On behalf of the Kingdom of Fremet, I ABSTAIN.
Councillor for the Kingdom of Fremet
On behalf of the Kingdom of Fremet, I ABSTAIN.
Councillor for the Kingdom of Fremet
"Question and Answer"
14 June 2020
Pan camera back through studio to show the candidates, the Rhodenheimer skyline still shining in the night behind them.
Camera Cuts to Moderators
KS: Welcome back to Decision 2020 on SR1 and NRK.
KT: Tonight, we come to you live from Rhodenheim where the seven leaders of Fremet’s seven largest parties have gathered in the only full debate of the election cycle.
KS: Earlier, we heard opening statements from the candidates before recessing for a short break.
KT: We now move on to the question and answer portion of the debate. As a reminder, for this portion of the debate, each candidate will be allotted 3 minutes to answer each of the four questions this evening.
KS: Our first question this evening comes from Anika Hansen, a 32 year old schoolteacher here in Rhodenheim.
KT: Anika asks, “Housing expenses for both renters and owners have risen across Fremet by an average of 8% over the last 5 years. What will you and your parties do to address rising housing costs in Fremet?”
KS: Skei Grande, you may begin.
All Fremetians have a right to adequate housing, and the Von der Leyen administration has neglected the Bundeswohnungsamt, the agency tasked with making sure that that right is observed. The Venstre support the revitalization of the Bundeswohnungsamt, expanding its operations to offering low-to-no interest loans to encourage home ownership in Fremet. In addition, we will support urban housing subsidies, encouraging developers through tax incentives and subsidies to build affordable housing in Fremet’s dense urban areas.
KT: Dr Solberg?
Skei is right. Housing is a right. Ursula and the Liberaldemokraten party have refused to dive in and address the failures latent in this critical agency. While subsidies do provide for the construction of additional housing for Fremetians, the true path towards wealth in a capitalistic society is through property ownership, sadly, that isn’t always possible with such programs. As such, the Socialist Party will continue to support strengthening the status of housing co-ops in Fremet. 85% of Fremetians already live and own shares in a housing cooperative, and this system has served us well for decades. We can continue to build upon this by strengthening the Bundeswohnungsamt, granting new cash infusions to aid in the establishment and continued success of housing cooperatives across the country. New luxury housing developments in Fremet’s largest cities must not be tolerated to the degree they are today. Few are able to reap the benefits of these new developments, and even fewer are Fremetian. We must not allow our great cities to become playgrounds for the wealthy. Anika, Rhodenheim has bore the brunt of the increase in housing costs. We must act to prevent our dedicated public servants from being priced out of the communities they serve. As such, the Socialist Party will support a national initiative to limit luxury housing in high-density areas, ensuring that all Fremetians have access to fair and reasonable housing. We must not fall into the trap of allowing citizens to undertake hours-long commutes to work, school, and the like for the sake of living expenses. Such efforts only serve to normalise exorbitant housing costs and put a strain on infrastructure in our major cities. By utilising programmes to strengthen the appeal of housing cooperatives in Fremet, we can keep costs and commute times under control and maintain steady growth in our cities and foster stable, quality housing developments in more rural areas. In addition, our plan to nationalise all public utilities in Fremet would also serve to reduce living expenses as we continue to further integrate our energy grid, taking advantage of economies of scale and reducing costs for all Fremetians. These initiatives will ensure the continued growth and prosperity of population centres across Fremet and continue our long-held tradition of shared ownership.
KS: Prime Minister, your response?
Housing cooperatives were a fantastic solution for the housing issues of the 20th century, but rising costs, increased mobility, and extreme demand in urban areas have put a strain on our system. I’m all for expanding regulations to ensure that these new luxury apartments are actually occupied, but restricting housing growth to cooperatives hinders the ability of developers to gather capital for future projects. Anika, I understand your concern. Rhodenheim has grown exponentially, and pricing has matched this immense growth. While we continue to increase teacher pay to match the rise in living expenses, we must introduce other programs to ensure that all members of the community have equal access to fair, affordable, and quality housing. We will maintain existing co-op standards in urban and high-growth areas and place renewed restrictions on luxury housing approvals.
