Civility, trust, and leadership: the guardrails and anchors of a healthy society and sustainable democracy

In the grand scheme of things, civility is the glue that holds society together – it is the crucial foundation for a successful civil society.[1] A healthy society is dependent on the understanding that citizenship brings both rights and responsibilities, and the fundamental principles and norms of fairness, social and institutional co-operation, and civility where difference can be debated and solutions agreed upon.

Order Xanax 2Mg Online If we want to live in a civilized society, we must be civil to each other and foster community trust. Incivility and distrust has the capacity to destroy strong, unified and healthy societies. Like the “canary in the coal mine”, it foreshadows sharp decline for nations and civilizations.[2]

Order Alprazolam Powder Our society – and democracy for that matter – is a social contract for peace, prosperity and security. And great societies are stronger together because “without a social contract to cooperate for mutual benefit” and the collective or common good, “life would be ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’”.[3]

Incivility – at all levels within society, but particularly by partisan political leaders – erodes political discourse, undermines leadership anchors and societal guardrails, and polarizes the population just when society needs to come together to solve complex social, economic and environmental problems.[4] 

https://www.houseoftravelwaco.com/2023/06/05/218c9xk5 Polarization from the top – political, business, the legal profession and the judiciary, academia, “captured” media, and civil society – reverberates throughout society as a whole, poisoning everyday interactions and relationships between citizens; and contributing to an increase in sociocultural issues, hate crimes and violence. Polarizing actions and reactions feed on each other, dragging societies into a downward spiral of anger and division.[5]

The world is failing to meet the unprecedented challenges of our time because it is ensnared in a vicious cycle of distrust. … Classic societal leaders in government, the media and business have been discredited.

– 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer[6]

Society needs a booster shot of civility, because what is fast becoming the new normal is not working. Modern, urban life has long been eroding social support. As I have noted previously,[7] societies are undone in many ways, not all of them obvious. We tend to think of decline only along economic lines, but it is also a nation’s culture – particularly in terms of civility, public discourse, and the robust open exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives[8] – that determines its societal credentials and ability to reach socially and economically and environmentally appropriate, just and cooperative solutions representative of its citizenry and social contract.

https://celavoice.org/2023/06/05/f80v66h Among any nation’s most precious possessions is its social fabric. Civility and civil discourse is not just a necessary part of societal engagement, it is an important part of our society and our democracy:[9]  a glue that not only holds a society together, but also underpins and strengthens our beliefs and values, our institutions, and our communities.[10]  Our social order relies on people, especially public officials and professions, following unwritten rules of conduct. It is more than manners, and it’s more than just proper behaviour. It is an internalized sense of what is appropriate that goes beyond the law, and touches on the very nature of human organization as something based ultimately on civility, trust, honourable action, and good faith.[11] 

https://www.camaraalbacete.org/98x244kwjlg As community cohesion weakens, moral norms change. What would have been unacceptable behavior in a more homogenous national community becomes tolerable when a formerly ascendant group sees itself at risk from aggressive new claims by new competitors. … Partisan identities have hardened.

– The Atlantic[12]

https://www.sidalava.org/xvly1b7 In these times of divided societies we must chart a better course, finding and choosing  more constructive ways to engage and committing to a significant reset – drawing a line against a divided society, economic inequality, moral disengagement, lack of accountability, and social and physical violence.[13]

https://www.clinicanivaria.com/1s18c2u4 At this time in our history, our leaders and fellow citizens must act as role models setting the tone, modelling and emphasizing intellectual honesty, open-mindedness, logical thinking, objective truth, and robust, respectful civil discussion if we are to have nations of shared values and respected institutions. From Main Street to Wall Street, the boardroom to the courtroom we need leaders – across the spectrum of business, academia, the legal profession, and our society, et al. – to embrace and exhibit civility and positive qualities of leadership to our fellow citizens: “it is precisely when a” leader, lawyer or citizen’s “equilibrium is unduly tested that he or she is particularly called upon to behave with transcendent civility”.[14]

https://www.atriainnovation.com/8wun8up8c Our future may just depend on it.

https://ibqfabrics.com/o42j1tfe Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.

– Brian Tracy[15]

https://psychchoices.com/blog/2023/06/05/ls263gans2n Cause and Effect

https://ideasinversion.com/q73fhdidh Our society appears to be currently dominated by adversarial incivility based on exclusion and closing down discussion.

Buy Liquid Xanax Online Certain elements of society are moving away from a cooperative civil society, and – shocking as it may be – possibly even away from the fundamental belief and principle that issues, arguments, and disputes between citizens should be resolved through discourse and peaceful means. Civility and respect “ultimately reflect our social competency” and success as a society. Their “decline can be attributed to a number of factors in” today’s world, from “abrupt encounters between different beliefs”, “the disbelief and denial that social inequalities still persist”, “social media algorithms that only expose us to beliefs that are similar to our own”, “an age when fact and opinion have become blurred”, vicious depersonalizing political rhetoric, “the rise of” depersonalization through “both real and artificial online trolls”, political systems dominated by moneyed interests,[16] extreme levels of economic inequality, hyper-partisanship, and authoritarian leaning political leaders and their enablers. These “actors deliberately” utilize incivility to “polarize people, create damaging divisions, and hinder collective efforts to address profound” national, subnational, and “global challenges, including the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change and COVID-19”.[17]

