Best Laid Plans

By Terry Fallis

 

My wonderful friends, Dove and Mike up at Foskett House in Comox, lent me this book as they know me very well and they knew I would enjoy the read as much as they did. Why? Because the three of us started in the trenches and worked with determination and confidence, through the toughest of times, supporting the underdogs in the political world – at least the underdogs of the western Canada political world in the early 80s. We never gave up hope but we did have to deal with an awful lot of animosity, verbal attacks and very negative people.

 

This book is like a mirror to us – the protagonist is on a desperate mission to find a candidate to run for the Liberal Party of Canada in a riding that has NEVER supported a Liberal candidate. He goes out and in absolute desperation, he basically begs someone to have his name stand on the ballot, promising him that he would never have to show his face in public, never door knock, answer the phone or respond to mail – email or otherwise. An upstanding university professor agrees to play along, shows no interest whatsoever in the process and leaves everything in the hands of the 3 volunteers who stepped forward to give the appearance of a campaign.

 

One thing leads to another, the candidate continues to teach at the university and then goes on a field trip to a far away place, leaving no contact information to his campaigners. A week before the election, the leading candidate has to drop out of the campaign due to personal indiscretions, leaving the electorate with two choices – a Liberal or a NDP representative in Ottawa.

 

This is a great story for people like me as I know what hopelessness feels like; yet, I also know that when feeling like hopelessness rules, I work extra hard to prove the masses wrong and I usually end up standing tall and smiling from ear to ear! One person can make a difference and that comes alive at the beginning, middle and end of this entertaining book.

 

Terry Fallis’ creativity walks the walk of hopelessness and his comical rendition of a scenario that has unfolded in many constituencies across the Canada, sheds some great light on the importance and real power of one person, the credibility of the underdog and the effectiveness of our democratic electoral system.