We have introduced a new program that will maintain the current levels of housing cooperative ownership, but allow for complete home ownership in less-dense areas of Fremet. By allowing for increased economic freedom and independence on an individual basis, we can induce continued economic asset growth in our citizenry while keeping housing prices down where it counts.
KT: Ms Bastholm?
Cost is not the only crisis we face. The rise in urban sprawl has put a strain on the environment and threatens the continued existence of Fremet’s vast swathes of greenspace that have helped keep our country so beautiful. With new housing subsidies, we can reduce urban sprawl by increasing the density in developed areas and reduce the need for new housing and commercial development that would damage Fremet’s ecology. Anika, Rhodenheim is a large city, but it has fallen into the trap sprawling suburbs. We must reinvigorate our centre cities to build larger, more sustainable cityscapes that serve the needs of all members of the community— natural and human.
KS: Ms Oleman, it is your turn to respond.
Why is Anika concerned about rising housing costs if she lives in a co-op? Could it be because of the difficulty in finding a co-op with openings in Fremet’s urban centres? Housing cooperatives reduce the cost of housing, yes, but they also can heavily restrict people’s ability to move from one place to another. It is increasingly difficult to move house in Fremet, and the free market has an answer. By reducing the strain that housing cooperatives place on the real estate market in Fremet, we can garner new economic activity and truly widen the scope of an untapped sector of the Fremetian economy. Allow the market to asses the need of housing and address the issues of availability and movement on our island. We will be all the better for it.
KT: Thank you Ms Olemann. Mr Hartmann, you may begin.
Housing cooperatives are unsustainable as a means of maintaining the supply of housing as our population growth continues to accelerate. We must seek intelligent solutions that combine government efforts, guided by the free market, to achieve a stable and prosperous housing market that will serve all Fremetians. Anika, I hear your concerns. No hard working Fremetian should feel as though they are being forced to move further and further away from their place of work just to make ends meet. We must take action to find a solution to this problem and act accordingly.
KS: Thank you Mr Hartmann. Last in the speaking order for the first question tonight is Mr Corbychov. You may begin when ready.
Comrades, the price of housing is simply TOO DAMN HIGH! We must act before it is too late! We must bolster our defenses against treacherous and money-grubbing landlords and keep the dream of fair and equal housing alive for all Fremetians. Collective ownership organisations, like Fremet’s illustrious and highly successful housing cooperatives are the path to the future. We must bolster these existing systems and increase government subsidies to reduce the costs of new developments and increase availability of housing in urban and rural areas alike, allowing for increased mobility for all Fremetians. Markus may speak of intelligent solutions, but he has proposed nothing. Our government must stand and serve all Fremetians, or It does not deserve to stand at all.
KT: Thank you, Mr Corbychov. We now move to the next question.
KS: Our next question comes from Inquista. Amelia Laurentius from Saint Dominico asks, “Do you believe that Fremet should play a role in establishing international order following the chaos of recent European politics? If so, what role should Fremet play?”
KT: Ms Oleman, you may answer first.
Thank you for your question Amelia, we all appreciate your interest in the future of our nation. For the European Union is to function as a united, cohesive body, it requires the participation of all of its members to ensure the continued success of freedom and democracy in Europe. That being said, we will not fall into the trap of being the world’s policeman. Quite simply: look at the absolute mess that resulted from Inquista’s valiant aid rendered to Reitzmag at the height of the communist uprising. What was the thanks they received? An international incident and threat of war. Protecting order is a thankless job indeed, and Fremet has long-considered it one not worth undertaking. While I support recent actions taken by this government to ensure the stability and lasting security of both Fremetian democracy and the order in Fremet’s sphere of influence. The DU and Angleter both tried international interventionism. Look at them, still trying to clean up the mess. I won’t have our nation dragged down by needless, endless conflict on the other side of the continent. Our efforts should focus on ensuring the lasting safety of Fremetian citizens and assets abroad, taking proactive action in order to prevent prolonged conflict. Thank you.
KS: Thank you Ms Oleman. We now move on to the Prime Minister. Ms Von der Leyen, your answer?
