On behalf of the Kingdom of Fremet, I hereby ABSTAIN from voting.
Councilor for the Kingdom of Fremet
Special Edition — 15 November 2020
Above: Nordligeslott, a royal estate and summer vineyard in the foothills overlooking Nordhavn (Owned and Maintained by the Bureau of Land Management)
Every four years, at the opening of the new Staatsrat, the body must reaffirm the status of the monarch. Fremet’s unique monarchy, stemming from the tribal authorities of old, derives its power not from god, but the people— or, in this case, the people’s representatives. Without the consent of each new Staatsrat, the monarch loses their legitimacy. Article IV of the Constitution of the Fremetian Union (1935) enumerates the processes of the elected monarchy and, should the people decide, how to dissolve it.
What might happen?
OPTION 1: Article IV, Section 2 of the 1935 Constitution of Fremet requires that the Staatsrat recognise the monarch by the first full moon of the New Year. As the Fremetian calendar started on the first of November this year, 30 November is the deadline for the Staatsrat to affirm the status of the monarch. If not, Article IV, Section 3 of the 1935 Constitution calls for a binding referendum that would either deliver the people’s assent to the current monarch or reject the current head to be held on the second moon. If the current monarch is rejected, the Staatsrat has until the third moon to find a suitable candidate to present to the people for be held by third moon. If rejected, Article IV, Section 4 would be triggered on the fourth moon suspending the monarchy until after the next general election (4 years), in which this entire process would repeat. This has only happened twice since the Fremetian elected monarchy was canonised in the 1935 Constitution: The First Regency (1979—1988) and The Second Regency (2015—2016).
OPTION 2: The Statsminister places the Articles of Federalisation on the floor of the Staatsrat, as outlined in Article IV, Section 5 of the 1935 Constitution. Should the Staatsrat pass these articles, a binding referendum would be held 30 days after the passage of the Articles of Federalisation. If the referendum is successful, the Fremetian monarchy (and the Kingdom of Fremet) would cease to exist. An election for the new President of the Republic would be held 60 days after the referendum, with subsequent elections being synchronised with the provincial 4-year elections cycle (the next election would be held in 2022). This option closes all constitutional avenues for future installment of the monarchy.
Are either of these cases realistic? The 1935 National Conclave wanted to make the monarchy a lasting institution that wouldn’t be subject to political infighting. The constitutional mechanisms for removing the monarchy are intentionally slow and difficult to prevent any “acts of passion.” Republicanist forces in the National Conclave were placated with the broad restrictions placed on the monarchy, but even still they were not a large enough contingent of the Conclave to remove the institution altogether. The consensus among the more moderate members of the Conclave was that the monarchy was needed as a symbol of national unity after the occupation, with many scholars noting that the general expectation was that the institution would be abolished through constitutional means by the turn of the millennium.
Polling performed by Die Zeit and Der Trondheimer shows that between 53% and 58% of Fremetians are in support of the retirement of the monarchy. Passing the Articles of Federalisation has been a policy objective of the Socialists since the 1980s, could Statsminister Solberg finally realise that dream? Or is there simply too much apathy regarding the institution to successfully remove it.
The Royal Household refused to comment, but a spokesperson from the Liberal Democrats reached out to us earlier this week, saying:
“The Fremetian Elected Monarchy is one of the most majestic and unique systems of monarchy of Europe. The people of Fremet approved the ascent of King Gustaf III in 2016, and we see no realistic reason for the Statsminister and her party to expend such large sums of political capital for any other reason than to provide a grandiose spectacle for her base.”
An unnamed member of the Solberg Administration gave a statement to Die Zeit:
“Monarchy of any kind is an outdated concept. No true egalitarian society can exist while there are members of it given special privileges because of their bloodline and not solely because of their merit. We must cast aside the old order and build a new, greater society for all Fremetians. The abolition of the monarchy is the first step on the road to a more progressive future no longer hindered by the inhibitions of old.”
Regardless, as the deadline grows ever-nearer, questions are being asked about what would happen to Fremet’s royal family should the monarchy be established. While they would become private citizens, Gustaf would be eligible for retired state employee benefits given his high scale in the Fremetian government. As for more obscure royals, many of them are already living as private citizens in everything but name. 50 years of cuts to the Royal Household’s budget means that only the monarch’s immediate family is eligible for the benefits of royalty. Castles, crown lands, museums, etc are all owned and operated by various agencies within the Interior Ministry, with only Trondheimslott still being held by the Royal Household (an institution separate from the Royal Family). The Royal Household would be disbanded and folded into the Interior Ministry, leaving the ex-royals without a permanent residence. Fortunately, Gustaf owns a share in a housing co-op in Vestlandet. It is highly likely that he and his family would retire there after the dissolution of the monarchy.