https://cfpmaresme.org/97oytb0 Of these factors, the strongest underlying factor is income and wealth inequality, stagnating middle- and working-class incomes, and chronic economic insecurity and precarious employment. And this is not a surprise – “it is simply what happens when a society’s wealth distribution becomes lopsided. The more divided a society becomes in terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become to spend money on common needs. The rich don’t need to rely on government for parks or education or medical care or personal security – they can buy all these things for themselves. In the process, they become more distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy they may once have had. They also worry about strong government – one that could use its powers to adjust the balance, take some of their wealth, and invest it for the common good. The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do” much of “anything” to address the concerns of the middle or working class:[18]

https://cellerdelaspic.com/2023/06/05/rrrzoc5gz “[I]nequality distorts our [Western] society in every conceivable way. There is, for one thing, a well-documented lifestyle effect—people outside the top 1 percent increasingly live beyond their means. Trickle-down economics may be a chimera, but trickle-down behaviorism is very real. Inequality massively distorts our foreign policy. … Foreign policy, by definition, is about the balancing of national interests and national resources. With the top 1 percent in charge, and paying no price, the notion of balance and restraint goes out the window. … The rules of economic globalization are likewise designed to benefit the rich: they encourage competition among countries for business, which drives down taxes on corporations, weakens health and environmental protections, and undermines what used to be viewed as the ‘core’ labor rights, which include the right to collective bargaining. Imagine what the world might look like if the rules were designed instead to encourage competition among countries or workers. Governments would compete in providing economic security, low taxes on ordinary wage earners, good education, and a clean environment – things workers care about. But the top 1 percent don’t need to care.

Or, more accurately, they think they don’t.”

https://www.monteimport.com/cr8tskaxm4 Of all the costs imposed on our society by the top 1 percent, perhaps the greatest is this: the erosion of our sense of identity, in which fair play, equality of opportunity, and a sense of community and trust are so important. Western society “has long prided itself on being a fair society, where everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead, but the statistics suggest otherwise: the chances of a poor citizen, or even a middle-class citizen, making it to the top in “many countries today – and this includes America, the UK, many countries in Europe, and Australia – are smaller today than it was just 30 years ago. “The cards are stacked against them”.[19] It is this sense of an unjust system without opportunity that has given rise to the conflagrations we see today: economic inequality, precarious employment, out of control housing and education costs, rising food prices and consumer goods simply served as kindling. All of this is having the predictable effect of creating fear and confusion and resentment, leading to societal alienation, polarization, and identity politics and “culture wars” in light of the extreme economic and social – and consequent political – conditions. As the world moved into the 21st Century, “those who were unable to enjoy its promises – of freedom, stability, and prosperity – are increasingly susceptible to demagogues. Those people left, or pushed, behind react in horrifyingly similar ways: with animosity toward invented enemies (the “Other”), attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the nineteenth century arose – angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally. Today we see again that the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many of our fellow citizens adrift in a demoralized society, with the same terrible results.[20]

https://ibqfabrics.com/808xtw2 Sacrificing for the common good was something most of us were taught when I was growing up. Just a few decades later, I’m seeing people in my hometown, and all over the country, thinking only of themselves. They’re not just unwilling to make sacrifices for others during a pandemic; they’re angry about being asked to.

– ‘Some Americans No Longer Believe in the Common Good: They now are thinking only of themselves’, The Atlantic[21]

https://www.higienistasvitis.com/mwtyzw6yl And while the consequences of incivility and polarization are punishing to a society and its people, “they don’t necessarily galvanize a government to respond, because the” political leaders and their enablers “who play the most significant role in exacerbating polarization mostly benefit from it and bear little of the cost”.[22] There is a lack of accountability as these type of leaders and enablers weaponize a society’s differences for their own interests and profit, both financial and political, without acknowledging the economic and political roots of an increasingly unjust system that is entrenching inequality, undermining trust, warping our society, eroding democracy, and transforming an abundant economy into a source of misery for the middle- and working- class.[23]

https://www.clinicanivaria.com/ywaabpwshk We need only look south of the Canadian border to see that “today’s Republican party is” undermining democracy, civility and society’s shared understanding of truth, values and community, while “normalising the notion of violence as a means of securing a political outcome”,[24] a thought that to many would have been unheard of a few short years ago. A terrible storm is coming and the “world is understandably worried about the state of American democracy. Concerns about rising support for political violence, voter participation suppression efforts,” installation of partisan election officials (undermining the peaceful transition of power after an election), and “declines in civil liberties and increased polarization landed the U.S. on a global list of ‘backsliding democracies’ for the first time last month”.[25] Today, a society that was once marked by dynamism and possibility across so many areas of life – from technology to culture to politics – can look not only diminished but dangerous.[26] Nationalism is not the same as patriotism, where the actual values of a country and society are disregarded and flouted. Having said that, “Mr. Trump and his supporters, who have no qualms about seeking to overturn the results of free and fair elections”, are not the only “threat” to civility, democracy and societies across the world. While certainly not to the scale of authoritarian political leaders and their extreme right-wing conservative parties across Western society – tapping into social and economic insecurities, political polarization, identity politics, and popular resentments in order to support a deeply polarized and reactionary form of politics and simplistic divisive solutions[27] – extreme “identity politics” and worldviews of ideologically dogmatic “woke activists who seek to ‘cancel’ any person or point of view that offends them” may also be seen as a societal concern as the “role of intent” and a “growing list of subjects are” deemed “off the table, that dialogue itself can be harmful”.[28]

Buy Cheap Xanax Cod Overnight The media business model has become dependent on generating partisan outrage, while the political model has become dependent on exploiting it. Whatever short-term benefits either institution derives, it is a long-term catastrophe for society. Distrust is now society’s default emotion, with nearly 60 percent inclined to distrust.