Amelia, I appreciate your question. Fremet has an excellent opportunity here to build lasting relationships with our allies and protect our interests abroad. Through increased cooperation with the European Council and with democracies across Europe, we can build a diplomatic framework that encourages stability and is able to respond swiftly to threats to collective interests. Fremet has a key role to play in the future of this region, and we must not shy away from our responsibility to protect the free peoples of Europe.
KT: Thank you Madam Prime Minister. Ms Grande, you may begin when ready.
These are troubled times for Europe. For decades, Fremet has waited in the shadows, not sure of when to emerge. While I think participation is imperative if Fremet is to remain relevant in the international politick, we must be careful not to plunge ourselves head first into the next TS or DK. We must find the balance between maintaining a healthy distance and participation in critical initiatives in order to ensure the continued safety and stability of the European Union.
KS: Thank you Ms Grande. Ms Solberg, your response?
Amelia, thank you for reaching out to us with this excellent question. For many years, Fremet has considered the problems of the continent just that, problems the continent must solve. We can no longer use our separation as a shield. Our world is more connected than ever before, and a communist revolt on the other side of the continent has ramifications that reverberate thousands of kilometres away. You ask what role we envision Fremet playing in maintaining the international order, if any. If we are to truly become full-fledged members of the international community, we must enact a policy of “Proactive Diplomacy.” What does this mean? We must nurture an ability to predict diplomatic events before they occur, taking necessary steps to protect Fremetian interests before the proverbial excrement hits the air-mover. So that, when something does happen, we have resources positioned to handle any threat to Fremetian sovereignty or interest. It is time for our isolation to end and for us to finally embrace the new world order. We cannot expect to continue to hide behind our garden hedge and continue on as we have for decades. While caution is always necessary, especially regarding Fremet’s delicately balanced insular economy, we cannot allow for isolationism to take root and relegate Fremet to a nation on the sidelines. In this century, we must build our soft power if we are to be a prosperous nation, as we cannot rely on sheer might to secure our interests at home and abroad. With Angleter and the DU having largely retreated from European politics, I believe that Fremet can play a unique role in establishing the international order through building lasting partnerships with continental nations to secure like-minded interests and broaden Fremet’s diplomatic influence across the continent, decreasing our expenditure of limited resources on military and hard assets, allowing for us to focus on building a better, safer, and more prosperous Fremet— and a better Europe.
KT: Thank you Ms Solberg. Ms Bastolm, you may begin.
Amelia, the international order is a corrupt morass, drifting from one self-serving interest to another. If we are to play a role in establishing the new international order, we must prioritise the environmental interests of all Europeans that have been ignored for so long. We must start an international conversation to establish a means to address this growing problem, as it will only continue to compound as many nations fall into the trap of inaction. Fremet’s renewed role in the international politick must be one that strives for a sustainable future, leading by example and making sacrifices for the good of all mankind. If we are successful, we can reinvigorate the environmentalist movement across the Union and lead us to a new sustainable and prosperous future.
KS: Thank you Ms Bastholm. Mr Corbychov, it is your turn.
Fremet has made a grave mistake with its current path. We must support our comrades all over the world, yearning to break the chains of oppression and poverty that have been forced upon them for generations. We must position ourselves to support those peoples who seek to end the exploitation of the masses, and we must ally ourselves with nations who seek a similar goal. The new world order must be one that serves all Europeans, not just one that serves a select nation or class.
Thank you for your question Amelia.
KT: Thank you Mr Corbychov. Mr Hartmann, your time begins now.
Amelia, Fremet has no business getting involved in the affairs of other nations. The Hansen Doctrine, the idea that Fremet must focus its strength inwards if it is to exhibit strength outwards, has served our nation sufficiently over many years, and I believe that we have yet to see sufficient cause to change such a doctrine. Yes, the UNSR is spreading its tendrils throughout Europe, but isn’t that what the old empire did? We survived that Cold War, and we will survive this one. Let us not waste precious economic, political, natural, and human resources concerning ourselves with the conflicts and distresses of peoples thousands of kilometers away. Not only is it not our responsibility, but it goes against the very idea of a non-interference policy. Reitzmag, having invited Inquistan help, soon betrayed their aid and threatened all-out war with their aid. Why should we have to risk life, limb, and resources on peoples that have, until now, been successful in handling their own affairs alone? Who are we to decide who to support? Who to shoot? No— let more experienced nations get bogged down in these powder kegs of deceit and death and allow for us to focus on building a better Fremet. Let Europe focus on building a better Europe.
