From My Bookshelf: The Best Laid Plans

By Lynn Willoughby

The Best Laid Plans ~ Terry Fallis

This humorous book was the Canada Reads 2011 winner.  It is a satire on Canadian politics and had me laughing out loud at the absurdity of democracy at work.
A burnt out government aide leaves Parliament Hill and turns to the University of Ottawa to teach and complete his doctoral thesis.  But he is pressured to find a candidate to run for the Liberals in the small town where he is living.  His landlord, Angus McLintock, is an Engineering Professor who absolutely hates teaching introductory English for Engineers.  The two strike a deal.  Dennis Addison will teach the English course if McLintock will run as a Liberal in the upcoming election.
Cumberland-Prescott has been held by the Conservatives forever.  In fact the incumbent is currently the Minister of Finance, and extremely popular.  McLintock , while agreeing to let his name stand, refuses to door knock, put up lawn signs or be interviewed.  This charade will soon be over.  Then the unthinkable happens.  The Finance Minister, due to a small house fire, is caught bare-assed in a bizarre sex sandal.  McLintock is elected!
“Without boring us with the day to day minutiae he (Fallis) is able to give us a clear picture of what is wrong with the system and lets us form our own opinions on how it might be changed.”  – Burtine Kendall
This novel won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and is a joy to read.  The characters are well defined, the story in interesting and the ending is perfect.  I will never look at Parliament and the goings on there in quite the same way ever again.
  •  The High Road
  •  Up and Down

Who Knew?

The Library of Parliament is the main information repository and research resource for the Parliament of Canada.  It is the last untouched part of the Centre Block after it burned in 1916.  It has been renovated a number of times since its construction in 1876 but has stayed essentially authentic.