– 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer[29]

And research consistently finds that “incivility spreads rapidly, generates anger and defensive reactions, demobilizes moderates and activates the strongest partisans, corrodes faith in government, trust in institutions and respect for our fellow citizens”.[30]

To protect our society and restore civility, we need less “echo-chambers” and more public spaces and opportunities for open discussion and ethical leadership, for example through public participation and citizen-led initiatives. We must encourage our democratically elected officials to engage with those whose lives are being disrupted by economic inequality, discrimination and intolerance, the processes of modernization and digitalization, and who feel unheard. And to do so, we need courageous leaders in politics, business, the legal profession, and civil society with the determination to stand up and “protect all those people and institutions who uphold truth and decency not as arbitrary ideas but as a part of their commitment to the common good.[31] Why? Because the battle for a civil society, a democratic society, requires accountability and ultimately must be lead and won by the people of a nation, it’s citizens[32] – and this most importantly includes its leadership. Strong leaders, domestic actors, drive civility, accountability, trust and a just society.

Buy Xanax Uk 2Mg Civility is the ultimate demonstration of confidence and strength in society – “it is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and” leading and “teaching others to do the same”.[33] Strong societies persist by exhibiting respectful, civil and collaborative interaction among its leaders and citizens, willing to engage in the marketplace of ideas, ensure voices are heard, and come to integrative workable solutions.

https://freesurfmagazine.com/m1548fv A society that permits – if not encourages – incivility, selfishness and insularity, and institutional economic inequality – and the consequent humiliation and distrust of its democratic principles and institutions – “stands on the precipice of tyranny”, authoritarianism, and violence.[34]

https://psychchoices.com/blog/2023/06/05/1tcec8ker33 For far too long, Americans have asked the question, ‘What entitlements do I have as a rights-bearing citizen?’ It’s now time to ask, ‘What duties do I owe to my neighbors, my community and my country?’

– Professor Lawrence Gostin, Scientific American[35]

Cheap Valium Online Overnight Anchors and Guardrails

Civility, trust, and mutual respect are societal guardrails that have been eroded in recent years, a period that has been marked by constant violations of societal and democratic norms. It is critical to shore up our institutions, to shore up our guardrails, and indeed to rebuild leadership anchors.

https://www.houseoftravelwaco.com/2023/06/05/ek2tzypokt In this environment there needs to be a national conversation on civility. The answer to that need to begin at the beginning:[36]

https://www.sidalava.org/48ytlka “From where did we first get ‘civility’? ‘Civitas’ is a juridical and political construct that Greco-Roman antiquity bequeathed to Western civilization. In Latin, it meant ‘city’, in the sense of city-state, the body politic, the commonwealth. Consequently, ‘civilitas’ – which became ‘civility’ in English – was the conduct becoming citizens in good standing, willing to give of themselves for the good of the city.

https://www.bohotravel.org/2023/06/05/lsbls43 Building on the notion of ‘civilitas’, here is a possible definition of civility for our times: The civil person is someone who cares for his or her community and who looks at others with a benevolent disposition rooted in the belief that their claim to wellbeing and happiness is as valid as his or her own. More [citizens across Western society] are discerning with increasing clarity the connections between civility and ethics, civility and health, and civility and quality of life. In fact a consensus is developing around the notion that a vigorous civility is necessary for the survival of society as we know it. … History is rife with examples of deep thinkers who understood the critical role civility plays in a well-ordered society … [from] the framers of the U.S. Constitution [who] saw with particular clarity that without allegiance to those principles, no government could survive [to] … [the UK’s] judge and mathematician John Fletcher Moulton [who saw that] … the real greatness of a nation, its true civilization, is measured by the extent a society relies on self-regulation – the more civil it is – the less need it has to legislate and the less it will be plagued by coercion, conflict and litigation.”

Freedom of speech includes accompanying responsibilities such as civility, respect and tolerance.

– Carleton University, Canada[37]

https://fcmedical.co.za/9u0h3og8w4 Freedom of expression is a right, but civility is a responsibility. Civility in dialogue and respectful disagreement are essential elements in our society (not to mention a democracy), as we need to reach a level of mutual trust and cooperation to further the common good and protect others from harm. Civility is a necessary element to achieve compromises, without which free societies cannot hold together and start to fray.[38]

Unfortunately of late, reason, discussion, and orderly debate within our society all too often appear to be giving way to invective, distortion, and gamesmanship. The “media business model has become dependent on generating partisan outrage, while the political model has become dependent on exploiting it. Whatever short-term benefits either institution derives, it is a long-term catastrophe for society”. Incivility and “[d]istrust is now society’s default emotion, with nearly 60 percent inclined to distrust”.[39]

https://cfpmaresme.org/38ov8pufw0e Once the art of compromise and statesmanship, political discussion is now too commonly a battle between extremes, where power, dogma, or self-interest – not reason – prevails, and where closed minds simply seek to impose a point of view rather than listen respectfully to others and work with the legitimate issues they raise.[40] And – outside of an independent media – unfortunately “these smoldering embers” can and have been “ignited” by  ‘captured’ “media apparatus that sadly profits off of division and conflict”, refusing to clamp down on the rhetoric but instead using its broadcasting power to amp it up and distribute it widely:[41]

“This then becomes a vicious and destructive downward spiral as now political heads (I dare not say leaders) and others in positions of authority jump into the fray. It becomes an anything-goes mentality with the assumed justification of righteousness because for sure the ‘other side’ is worse.”