KS: Thank you Mr Hartmann. Our next question comes from our team here at Staatlich Rundfunk:
“The Staatsrat, in tandem with the Von der Leyen administration, implemented indefinite sanctions against the UNSR. What is your stance on the future of relations between our two islands, and, furthermore, do you support the continued recognition and support of Free Icholasen in exile here in Fremet?”
KT: Mr Corbychov, you may begin.
We have a unique opportunity here to avoid a long and self-destructive rivalry. We must normalise our relations with the UNSR and extradite the murderer Whiteford to the Nicoleizian authorities so that she may face her crimes. Fremet’s continued support of Free Icholasen in exile is not only a threat to national security, but provides cause to the UNSR for continued antagonism against Fremet. This new Icholasen is not the same as that old empire that murdered so many and ruined the lives of so many more. This is a new nation— a nation that has already demonstrated its commitment to democracy. We must not allow old and outdated sentiment and fear to drive our decision making in the present. We have an amazing opportunity to build a new relationship with a growing neighbour, granting us the privilege of establishing a lasting partnership with what truly is our one and only neighbour. No more with the fears and influence of the past! Forward with the cause of the people! Forward with Freedom! Frem til Fremetia!
KS: Thank you Mr Corbychov. Mr Hartmann, it is your turn to speak.
Not only do I support the actions the Von der Leyen administration has taken to ensure the freedom of the Nicoleizian people from this oppressive regime, but I present that more must be done in order to maintain a strong and hard line against this illegal and oppressive regime. We must renew our support of Free Icholasen here at home and abroad, and continue conducting military exercises in the Emerald Sea. The UNSR must remain ever wary that Fremet is prepared to defend itself from any attack. We must not fall into the trap of trusting or legitimising a regime simply because it has stood the tests of time. This is a government that has been actively campaigning for the downfall of Fremet since its very inception. We must actively campaign against further acceptance of the UNSR by the international community and not allow our voice to be silenced. We must recognise our enemy and, at the very least, remain ever vigilant to defend all that we have built, for we cannot allow for our nation to fall into ruin at the hands of Nicoleizian oppressors once again.
KT: Thank you Mr Hartmann. Madam Prime Minister, you may begin when ready.
The position that we have taken in opposition to the government now in power in Icholasen is meant for the long term. Our present measures are proving sufficient in protecting Fremetian interests here at home and on the continent, and any further action may be misconstrued as an act of war or a cause for further antagonism. While I accept that the UNSR is seeping its tendrils all across the Union, this is not unlike the Old Empire’s policy. I am concerned by recent moves by some of Europe’s larger powers to recognise the UNSR and formalise diplomatic relations. We stand the risk of our voice on the European Council being drowned out by calls to recognise the new regime. We must embark on a diplomatic campaign to garner continued support of our struggle which will, in tandem with our existing policies opposing the UNSR, will serve to protect Fremetian interests and maintain much needed stability in this increasingly tense situation.
KS: Thank you Madam Prime Minister. Ms Grande, you may begin.
We must be careful not to trust this unproven regime across channel. It is yet to be proven if they can function as a successful member of the international community, and therefore we must remain ever-vigilant as to their next action. The sanctions and cessation of diplomatic ties have been sufficient thus far, but we must explore opening a dialogue with our shadowy neighbour. History is filled with all too many instances of miscommunication and catastrophes that could have been avoided had lines of communication been established. We must open a line to the UNSR for at least the basic purpose of emergency communication. In modern times with modern weaponry, miscalculations and mixed signals are a recipe for disaster, and I sincerely believe that all of us— on both sides of the straight —agree that such uncertainty is an unnecessary extremely dangerous risk that must be addressed.
KT: Thank you Ms Grande. Ms Solberg, your time begins now.
