THE BEST LAID PLANS
- Terry Fallis -
Finally, a book with a Caucus joke. I'm amazed this word is not used more often. I frequently find myself giggling when I'm listening to the radio and hear this word used in a serious news cast. Eg. Today the Prime Minister met with his Caucus to discuss potential problems with the recent low inflation rates. The Best Laid Plans has a Caucus joke (or two) and many more play on words with all that political jargon we often hear. There is also talk of chess, hovercrafts, and the Liberal Party of Canada...all funny topics on their own, but, mashed together by Fallis they become a hilarious story all Canadians need to read.
This is a satirical look into the inner workings of Canadian politics. It starts with Daniel, a burnt out political aid who leaves the Liberal party with one small favour asked of him - to find and run a candidate in a small rural riding. The problem: this riding has almost no Liberal support, let alone candidates, and has been won year after year by one of the most popular Conservative members of all time.
The impossible begins.
Through some hard work and compromise a reluctant candidate is found (with a promise of not winning) and two unorthodox looking volunteers are reigned in to help run the election campaign. After a few unforeseen twists the impossible happens.
The story then shifts to the inner workings of our nation's capital, showing us many of the flaws inherent in our Parliamentary system, the flaws in many members, and the flaws of a Caucus. The newly elected member turns into a kind of lovable maverick who bucks tradition and acts in a way we would love all of our politicians to act - in the country's best interest with no regard for reelection.
You do not have to be a political buff to appreciate the story or jokes in this book and you don't have to even be Canadian to enjoy the story - although it does help a little. The writing by Fallis is easy to get into and easy to relate to. Most of the funny situations that arise transcend the political world and could just as easily happen in an office, any kind of community council, heck even a bookclub setting. It just seems to be that little bit funnier when it takes place with the leaders of our country, and a little bit scarier too. The characters, for the most part, are believable and lovable...especially that Maverick McLintock, who is the classic hard shelled grump with a soft chewy interior that you just want to eat up after you get to know him. Mmm.