to run in his riding if he is sure to lose. Big surprise — he doesn’t lose. Technically he didn’t win, spoilt ballots had the most votes, because the favoured candidate really fucks up, so to speak. Unfortunately, we don’t get to vote NO in our country, so it is possible someone can hold office with a fraction of support.

I don’t read or listen to the news much, but I will say our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is an Asshat of the biggest magnitude and bad for Canada; a perfect example of someone who leads with a fraction of support. Now, while this book never mentions any of the leaders by name, there is a paragraph in the book that sums up my feelings quite well on page 60.

“…The clowns that have run the country for the last two decades have dragged democracy through a sewer. There is no end to their conceit and arrogance and no beginning to their vision and intelligence. They simply do not, or cannot, see what is really happening. As Canadians’ respect for democracy declines and their disdain grows, we tend to abandon the greater good, follow the politicians’ lead, and grab what we can for ourselves. We give up and accept things as they are, leaving us trapped in a perpetual cycle of self-interest. That’s what’s happening in this country. Aye, it’s a mess and I abhor it. The writ drops tomorrow, but I’m just a name on the ballot, an ambivalent observer.”

I read that page many times as it is also how I feel now as Bowen Island enters the 30 day hell of election season for a new mayor and council. I’d like to stick to my knitting as an ambivalent observer, yet something in me holds out hope for change. Not the obvious change from them to us, or a fake change of Coke to Pepsi. I’d love to see real change, a nice clear and clean drink of water to nourish the people.

The Best Laid Plans does that — it was refreshing and fun, the way I always hoped politics could be.

4 stars

One thought on “bookreport

  1. Laura B

    Me too, Jan. I really liked that book and bought the follow-up too. So many people think that if they got elected they would do things differently. I don’t think so. It’s only the ones like Angus (vote for Anus) who never wanted to get elected in the first place who have some hope of being effective because they’re not looking for re-election.


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