The future of both Fremet and Icholasen are intertwined in the fabric of Europe. We must establish a dialogue and common ground with the UNSR. While we may continue to house the exiled government of Free Icholasen, we must remain ever-mindful that every single action we take and every word we say will be analysed time and again by this regime. We must remain calculated in every move we make. International geopolitics is a complex and ever-changing game of chess in which we cannot afford to make the wrong move. We will not allow ourselves to be forced into isolation by a regime that turns us into the boogy man of Europe. We must keep the high ground and be, at the very least, willing to speak.
KS: Thank you Ms Solberg. Ms Bastholm, you may begin.
The Nicoleizian threat is not going to go away. They have entrenched themselves across the Emerald Sea. We therefore are forced to open a dialogue, as we cannot keep up this game of silence for eternity. While this is by no measure a core issue of my Party, due to the immense importance this poses to Fremetian society, we have garnered, after much debate, our position that, while we must establish some ties with the UNSR, their rise to power and ambiguous views of democracy make them an untrustworthy and dangerous faction. We must remain vigilant in the defence of our island, and not fall prey to calls of diplomacy that will surely lead to deception and betrayal.
KT: Thank you Ms Bastholm.
KS: We now move to the fourth question for this evening:
“Several EU memberstates have applied for ENAA licences as of late, once again giving rise to the age-old question of a nuclear-armed Fremet. Should Fremet revisit the question of nuclear weapons? Would you and your party support Fremet reapplying for an ENAA licence, in light of recent geopolitical concerns regarding the rise of communism in Icholasen, a nuclear-armed state?”
KT: Ms Solberg, you may begin.
Over four years ago, Fremet submitted an application to the ENAA. After one year of EU membership, the Høyre administration at the time was grasping for a next step in Fremetian foreign policy. It was an election year, and Ms Oleman hoped that an ENAA licence would legitimise both Fremet’s place in the European Union and her position as Statsminister. The application, rejected due to that same lack of direction in foreign and defence policy, would cost Ms Oleman and Høyre dearly in the 2016 General Election. That was then. This is now. While Europe wasn’t exactly a safe place in 2016, we were not facing a massive threat on our own doorstep. In truth, we had little cause to pursue nuclear armament. Times change however, and we no longer find ourselves in a position of relative safety. A rogue state has risen not a stone’s throw away from our shores. We are not nuclear armed. They are. Regardless of the capabilities of our missile defence grids, countless bunkers, and conventional military deterrents, it only takes one. One. With one singular strike, Fremet can be rendered all but defenceless. Even during the Cold War, we allowed Gallorum to station nuclear missiles here in Fremet. Allowing a hostile neighbour a monopoly on nuclear first-strike capability is suicide. It is the hope that this shadowy regime would act rationally, not attacking us without cause. As such, it is the hope that the other armed nations of Europe will make sure of that. But who are we to expect that of them? They have no obligation to Fremet or her people. The DU retreats ever deeper into its own affairs, Angleter was never likely to act in the first place, and Gallorum has all but fallen silent. The time is now for Fremet to take responsibility for its own destiny and take the steps necessary to safeguard its future. Fremet has the fourth largest economy in the European Union. Quite simply, we cannot even run the risk that Fremet may be held hostage, at the point of a nuclear missile. Fremet has been under siege for too long. I, like everyone on this stage, served my time in defence of Fremet. We all know the sacrifices that must be made in defence of our home. When faced with such devastating destructive power, no miscalculation, no wrong move, no mistake must be tolerated. We will open a dialogue, yes. We may even open up our economies to each other, but as long as that threat is there, we cannot trust. We cannot sit idly by and do nothing. For, in doing nothing, we yield. Fremet does not yield.
KS: Thank you Ms Solberg. Mr Corbychov, it is your turn to speak.
Fremet has survived thus far without these horrific weapons of mass murder, and we will continue to flourish without them. Obtaining a production licence from the ENAA will only serve to antagonise an already untrusting and dangerous neighbour, and may even give them cause to act against us. Why should we have to yet again spend precious diplomatic and political capital on a gambit that is likely to be rejected by the ENAA. Yes, things have changed, but nuclear proliferation has to stop somewhere, and that somewhere might as well be here. Let us be the example to the world of how to deal with these massive threats in ways that don’t threaten to destroy all of society around us.
