The Importance of Civility

“Civility is more than good manners. It is a recognition that violent speech leads to violent deeds; that listening respectfully to your opponents is a necessary part of the politics of a free society; and that liberal democracy, predicated as it is on the dignity of diversity, must keep the peace between contending groups by honouring us all equally, in both our diversity and our commonalities. All politics is about the pursuit of power, but liberal democratic politics carries with it a special responsibility to use that power for the dignity of each and the good of all.”

Morality, Chapter 16, p. 221