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The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

            In many works of literature, there are multiple themes, both forthcoming and subtle. Often, these themes, by the end of the story, come together to create one central message. In "The Best Laid Plans," by Terry Fallis, political problems and personal identity crises are prominently featured as the main characters struggle to overcome political turmoil in small-town Ontario and Ottawa. There are three important and interconnected themes within Terry Fallis' novel "The Best Laid Plans," include cynicism towards the political landscape, the loss of personal integrity, and how even the "best laid plans " can and often do go awry. The first major theme in this satirical novel is the cynicism towards Canadian politics. In this novel, cynicism within and towards the democratic system is prevalent. Daniel Addison, the Liberal campaign manager in Cumberland "Prescott, describes what occurs when this attitude reaches its breaking point:.
             "I've always thought that a democracy works best when its citizens are prepared to forego personal benefit to protect the collective interest. Unfortunately, .the catchphrases were "everyone for himself," " "look out for number one"", and "take whatever you can get." This mini-budget symbolized and helped entrench this jaded, me- first mentality"" (Fallis, 281).
             Cynicism within politics can be seen when the government implements certain budgets to benefit themselves. This creates cynicism towards politicians from the general public because the government does not think about the collective interest. The theme of cynicism towards politics is critical in this novel when Angus McLintock, the Liberal candidate for the Cumberland-Prescott riding, who shows his true colours when the electoral campaign begins. Angus makes clear his opinion of it and expresses his disapproval about the priorities of his constituents during his chat with Daniel: .
             "Every candidate in this country should be thinkin' first about the national interest, second about their constituent's interests, and third about their own interests.

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