This is not without great risk to the Statsminister, however. If her efforts fail, it is likely that she will face a vote of no confidence from her own party.
The New Year’s legislative session starts Monday, with a flurry of new legislation set to be introduced from numerous members of the Staatsrat. A national debate is already starting over the future of the monarchy, and the Statsminister seems keen to ride that wave into the history books.
Erna was actually a touch excited to attend this summit as Fremet's newest Statsminister. As she looked out of the airplane window on approach to Europolis, she felt the familiar sense of apprehension and excitement that she had often felt in her time as Fremet's Foreign Minister. She got up to put her colour-coded binders in the bookshelf by her desk. (The Staatsrat was in recess for Winterfel, and she was taking this opportunity to gather her legislative agenda for the new year.)
Though the Visestatsminister usually attended events such as these, Erna felt it best that she make an appearance and show the flag a bit in Europolis. At the very least she can work on her agriculture reform package while the more vocal leaders of Europe duke it out. She was finishing up packing her briefcase as the pilot came in over the PA system and asked that everyone return to their seats and fasten their seatbelts. She closed it, a pad for note-taking and a binder filled with wheat production figures safe inside, and secured the fastener before taking her seat. The Meili (the name of the Statsminister's plane) dipped below the clouds to reveal the seat of power of the European Union, its sprawling offices and regional buildings making quite a site.
Erna made her way into the chamber where Europe's leaders had gathered, with coffee (drip, black, no sugar) in hand and briefcase in tow. She took her seat and listened in as the other leaders spoke. At a lull in the conversation, she decided to speak up and make herself known.
Hello everyone, it is an honour for me to be here as the newly-elected Statsminister of the Kingdom of Fremet. Mr Juncker, thank you once again for hosting this assembly and congratulations on your re-election to the European Commission.
I am pleased to hear about the many positive developments taking place all across Europe and to see so many of you here in this chamber meeting to discuss matters important to all of us. This year is Fremet's 5th anniversary of membership in the European Union, and we are immensely proud to have participated in this great project. We have seen great change over the course of our membership, and we are excited to see what the future has in store for all of us. This year, Fremet has embarked on a series of considerable reforms, and I am truly excited for what the future holds for our kingdom as I and my colleagues in the Fremetian government continue in our efforts to better the lives of every Fremetian.
Erna took a sip from her coffee thermos and cleared her throat
On to more pertinent matters,
I echo the sentiments of our colleague from Ruthund. The failed neutrality motion was extremely disappointing, and I applaud the continued resolve of the Ruthenish government to stay true to their principles of non-interventionism. I must say I find the failure of the act to pass highly concerning in the Speaker's hawkish interpretation of European law. Nevertheless, all that can be said has been said by both sides and I hope that some day Ruthund may be able to achieve this goal of recognised neutrality.
On Eastern Haane, the Fremetian Ministry of Defence and the AA are both in the process of possibly reducing our obligations in the region to a support role based out of the Harriet Copala Joint Naval Air Base in Inquista. With the withdraw of Reitzmic forces, such a large deployment of aircraft and materiel are no longer necessary to secure the airspace. The National Security Commission, in conjunction with the Staatsrat's Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees are working on a firm plan for future operations in Eastern Haane. My office expects to release the report no later than 20 November.
Regarding our ongoing operations with the UNSR, I am pleased to report reduced military activity in the Emerald Sea in addition to stagnated deployments to coastal regions within Icholasen. We are seeing what could possibly a normalisation of operations within the UNSR as the communist government continues to strengthen their claim to the island. Though I find this encouraging for the lasting peace between our governments, I must say I am growing increasingly skeptical that the legitimate and EU recognised government of Icholasen will regain control of their home territory in a reasonable timeframe.
While I do not have really anything to add in the form of a question to the Commissioner, I will take any questions that any of you may have regarding Fremet or really anything that I have mentioned thus far. Once again, thank you Commissioner Juncker for hosting this event and providing a forum for open discussion and debate.
On behalf of the Kingdom of Fremet, I vote AGAINST this amendment.
Councillor for the Kingdom of Fremet
On behalf of the Kingdom of Fremet, I vote FOR this repeal.
Councilor for the Kingdom of Fremet
I vote FOR all amendments.
Councilor for the Kingdom of Fremet
Added to the list! See the 2020-10-07B Update for your data. I've also made the adjustments requested by Austria in moving the source nation for Eastern Haane to Ruined Eastern Haane. All changes are reflected in the 2020-10-07B Update.
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