The Best Laid Plans (1)

Written by Harold McNeill on April 28th, 2011. Posted in Editorials



 Jack Tackles the Giants on the Beanstalk

Jack Layton

Do you remember ever having the feeling your world has just been turned upside down?  Perhaps you were nearing 50 when your wife came home and calmly stated: “Guess what honey, I’m pregnant?” Or, in the worst case, it was not your wife it was that less than full time girl friend (not as uncommon as you might think). In either case it was a game changer.  I experienced the former but, thanks to my chaste behaviour, never the latter.

In another case perhaps it was your boss who came in and said:  “Sorry, but due to the recession we are cutting back, ah, but not to worry, you are a good worker so you should have no trouble finding a new job!” Bummer dude! Perhaps we are about to experience a similar type ‘game changer’ on the national political scene.

Having closely followed the campaign over the past few weeks I was struck by how mundaneGilles Duceppe everything seemed to be evolving when, suddenly, late last week, the folks in Quebec decided they might just want to try something different.  No, they did not start importing tons of the best BC Bud (not a bad idea through), they just found a new religion called NDP. It is now possible the Bloc might soon be a footnote in history.  Can’t say I would be sorry to see them finally exit stage left.

Now what about poor Jack?  How would you like to have the whole La Belle Province riding on your coat tails?  All I can say is he had better have a strong ‘constitution’. After the election he could be leading a group of neophyte politicians, including a number of young student candidates with no political background, into the blood sport that is Ottawa. Perhaps that is just what we need in opposition, a bunch of young idealists with nothing to lose.

From my perspective, it would be an excellent outcome – a Harper minority (140 seats), NDP (90 seats, including a major position in Quebec), Liberal (60 seats) and Bloc (15), Independent (2) and Greens (1) as somebody has gotta finally throw poor Lizbeth a bone. Taken in combination it just might be the tonic we need to shake things up on the Federal scene. Just as Best Laid Plansthe Conservatives moved to coalesce the right a few years back, the left needs an ‘earth shaker’ to cause them to put the left leaning house in order. 

Given the heavy turnout in the advance polls and if the current poll trends portend future seat results, we might just go to bed on May 2, 2011 with a game-changing Parliament.

Cheers
(Harold is a card carrying Liberal but willing to look at alternatives)

1For a good chuckle on this very subject read “The Best Laid Plans” by Terry Fallis (McLellan Books, 2008), winner of the CBC Canada Reads Award, 2011.  The book takes a peek inside the back rooms of national political parties where a crusty old Scot, Angus McClintock, is suddenly and unwillingly thrust into the fray. He quickly becomes a media darling and throws every party, including his own Liberals, into disarray.  Just as has every movie and TV series hero that challenged the status quo found a cult following, so does the reluctant Angus McClintock.

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Comments (3)

  • Esther Dunn
    April 29, 2011 at 12:43 am |

    Thanks for this Harold…especially the name cover photo of the book you and Lynn recommended …and I had forgotten 🙂

  • gery
    May 4, 2011 at 1:43 am |

    You got it, Harold. Except for the Harper minority bit, alas.

  • Lynn McNeill
    May 4, 2011 at 2:02 am |

    This post from Harold but cannot get my email to work:
    Ya, the end result was a bit of a surprise, but, again, I think it can work to great advantage for the left. A large part will depend on how far the Conservatives push a far right agenda (beyond keeping some some of their budget promies).

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email: Harold@mcneillifestories.com)

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.