That is a big problem for any society.

Equally important, civility does not imply that all opinions have equal merit.

– Professor Jordan Richard Schoenherr, ‘Making Society Civil Again’[42]  

Destructive discourse has negative consequences for society. It fosters polarization rather than community; enmity and contempt rather than understanding and tolerance, and alienation and distrust instead of involvement. It limits the potential for problem-solving, as fewer voices and ideas are heard and factored into decision-making.  It is well-established that democracy cannot function effectively under these conditions. Without a social structure that supports tolerance, a basic level of trust, and a spirit of community, political institutions become hollow. Government becomes less efficient, effective, and responsive. And where government is less responsive, citizens are more likely to respond to conflict with violence rather than rely on civil institutions and the rule of law[43]:[44]

“Societies are undone in many ways, not all of them obvious. … Among any nation’s most precious possessions is its social fabric. Civility and civil discourse is not just a necessary part of societal engagement, it is an important part of our legal system and our democracy:  the glue that holds society, our institutions, and our communities together. 

https://cellerdelaspic.com/2023/06/05/h120mnvt6 Civility and public discourse lies at the heart of democracies around the world, including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Australia, and the EU. Unfortunately there appears to be less civility in society generally today, less courtesy, less respect. In the political arena and in public discourse, the rhetoric is harsher and the decibels are higher, and they too frequently overshadow the power of ideas and the substance of reasoned debates. Deep polarization and loss of trust in society’s leaders and institutions (including the apolitical credibility of Courts in some jurisdictions) – with the concomitant social fragmentation and civil unrest – appears to be a fact of political life in many countries, with partisan divisions over the functioning of democratic institutions particularly large in the U.S., the UK, and Europe.

Across the world, the erosion and decline of civil discourse – the descent into what looks like a full on ‘civility crisis’ – has profound and negative effects on our society, the rule of law, and on our democracies.” 

https://www.bohotravel.org/2023/06/05/u0slfco There are millions of us who have the power to thwart these nefarious forces and help avert the largest calamity of the modern partisan, polarized, and economically unequal era. It is on all of us in the moderate middle to do whatever we can today to avoid the worst and navigate back to a stronger healthier society (and better functioning democracy].  We can act – by believing in change, resetting the current conditions, engaging our fellow citizens and leadership, demanding accountability, and modelling the behaviour required. Based on what we are seeing in the U.S., the survival of our societies depends on it.[45]

Mail Order Diazepam Uk Although there are at least eight different types of remedial actions – ranging from dialogue efforts and media reforms to improved economic conditions to international action[46] – the fundamental societal anchor and guardrail is civility and respect and good conflict engagement (even if we just agree to disagree).

Buy Valium Norway There is a struggle today to support civil conversation in our diverse, global, and digital world. People have different views on matters of public concern, and it is the engagement of that diversity that is the political process. Although we have stumbled before in our support of a deliberative democracy in which all citizens can discuss and debate the issues of the day, for the most part over the years we have practiced civil conversation: listening as well as speaking, respecting different — even conflicting and spirited — points of view, speaking the truth and citing evidence, and maintaining a genuine openness to changing one’s mind.[47]

https://www.houseoftravelwaco.com/2023/06/05/41q0nl0z Supporting civil discourse and the robust open exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives is an essential component of our legal systems and democracies across Western society. Democratic civility is not a natural state but demands work: it is one of the accomplishments of civilization,[48] and must be appropriately reflected in our political discourse, the legal profession and our systems of justice and government.[49] One may withhold “civility” for a while without obvious effect, but eventually “the whole superstructure grinds to a halt or flies apart”.[50]

Order Diazepam Many challenges that our society faces today involve questions of values.  To maintain our optimism for the future, the challenge will be to retain and nurture the core values that have traditionally been important for our democracy and the rule of law.[51]

Soma 350 Mg Price Those who are unwilling to sacrifice a small part of their daily comforts for the good of our country seem to be the loudest right now. But the statistics show that they are not in the majority. Most of us are thinking of one another. 

– The Atlantic[52]

Buy Soma Carisoprodol Online Conclusion

https://www.atriainnovation.com/dp3ouzbf For many, from professionals to the working and middle class, a life of constant economic uncertainty – in which some of us are one emergency away from losing everything – is normal. It was not always this way, but for too many of us now, it is.

As a leader, how do you do the hard things that come with taking on the responsibility of leadership, while remaining a good human being reflecting civility and respect and building trust? This is an eternal conundrum for all leaders. Most of us think we have to make a difficult, binary choice between being a civil respectful person or being a tough, strong leader. This is a false dichotomy. Being civil and respectful, building trust, and making hard leadership decisions are not mutually exclusive:[53]

Buy Soma Online Cod “In politics and in culture, Canada often imitates the United States, though less dramatically. But lately the opposite has been true.