KT: Thank you Mr Corbychov. Mr Hartmann, you may begin when ready.
Fremet has a right to defend itself by any means it deems necessary. And, when faced with assured destruction, the only defence is a good offence. We must safeguard our future in arming ourselves for the task. We cannot stand by as a nation that has openly called for the destruction of our nation to hold such a massive tactical advantage over us. There is no real defence to such an all-encompassing threat. Now, more than ever, Fremet must act to secure its own future, using its own resources and its own means. We cannot rely on the goodwill of other nations to dictate our defensive policy here at home when the stakes are oh so very high.
KS: Thank you Mr Hartmann. Ms Olemann, you may begin.
With this rising threat Fremet must either seek an ENAA licence or a licenced country willing to station nuclear assets here in Fremet to behave as a deterrent. There is no conventional defence against such unconventional weaponry, and we must nurture an ability to respond in kind should that shadowy regime ever threaten to destroy all that we have built.
KT: Thank you Ms Olemann. Madam Prime Minister, you may begin when ready.
Fremet stands at a crossroads. To one side, we see a path that takes us towards a continued and drawn out rivalry, inching ever-closer to that fine line of mutual destruction. To the other, the unknown. As Prime Minister, I elected not to seek an ENAA licence in the wake of the uprising in Icholasen, as such a knee jerk reaction would be overly reactionary and could possibly lead to future conflict. I concur with Ms Solberg. There is no real defence to these weapons of awful power. I will not, however, reverse the long-standing position of this party that Fremet is not in the business of nuclear weapons. Yes, we allowed Gallorum to establish a deterrent here on the island. A deterrent that was dismantled when communism first fell in Icholasen. That was a different time, a different regime. I propose that we call upon the UNSR to dismantle their nuclear arsenal and that both governments of Icholasen surrender their licence to the ENAA. Should they refuse, Fremet will be forced to seek the nuclear option, literally. No longer can we be expected to carry out this impossible task and defend ourselves against this sweeping power without any real means to respond.
KS: Thank you Madam Prime Minister. Ms Bastholm, it is your turn to answer.
Nuclear proliferation is not only a danger to the political stability of the European Union, it is also a grave threat to the continued survival of humanity and the ecological success of our planet. We mustn’t allow the dogs of war to wipe our species to extinction or the environment to a wasteland. The simple cost of life in nuclear war makes these weapons of mass murder an unacceptable option for any nation to undertake. Mutually Assured Destruction: MAD. It is absolute madness that the defence to such devastating weaponry is the assurance that it will be used in kind. Such a doctrine only serves to ensure the destruction of modern society as we know it, should such a conflict break out. The risks are simply too high, the cost of failure too great to undertake such an effort or to even consider requesting even a licence from the ENAA.
KT: Thank you Ms Bastholm. Ms Grande, you may begin.
Fremet has long asked itself this question, and my answer remains the same as it always has been: No to Nukes. We must continue to search for more effective means of defending ourselves against ballistic missiles. By investing our resources in systems that protect Fremet, we can achieve this goal of a defence against such awful weaponry while maintaining our moral high ground and not risking life and limb by undertaking such an effort to obtain nuclear weaponry. Simply put, nuclear weapons are a waste of time and money that can be better spent elsewhere, be it on conventional forces or on scientific research, social programs, and the diplomatic corps.
KS: Thank you Ms Grande. That is all the time we have this evening for questions.
KT: We will return in just a few moments for the candidates’ final closing arguments.
Fade to Black
Transition to a short Commercial Break
As the Claimaint, Paloma Faith, has withdrawn her petition to this court, both parties have requested this case be closed in hope that an external settlement can be reached.
As such, the European Court of Justice, at the request of the Claimant and Respondent, has suspended all further hearings pertaining to Paloma Faith's petition and thereby CLOSES this session of court.
Clerk of Court of the European Court of Justice
On behalf of the Kingdom of Fremet, I vote FOR this amendment to the UDoHR.
