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Dutch government resigns over Srebrenica report...
April 16, 2002 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Dutch government resigns over Srebrenica report...
Dutch Prime Minister Mr Wim Kok announced the resignation of his centre-left government today over a report on the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia.
posted by tomcosgrave (16 comments total)

 
... one month before elections. In which the ruling parties stand to lose because of 'a failure to take responsibility', as their opponent puts it. Not alltogether inconvenient.
posted by thijsk at 6:50 AM on April 16, 2002


what exactly happens when the government resigns in that country?
posted by rhyax at 8:48 AM on April 16, 2002


Wouldn't it be nice to try to figure that out, in America? Oh, I could see the fun in reshuffling all the committee assignments....
posted by dwivian at 9:09 AM on April 16, 2002


I know someone who's going over there next week. Yesterday she was excited about the prospect of all the cheese. This should make things a bit more interesting than just Gouda...
posted by shecky57 at 9:12 AM on April 16, 2002


Indeed, I have a trip planned there in August. Hope the Red-Light district is still intact by then. :)
posted by eas98 at 9:18 AM on April 16, 2002


that is pretty amazing...could you even imagine a US government dismantling itself?
posted by th3ph17 at 9:23 AM on April 16, 2002


They are not dismantling the structure of the government. The coalition is resigning. What happens now is that the various Dutch political parties will negotiate with each other until some of them can form another coalition that will have the majority of votes in the Dutch congress, and that coalition will bring with it another Prime Minister. It has happened in Israel many times.
posted by bingo at 9:47 AM on April 16, 2002


could you even imagine a US government dismantling itself?

Imagine it? I dream of it every day....
posted by rushmc at 10:04 AM on April 16, 2002


It's good to see a government actully facing up and taking the rap for something for once. It's a refreshing change from the bilge we have in the UK. One more reason I'd like to live there. (And none of the others invlove hash :] )
posted by jackiemcghee at 10:50 AM on April 16, 2002


I imagine the practical effect is about the same as when the US has one of it's occasional funding fights and "the government shuts down," namely that half the federal government employees stay home for a day or two and everyone else goes about their business.
posted by NortonDC at 10:51 AM on April 16, 2002


rhyax, it's a feature of parliamentary democracies that the majority party or a coalition forms "the government", i.e. the prime minister and other departmental ministers. (The parties out of power form "the opposition".) When the government resigns, it forces the parliament into a process of forming a new government, possibly with a new coalition, under varying sets of rules.

There isn't a real analogue in our two-party, bicameral, separate-executive-branch system. In parliaments, the executive is usually formed directly out of the legislature.

There's also a distinction between "head of state" and "head of government", not to mention a small but important role for an appointed or separately-elected president who is not head of govt. but is probably head of state.

It's important to note that a resignation doesn't necessarily mean the end of the ruling party's control; if things don't work out they may end up forming the new government again, probably with different people in key slots.
posted by dhartung at 11:17 AM on April 16, 2002


Calm down folks, the chances of the Dutch having a civil war are pretty low I think. I already though the Dutch were cool, now I think they're the coolest people on the face of the planet.

*Everyone* screwed up in Bosnia because no one outside wanted to sing the same tune as anyone else.

Oh, and what dhartung said. We (with the UK's parliamentary system) vote for parties rather than presidents. Elections are getting more presidential but at the end of the day, we vote parties into office rather than individuals.
posted by vbfg at 11:29 AM on April 16, 2002


There's also a distinction between "head of state" and "head of government", not to mention a small but important role for an appointed or separately-elected president who is not head of govt. but is probably head of state.

Unless you live in a monarchy, of course, where the head of state is neither appointed nor elected.

vbfg: saying that we vote for parties isn't quite true. We vote for MPs, which is why you can be disillusioned with Labour and still vote as I did for a fly in the ointment like Jeremy Corbyn.

And, back to the point, here's the English language version of the Srebrenica report, which is worth reading, especially in the context of potential peace missions elsewhere in the world.
posted by riviera at 12:27 PM on April 16, 2002


It bothers me that the "Dutch government is blamed" for what the Serbs did.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:36 PM on April 16, 2002


Resident Dutchman reporting. The government blames itself for sending troops on a mission impossible. There will be no new coalition attempt as election was already called for May 15th. Government stays put but only to take care of standard practical matters. Country is more interesting than Gouda almost all the time. RLD is intact but more expensive since the Euro. Thank you (and good work, riviera).
posted by thijsk at 12:41 PM on April 16, 2002


'Nother resident dutchman reporting...

Re: dhartung: New coalition being formed is unlikely, as new elections are coming up may 15th (just got voterscard or whatever you call it in english in the mail today)... The cabinet well stay on as demissionary and won't do anything apart from everyday running of the country, where necessary.

As for what thijsk said, it'd be interesting wether they'd have reacted the same a year ago...
posted by fvw at 4:09 PM on April 17, 2002


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