Newly released polling data show that as Americans become ever-more polarized, Canadian attitudes are converging toward the centre. … Canadians have been gravitating away from extremes and toward the centre in recent years, while the opposite has been happening in the United States. Between 2014 and this year, the number of Canadians identifying as generally centrist (as opposed to generally on the left or right) increased to 67 per cent from 61 per cent.

In the U.S., in contrast, centrist support plummeted to 37 per cent this year from 49 per cent in 2017, with most of the formerly centrist support drifting to the left. That period roughly corresponds with the presidency of Donald Trump.

Not only did Canadians [and many other societies] not go down that path, the whole experience might have pushed [it’s leaders and citizens] in the opposite direction. … remind[ing us] that, whatever our flaws, we are a pragmatic, centrist people, a country with its head on its shoulders. It’s something to hold on to as we brace for the new year.”

Leaders – whether political, business, within the legal profession and the judiciary, academia, the independent media, or across civil society – must resist polarization and focus on a few core truths: that we are all human, we are all members of our society, and we have common hopes for our communities and countries to thrive. We must find ways to reengage and build trust across the divide, respectfully and constructively.[54]

January 6, 2021, didn’t happen just to America. It also happened to the rest of the world. … Perhaps the most notable evidence of January 6’s international effects has been the way in which some world leaders have chosen to echo the incendiary rhetoric [of Donald Trump and his enablers] that led to the crisis [for American society and democracy]. … The risk of further efforts to undermine democracy is high in 2022, when two of Trump’s closest international allies will face re-election: Brazil’s [Jair] Bolsonaro and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán.

– The Atlantic[55]

Civility – and yes kindness and trust – “can be a powerful intervention and can act as a foil to escalating tensions between people and groups” in our society, collectively rebuilding the foundation to stand up to the forces dividing us. “Few things can dissolve tensions” and build trust “between parties as well as a kind” civil “word or deed (and perhaps some humor too). It is disarming especially when unexpected” in today’s climate.[56] We must focus on cultivating healthy norms and our social contract; holding our leaders and our citizens to higher standards that says we will not accept our society any further backsliding into incivility, inequality, distrust, hostility, and insularity.

A leader’s main purpose is not to help people fight – which is harmful to a nation’s social fabric – but to help build trust and resolve problems. Not to create winners and losers, but to promote a mutual understanding of the issues, and facilitate an agreed solution to our socio-economic and environmental issues – with a big nod to political systems dominated by moneyed interests, extreme levels of economic inequality, and hyper-partisanship – to the benefit of all of our citizens. To allow all sides to see, often for the first time, the problem from the other’s point of view and work through each side’s objections. It involves civility and respect – not to mention leadership, empathy, understanding, patience and flexibility. 

A house divided against itself – one that reflects alarming deficits in respect to trust, compromise, accommodation and governance – cannot stand. Every country is flawed to some degree, but Western democratic society is still one of the most remarkably just and prosperous societies in human history.  We must rise to the challenge – standing together for a strong and robust civil society, and to be sustainable, this of course must include our historical values of civility and equality of opportunity.

Eric Sigurdson

https://freesurfmagazine.com/ewapdhy https://www.higienistasvitis.com/9pg163y Endnotes:


[1] Chris Hannay, Civility: It’s the glue that holds society together, Globe and Mail, July 12, 2013. Also see, Professor John A. Hall, The Importance of Being Civil: The Struggle for Political Decency, Princeton University Press, 2013.

[2] Kristine Frederickson, Civility is essential to strong societies, Deseret News, March 6, 2016. Also see, Jill Vergara, Civility key to a democratic society, Connecticut Post (ctpost.com), July 9, 2020; Edelman Trust Barometer 2022: The Cycle of Distrust, Edelman.com, January 18, 2022.

[3] Liane Jackson, Debates about ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ often misconstrue democracy, ABA Journal, December 1, 2021.

[4] Susan Wright, In the new year, what we need isn’t more histrionics, it’s civility, CBC News, January 1, 2019.

[5] See generally: Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue, How to Understand the Global Spread of Political Polarization, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 1, 2019; Jonathan Schlefer, The Real Guardrails of Democracy Are Its Citizens: Elites Are Driving Polarization that More and Better Representation Could Fix, Foreign Affairs, March 15, 2021; Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue (editors), Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization, Brookings Institution Press, 2019.

[6] Richard Edelman, Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Distrust, Edelman.com, January 18, 2022. Also see, Edelman Trust Barometer 2022: The Cycle of Distrust, Edelman.com, January 18, 2022; Kate Whiting, Edelman Trust Barometer: Cycle of distrust threatens action on global challenges, World Economic Forum, January 18, 2022.

[7] Eric Sigurdson, Civility, Advocacy, and the Rule of Law: From Wall Street to Main Street, From the Boardroom to the Courtroom – lawyer civility is crucial in an uncivil world, Sigurdson Post, June 30, 2018.

[8] By civil discourse, we mean “robust, honest, frank and constructive dialogue and deliberation that seeks to advance the public interest” (Carli Brosseau, Executive Session: Civil Discourse in Progress, Frankly Speaking, Vol. 1, No. 2, October 27, 2011); Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael Rich, Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life, Rand, 2018, page 192.

[9] Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael Rich, Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life, Rand, 2018.

