Sunday, August 12, 2007

On Multiculturalism, Solitudes, and 'Canadian Culture'

Interesting juxtaposition of viewpoints here between the Post's George Jonas and the Star's Haroon Siddiqui, who attended the same conference, but the impressions they take away with them couldn't be further apart.

This reminds me of what Penny said at Red Tory's:

We are once again developing Two Solitudes in this country, both of whom rattle on about freedom and democracy, but which are terms that have totally different meanings, depending on which pole one is sitting on.
(11:58 P.M.)

Very profound, isn't it?

Anyway, Jonas sees multiculturalism as a negative; keeping us apart and muddying whatever is left of our 'Canadian culture'.

Instead of a unique and unified Canada, multiculturalism has ended up promoting a xenolith: a fragmented patchwork of separate communities, each upset about the supposed privileges of the other segments, while viewing its own privileges as entitlements. Multiculturalism has perpetuated old solitudes within Canada, and created new ones. This may not have been anyone's intention; but it is the result.

Siddiqui, on the other hand, sees multiculturalism as a 'great success' and quotes quotes pollster Michael Adams who assures us that:

"Groups that live in ethnic enclaves are more economically successful than groups who do not live in ethnic enclaves. This was true for the Jews and the Italians and it is true for the Chinese and the South Asians today. This is a good sign, not a sign of disastrous balkanization."

I have a few thoughts on this, but am pressed for time at the moment. If anyone would care to start the debate, please feel free. Thanks.


SouthernOntarioan said...

I am reminded of a friend who was Korean and lived in Hamilton for two years, and didn't speak hardly a word of english after that. Or a friend who lived in Richmond, BC for three years and still can't have a basic conversation in english.

Ethnic enclaves fail their members because while the may offer some economic benefits they fail to help their members integrate and become part of the wider society. Thus, people are limited in their opportunities and experiences.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

S.O. - I agree with you on this, which is why John Tory's policy on equal funding for all faith-based schools is troubling to me.

liberal supporter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
liberal supporter said...

Come on, anon 11:59. You are claiming to be me, and you are not. That makes you a liar.

Why are you a liar, anon 11:59?

I am honoured to have my very own impersonator. Did you know there is a "Patrick Ross" who is a celebrity impersonator? I hope that is you, because being impersonated by Patrick Ross, the celebrity impersonator, would mean I am a celebrity!

Otherwise, I am simply being impersonated by someone who is losing whatever argument they are involved in.

This comment will look silly though, after Joanne deletes yours for swearing.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Wow. That was pretty bad. I was shocked at first, thinking it was you, Liberal Supporter.

Anonymous said...

Multiculturalism was initially designed as a way for the government in power to buy ethnic votes and as a system of payola it still works well for the Liberal Party - they won't ask for that $32million back since it's going to buy them lots of votes in October.

But Canadians made a difficult choice when they voted against the Canadian way of living and for multiculturalism, so of course there's less room for Canadian 'culture'. Ultimately it will curb immigration - why would people flee the tribalism in their homelands to come here for tribalism.

Moebius said...

It's not LS, without the signature "Hahahahahaha!".