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Problems of Democracy- Problem of Consensus Building

Consensus-building among the political parties on national critical issues is crucial for successful working of democracy. Parliamentary democracy is a very delicate system and it functions well in a society which has developed a kind of consensus in respect of use of power, acquisition of power, peaceful transfer of power and so on and also in respect of the key national issues. But “a great many of the developing countries, particularly those of Asia and Africa, but also some South American countries…..are beset by political problems arising from the deep division between segments of their populations and absence of unifying consensus.”[1]Likewise the political system in Bangladesh is seriously facing the crisis of consensus building.
No consensus has yet been evolved though the political leaders heard to speak of the democratic values most of the time.[2]The major political parties can not reach into consensus on national critical issues. After 37 years of the independence, there is no consensus regarding the identity of the people of this country, The Awami League calls it ‘Bengali’ while the B.N.P. calls it ‘Bangladeshi’; There is no consensus about the nature of the local government; there is no consensus about the economic policy of the state. Even the political parties could not yet find out consensus formula regarding the separation of judiciary from the executive, They are also divided about the role of the social forces like bureaucracy and military. Nor do they have any agreement student politics in the campus; the representative political parties also do have divided views about country’s national interest. They cannot hold a consensus opinion regarding the foreign policy issues, like the apportionment of the Ganges water, conflict resolution in Chittagong Hill Tracts etc. The crisis of building a national consensus created division within the nation and is leading to the breakdown of democracy in the country.
[1] Phart, A. L. Democracy in Plural Societies, Newhaven, Yale University Press, 1977, p. 16.
[2] Ahamed, Emajuddin, op. cit., p.25