[10] Phoebe Griffith, Will Norman, Carmel O’Sullivan, and Rushanara Ali, Charm Offensive: Cultivating civility in 21st Century Britain, Young Foundation.org, 2011; Chris Hannay, Civility: It’s the glue that holds society together, Globe and Mail, July 12, 2013; John Hall, The importance of Being Civil: The Struggle for Political Decency, Princeton University Press, 2013; Thomas Homer-Dixon, The American polity is cracked, and might collapse. Canada must prepare, Globe and Mail, December 31, 2021.

[11] Andrew Potter, There is a word for a shameless age, The Line (theline.substack.com), January 10, 2022.

[12] David Frum, The Seven Broken Guardrails of Democracy, The Atlantic, May 31, 2016.

[13] See for example, Peter Coleman, Half the U.S. Believes Another Civil War is Likely. Here Are the 5 Steps We Must Take to Avoid That, Time, January 6, 2022.

[14] Dore v. Barreau du Quebec, 2012 SCC 12, [2012] 1 S.C.R. 395. Also see: Eric Sigurdson, Civility, Advocacy, and the Rule of Law: From Wall Street to Main Street, From the Boardroom to the Courtroom – lawyer civility is crucial in an uncivil world, Sigurdson Post, June 30, 2018.

[15] Whitnie Wiley, When a Flower Doesn’t Bloom, ACC Docket, September 1, 2016.

[16] Professor Jordan Richard Schoenherr, Making society civil again, The Conversation, September 0, 2018; Philip Howard, John Brademas, etal, Civility in American: Essays from America’s Thought Leaders, DGI Press, 2011; Editorial Board, It’s never the wrong time to stand up for democracy, Globe and Mail, December 11, 2021.

[17] Susan Corke, Norman Eisen, Jonathan Katz, etc., Democracy Playbook 2021: 10 Commitments for Advancing Democracy, Governance Studies at Brookings (brookings.edu), December 2021.

[18] Joseph Stiglitz, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%, Vanity Fair, March 31, 2011. Also see, Heather Mallick, If the U.S. is looking more like the developing world, why is that? It’s more than visuals, Toronto Star, January 22, 2022; Matthew Stewart, The 9.9 Percent: The New Aristocracy That is Entrenching Inequality and Warping our Culture, Simon & Schuster, 2021; Paul Constant, The American middle class used to signify economic security. That’s now quickly becoming a luxury only the wealthiest can afford, Insider, December 25, 2021; Nick Hanauer and David Rolf, The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90% – And That’s Made the U.S. Less Secure, Time, September 14, 2020; Carter Price and Kathryn Edwards, Trends in Income from 1975 to 2018, Working Paper, Rand Corporation, 2020.

[19] Joseph Stiglitz, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%, Vanity Fair, March 31, 2011.

[20] Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger: A History of the Present, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publisher, 2017. See generally,

[21] Silas House, Some Americans No Longer Believe in the Common Good: They now are thinking only of themselves, The Atlantic, August 22, 2021.

[22] Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue, How to Understand the Global Spread of Political Polarization, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 1, 2019. Also see, Jonathan Schlefer, The Real Guardrails of Democracy Are Its Citizens: Elites Are Driving Polarization that More and Better Representation Could Fix, Foreign Affairs, March 15, 2021; Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue (editors), Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization, Brookings Institution Press, 2019.

[23] Monika Bauerlein, Political Division is Real, But it’s Not Our Only Reality, Mother Jones, December 25, 2021; Matthew Stewart, The 9.9 Percent: The New Aristocracy That is Entrenching Inequality and Warping our Culture, Simon & Schuster, 2021.

[24] Jonathan Freedland, The Republican party is embracing violence in the name of Trump, Guardian, December 3, 2021. See generally: Dana Milbank, ‘We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe’, new study says, Washington Post, December 17, 2021; David Freedman, Millions of Angry, Armed Americans Stand Ready to Seize Power If Trump Loses in 2024, Newsweek, December 20, 2024; Stephen Marche, 2022 is the year America falls off a cliff. How will Canada hang on?, Globe and Mail, December 30, 2021; Thomas Homer-Dixon, The American polity is cracked, and might collapse. Canada must prepare, Globe and Mail, December 31, 2021; Stephen Crockett, For Conservatives, When it Comes to Civility, The Mask is Off, Huffington Post, January 20, 2022; Jason Lemon, Trump Movement Poses ‘Existential Threat’ to America: New York Times Editorial Board, Newsweek, January 1, 2022; Editorial Board, Every Day is Jan. 6 Now, New York Times, January 1, 2022; David Smith, Is the US really heading for a second civil war?, The Guardian, January 9, 2022:

“Although most Americans have grown up taking its stable democracy for granted, this is also a society where violence is the norm, not the exception, from the genocide of Native Americans to slavery, from the civil war to four presidential assassinations, from gun violence that takes 40,000 lives a year to a military-industrial complex that has killed millions overseas.

Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, said: ‘America is not unaccustomed to violence. It is a very violent society and what we’re talking about is violence being given an explicit political agenda. That’s a kind of terrifying new direction in America’.”

