Etiquette experts offer tips on civility in election discussions

dinner

Politics will likely be on the menu when many Canadians gather for Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, and etiquette experts are offering tips on how to handle hot election topics with civility.

Toronto etiquette expert Leanne Pepper suggests leaving especially contentious issues off the menu, and telling guests before they arrive whether political chatter is welcome.

Hot potatoes such as immigration, corruption, and the Trans Mountain pipeline are among the divisive issues marking this federal election, with voters going to the polls on October 21st.

Pepper, who is general manager of a private member's club at the University of Toronto, suggests having alternate conversation topics ready if tempers flare.

Over at the Samara Centre for Democracy, research director Michael Morden encourages families with different opinions to explain their beliefs in detail.

He says that can encourage everyone to listen more intently and learn from each other.

Meanwhile, etiquette coach Louise Fox of the Etiquette Ladies says you may have to bite your tongue if debate edges into offensive territory.