Fomentar la ciudadanía en una sociedad multicultural: El multiculturalismo canadiense como un modelo político
Well-meaning assimilationists, as well as those threatened that the predominantly English culture in Canada and the United States will be overwhelmed by cultural elements brought by ethnocultural immigrant groups with them, have led the strident attacks against multiculturalism in both countries. Though apparently persuasive, close analysis of these attacks in Canada shows that they are based on lack of understanding or ignorance of the multiculturalism policy. The policy can be understood best by making a distinction between a multination state, with sovereignty rights claimed by national groups within it, and a polyethnic state, with polyethnic rights claimed by its cultural minority groups. The Canadian policy of multiculturalism pertains to the latter. Analysis of its intent and its constituent principles reveals that it is consistent with the democratic ethos of the country; as well, its philosophy has found expression not only in official pieces of legislation but also in the constitutionally entrenched Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Litigation in the courts sustains the view that Section 27 of the Charter, drawing from this philosophy, has given recognition to, and protection for, the rights of ethnocultural members in the country. Indeed, in light of court decisions, and the philosophy behind the policy, there is no need to worry about a kind of multicultural education in which citizenship education occupies a prominent role.