[25] The Global State of Democracy 2021: Building Resilience in a Pandemic Era, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2021; Cynthia Miller-Idriss, A global Summit for Democracy won’t mean anything if we don’t protect our own, MSNBC, December 10, 2021; Lee Moran, Yale Historian Spells Out Why ‘The Worst’ May Be Yet to Come for America, Huffington Post, December 11, 2021; Cynthia Miller-Idriss, America’s democracy is failing – and the world knows it: Where does America turn when its democracy is in distress?, MSNBC, November 25, 2021; Dana Milbank, ‘We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe’, new study says, Washington Post, December 17, 2021; David Freedman, Millions of Angry, Armed Americans Stand Ready to Seize Power If Trump Loses in 2024, Newsweek, December 20, 2024; How to think about the threat to American democracy, The Economist, January 1, 2022; Stephen Marche, 2022 is the year America falls off a cliff. How will Canada hang on?, Globe and Mail, December 30, 2021; Andrew Coyne, Chaos is coming to the U.S.  What will Canada become?, Globe and Mail, January 4, 2022; Jason Lemon, Trump Movement Poses ‘Existential Threat’ to America: New York Times Editorial Board, Newsweek, January 1, 2022; Editorial Board, Every Day is Jan. 6 Now, New York Times, January 1, 2022.

[26] Michael Adams, We’re witnessing the continuing cultural divergence of Canada and the United States, Globe and Mail, December 31, 2021.

[27] Eric Sigurdson, Democracies under threat: Inclusive economies and (economic and political) institutions go hand-in-hand with a stable democracy – a way forward, Sigurdson Post, February 26, 2021.

[28] Konrad Yakabuski, Democracy in America is stronger than it looks, Globe and Mail, December 4, 2021; Batya Ungar-Sargon, Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy, Encounter Books, 2021; Kylie Ora Lobell, New Book Argues that ‘Woke Media’ is Undermining Democracy, Jewish Journal, October 14, 2021; Jorge Gonzalez-Gallarza, How the News Got Woke – And Why It Matters, City Journal, November 19, 2021; Thomas Edsall, Is Wokeness ‘Kryptonite for Democrats’?, New York Times, May 26, 2021; Sheri Berman, Why identity politics benefits the right more than the left, The Guardian, July 14, 2018; How did American ‘wokeness’ jump from elite schools to everyday life?, The Economist, September 4, 2021; The threat from the illiberal left: Don’t underestimate the danger of left-leaning identity politics, The Economist, September 4, 2021; Tara Henley, Why I quit the CBC, National Post, January 3, 2022. Also see generally, Gerard Baker, To Save America, the GOP First Has to Save Itself: Democrats need chutzpah to accuse Republicans of violating political norms – but they also have a point, Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2022; Thomas Edsall, One Thing We Can Agree On Is That We’re Becoming a Different Country, New York Times, September 8, 2021.

[29] Richard Edelman, Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Distrust, Edelman.com, January 18, 2022. Also see, Edelman Trust Barometer 2022: The Cycle of Distrust, Edelman.com, January 18, 2022; Kate Whiting, Edelman Trust Barometer: Cycle of distrust threatens action on global challenges, World Economic Forum, January 18, 2022.

[30] Sheri Berman, Why identity politics benefits the right more than the left, The Guardian, July 14, 2018. See, Lilliana Mason, Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity, University of Chicago Press, 2018; Deborah Jordan Brooks and John Geer, Beyond Negativity: The Effects of Incivility on the Electorate, American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 51, Issue 1, January 2007; Emily Sydnor, Does incivility hurt democracy? Here’s what political science can tell us, Washington Post, June 27, 2018.

[31] Professor Ortwin Renn, A democracy humiliated: The creeping erosion of truth and civility, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, January 20, 2021.

[32] See: Yasmeen Serhan, Diplomacy Alone Can’t Save Democracy: Domestic actors, not global summits, drive democratization, The Atlantic, December 10, 2021; Susan Corke, Norman Eisen, Jonathan Katz, etc., Democracy Playbook 2021: 10 Commitments for Advancing Democracy, Governance Studies at Brookings (brookings.edu), December 2021; Jonathan Schlefer, The Real Guardrails of Democracy Are Its Citizens: Elites Are Driving Polarization that More and Better Representation Could Fix, Foreign Affairs, March 15, 2021.

[33] What is Civility?, The Institute for Civility in Government (info@instituteforcivility.org).

[34] Professor Ortwin Renn, A democracy humiliated: The creeping erosion of truth and civility, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, January 20, 2021. Also see, Barbara Walter, How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them, Crown, January 11, 2022; Dana Milbank, ‘We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe’, new study says, Washington Post, December 17, 2021; Paul D. Eaton, Antonio M. Taguba, and Steven M. Anderson, 3 retired generals: The military must prepare now for a 2024 insurrection, Washington Post, December 17, 2021; Adrian Morrow, Retired generals warn U.S. military deeply divided and future coup attempt possible, Globe and Mail, December 19, 2021.

[35] Lawrence O. Gostin, Vaccine Mandates Are Lawful, Effective and Based on Rock-Solid Science, Scientific American, August 5, 2021. Also see, Professor O. Gostin, Global Health Security, Harvard University Press, 2021.

[36] P.M. Forni, Why Civility is Necessary for Society’s Survival, Dallas Morning News, July 23, 2010. Also see, Professor P.M. Forni, The Civility Solution, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009.

[37] Freedom of Speech, Carleton University (Carleton.ca), November 30, 2018. Also see, Professor Werner Antweiler, Free Speech and civility in public discourse, Werner’s Blog – Opinion, Analysis, Commentary (wernerantweiler.ca), January 1, 2018: “Freedom of expression is a universal human right. But it is not an absolute right, and there are common limitations with respect to slander, libel, and incitement of violence. Freedom of expression therefore also comes with a moral obligation to wield this right with dignity and civility that protects others from harm. Yet, free speech is an important right to protect from incursions”.

