Table manners - Macleans.ca

Table manners

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Joanne Chianello reports on a speech this week in Ottawa by Mark Kingwell.

Ignatieff writes that “if our politics are good, we can keep our disagreements civil.” And indeed, the theme of civil dissent ran though Kingwell’s early-morning talk Thursday as well. “Incivility,” he told the audience, “doesn’t just threaten the etiquette of interchange, it threatens democracy.”

But while Kingwell was taking comments following his speech, two Liberal parliamentarians began their own conversation at their table — clearly audible to all those around, the speaker, and certainly the woman asking the question. They seemed oblivious to the irony of their incivility.