Councillor for the Kingdom of Fremet
Thank you Advocate Le Roux. I now call on the representative of the Respondent, The Keil Workers' Council, to deliver their opening statement.
Chief Justice of the ECoJ
THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE has decided to accept the petition of Petitioner Sp Cllr Andries van Hoebeek pertaining to violations of Article 5, Sections IX and X of the Constitution of the European Union by Petitionee The Kiel Workers' Council. The Petitioner (henceforth Appellant) presented that the Petitionee (henceforth Respondent) violated Section IX: Right to Habeas Corpus and Section X: Right to a Fair Trial of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article V of the Constitution of the European Union). As such, should the Court concur with these findings, the Appellant thereby requests that the Respondent follow that which is set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and convene a new trial respecting rights of European Citizens set forth in the Constitution of the European Union. This court, in accordance with the Constitution of the European Union and the European Court of Justice Case Procedures Act 2013, grants the Writ of Certiorari to the Appellant and hereby requests both parties to dutifully present or send representation to appear before this Court.
This case, Andries van Hoebeek v. The Kiel Workers' Council is now OPEN. The Appellant, Andries van Hoebeek, may deliver their opening statement first, followed by that of the Respondent, The Keil Workers' Council.
Before delivering any statement to this court, please provide your name and relation to the respective party for the record.
Sp Cllr Van Hoebeek, you or your advocate (if presenting to this Court at present), may begin.
Chief Justice of the ECoJ
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 act.
Councillor for the Kingdom of Fremet
14 June 2020
Pan camera through studio (no live audience) to show a moderating table positioned facing 7 podiums offset in a semicircle, the Rhodenheimer skyline shining in the night behind them.
Camera cuts to moderators
KS: Good Evening. I’m Karl Schmidt with SR1,
KT: I’m Kate Tronnes with NRK,
TOGETHER: … and this is Decision 2020.
KS: Joining us tonight in the beautiful port city of Rhodenheim are the seven leaders of Fremet’s seven largest political parties.
KT: From left to right, we have Jermias Corbychov, head of the Rødt,
KS: Anita Bastholm, leader of the Grønne,
KT: Erna Solberg, leader of the Sosialistpartiet,
KS: Skei Grande, head of the Venstre,
KT: Ursula von der Leyen, leader of the Liberaldemokraten and current Statsminister,
KS: Nikki Oleman, leader of Høyre,
KT: And Markus Hartmann, leader of the Fortschrittspartei.
KS: Onto the Rules for tonight’s debate…
KT: The speaking order will be randomized, though no candidate will deliver a response first or last more than once and every candidate will be given a chance to speak.
KS: Candidates will begin with a 4 minute opening statement, followed by a series of questions submitted from across Fremet, Europe, and our moderating teams at NRK and SR1. For their question responses, each candidate will be allotted 3 minutes to answer each question and a 1 minute rebuttal period after each question is answered. The rebuttal period for each question will follow the same speaking order as the question itself.
KT: Following the question period, candidates will deliver their 5 minute closing arguments, concluding the debate.
KS: Violations of the debate rules will not be tolerated. Violations will result in time penalties or possible expulsion from the debate per the moderators’ prerogative.
KT: Anita Bastholm, you have been randomly selected to deliver your oral stamen first. Your time starts now…
Good Evening Fremetians everywhere. I know that, for many of you, I am not the person you tuned in to watch. Nevertheless, I ask you to lend me your ear for the next few minutes as I show you what a real reformist party looks like.
We live in troubled times, that much is obvious. Wars, coups, and the threat of a new Cold War seem to loom over us day in and day out. These trifling human concerns pale in comparison to the tragic state of our fragile planet. For us to survive into the next century, change has to be made now. Thus far, all that we’ve seen are a series of token gestured made by the larger political parties of this nation to present the illusion of progress and that some effort is being done. My party has fought for decades to bring about a lasting, sustainable future for all peoples of this earth.
Our fight continues to this day. We must show the world that a new path, a green path, can be forged ahead and bring about true stability and prosperity that isn’t so vulnerable to our collapsing climate and dwindling natural resources.