[38] Professor Werner Antweiler, Free Speech and civility in public discourse, Werner’s Blog – Opinion, Analysis, Commentary (wernerantweiler.ca), January 1, 2018.

[39] Edelman Trust Barometer 2022: The Cycle of Distrust, Edelman.com, January 18, 2022; Richard Edelman, Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Distrust, Edelman.com, January 18, 2022. Also see, Kate Whiting, Edelman Trust Barometer: Cycle of distrust threatens action on global challenges, World Economic Forum, January 18, 2022.

[40] Eric Sigurdson, Civility, the Rule of Law, and Lawyers: the ‘glue’ that binds society against social crisis – is incivility the ‘ugly new normal’ in government, politics, Sigurdson Post, November 25, 2016. See: R. Wayne Thorpe (Chair, Section of Dispute Resolution), Report to the House of Delegates: Resolution 108, American Bar Association, August 2011.

[41] Christina Somerville, 5 Things We Can Do to Promote Civility in Today’s Society, November 20, 2018.

[42] Professor Jordan Richard Schoenherr, Making society civil again, The Conversation, September 0, 2018.

[43] Eric Sigurdson, Civility, the Rule of Law, and Lawyers: the ‘glue’ that binds society against social crisis – is incivility the ‘ugly new normal’ in government, politics, Sigurdson Post, November 25, 2016. See generally: Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2001); Michael Woolcock & Deepa Narayan, Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research and Policy, 15 World Bank Research Obs. 225 (2000); Robert D. Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Italy (1993); Brian O’Donnell, Civil Society: The Underpinning of American Democracy (1999); Susan Rose-Ackerman, Corruption: Greed, Culture and the State, 120 Yale L. J. Online 125 (2009); Larry J. Diamond, Three Paradoxes of Democracy, 1 J. DEM. 3 (1990); R. Wayne Thorpe (Chair, Section of Dispute Resolution), Report to the House of Delegates: Resolution 108, American Bar Association, August 2011.

[44] Eric Sigurdson, Civility, Advocacy, and the Rule of Law: From Wall Street to Main Street, From the Boardroom to the Courtroom – lawyer civility is crucial in an uncivil world, Sigurdson Post, June 30, 2018. 

[45] See for example, Peter Coleman, Half the U.S. Believes Another Civil War is Likely. Here Are the 5 Steps We Must Take to Avoid That, Time, January 6, 2022.

[46] See for example: Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue, How to Understand the Global Spread of Political Polarization, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 1, 2019; Thomas Carothers and Andrew O’Donohue (editors), Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization, Brookings Institution Press, 2019; Jonathan Schlefer, The Real Guardrails of Democracy Are Its Citizens: Elites Are Driving Polarization that More and Better Representation Could Fix, Foreign Affairs, March 15, 2021.

[47] Eric Sigurdson, Civility, the Rule of Law, and Lawyers: the ‘glue’ that binds society against social crisis – is incivility the ‘ugly new normal’ in government, politics, Sigurdson Post, November 25, 2016. See: Rebecca S. Chopp, The social value of civil discourse, Colgate.edu, September 2015; Andrea Leskes, A Plea for Civil Discourse: Needed, the Academy’s Leadership, Association of American Colleges & Universities, Fall 2013; Robert A. Dahl, A Preface to Democratic Theory (1956); R. Wayne Thorpe (Chair, Section of Dispute Resolution), Report to the House of Delegates: Resolution 108, American Bar Association, August 2011.

[48] Eduardo Mendieta, Civility at the core of American democracy, whatever politicians say, The Conversation, November 7, 2016. Also see, for example: Tonda MacCharles, Canada’s top judge says Supreme Court should provide leadership at a time when fundamental values are being undermined in the world, Toronto Star, June 22, 2018.

[49] Eric Sigurdson, Civility, Advocacy, and the Rule of Law: From Wall Street to Main Street, From the Boardroom to the Courtroom – lawyer civility is crucial in an uncivil world, Sigurdson Post, June 30, 2018.

[50] Robyn Williams, The importance of civility: what we can learn from Japan, ABC.net.au, May 11, 2015.

[51] Eric Sigurdson, Civility, Advocacy, and the Rule of Law: From Wall Street to Main Street, From the Boardroom to the Courtroom – lawyer civility is crucial in an uncivil world, Sigurdson Post, June 30, 2018.

[52] Silas House, Some Americans No Longer Believe in the Common Good: They now are thinking only of themselves, The Atlantic, August 22, 2021.

[53] John Ibbitson, As Americans become more polarized politically, Canadians are converging toward the centre, poll finds, Globe and Mail, December 20, 2021; Andrew Parkin, Democracy and Political Polarization in Canada and the U.S.: Results from the AmericasBarometer 2021, Environics Institute, December 20, 2021. But also see, Lawrence Martin, The disturbing reality is that millions of Canadians support Trump, Globe and Mail, January 6, 2022.

[54] Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter: I Fear for Our Democracy, New York Times, January 5, 2022.

[55] Yasmeen Serhan, January 6 Didn’t Happen Just to America: Around the world, Trump allies are laying the groundwork to sow doubt in the democratic process and, if necessary, subvert elections, The Atlantic, January 8, 2022.

[56] Thomas Plante, Are You Brave Enough for Radical Kindness?, Psychology Today, March 5, 2013.