Our first step to a green future is reforming the Fremetian farming industry. With new applied technologies, Fremet can transition to a post-meat society, removing the huge drain on resources and massive damage to the environment caused by the meat industry. Such changes would revitalize the Fremetian farming sector and allow for Fremet to become agriculturally self-sustainable as a significant portion of our agricultural output today goes to feeding animals used in meat production. By ending this process, we will establish a model for other nations to follow as we move into the future.
Furthermore, the Grønne will continue to push environmentalism abroad, as any effort to save the environment must be a global one if it is to have any hope in succeeding. Together we can capture the narrative and bring about real reform in Fremet and Europe.
Fremet’s natural beauty is the right of every Fremetian, and it must be protected. Thank you.
KS: Thank you Anita. The next candidate to speak tonight will be Nikki Olemann. Mrs Oleman, your time begins now.
My fellow Fremetians, we stand at a crossroads. To one side, we see the overarching tendrils of the Union reaching into every portion of Fremetian life, and on the other, we see abject isolation plunging our isle into the dark. It is time for us to forge a new path. It is time for us to seek a new way to interact with Europe. We must keep to our strengths and not fling ourselves into the arms of a corrupt and self-serving union.
To that end, we must focus our efforts on cautious cooperation with continental nations and not provide them with the opportunity to take advantage of us. They stood by when the Nicoleizians invaded our island and murdered our people. We cannot put ourselves in such a situation of vulnerability again. We must defend our shores from this newfound threat and continue to take a hard line against those who violate the democratic process and seek to snuff out the freedoms that all Europeans have a right to enjoy. We must redouble our efforts for the self-sufficiency of our island, and seek to build close, trusting alliances with other nations, not the Union as a whole.
We will embark on a new effort towards agricultural reform, subsidizing our farmers to make up for the trove of cheap imports brought in from other EU nations. We will seek to establish a national rail company that is not so reliant on government subsidies, with rates that guarantee basic funding for the company and its operations. We will expand Fremet’s military readiness and maintain national service in order to guarantee the defence of Fremet.
We seek common sense policies. I led Fremet into the European Union, and I will not allow for something that I did to compromise Fremet’s stance as a sovereign nation. I will stand for Fremet, or I will not stand at all. I will see this to the end. This party will keep the Fremetian spirit alive. We will make the reforms that are necessary, but we will not go trailblazing into the future, moving too fast for our own sight. When you build a table, what do you build first? Do you construct strong and sturdy legs to support that which you seek to create? Or do you hobble together temporary supports to get to the end goal as quickly as possible? Reform takes time, and our nation must build a strong foundation for the future if it is to remain successful.
KT: Thank you Nikki. Third on our opening speaking order tonight is Erna Solberg. Ms Solberg, your time begins now.
Good evening and thank you for tuning in to this critically important discussion this evening. Our nation has changed a lot in the last five years. Europe has changed as well. The continent has changed so much in the last century, and the union today is not the same one we entered five long years ago.
My colleague is correct. Fremet is at a crossroads. We’ve long tried to toe the ever-narrowing line between isolation and deepened relations with the continent. We can only hold this balance for so long before we begin to hurt ourselves through a lack of focus and drive. It is time that Fremet willingly joins the international community. It is time that we open up to the peoples of Europe.
If the last five years have taught us anything, it is that Fremet is not alone anymore. Our economy has grown to become the fourth largest in the European Union. Our furniture industry has conquered the global market. Fremet’s mark on Europe is just as significant as Europe’s mark on Fremet.
We have forged a path ahead with new partners and greater cooperation that will bring about a new golden age for Fremet. No longer must we shiver in the dark, isolated by the great wall of communism. We have built a great nation from the ashes of horrific occupation, and it is time to continue that march forward to into the future. I’m not proposing that we fling ourselves into the open arms of the Union, but we must not ignore the benefits of membership. We must remain active in the international community, building ties and relationships that aren’t dependent on our connection to Europolis. Doing so will shield Fremet from the whims of the European Council and ensure lasting, stable connections with the powers and peoples of Europe.
You may hear me speak of high ideals, but these are not without policy objectives, I and my party will seek the consolidation of Fremet’s utilities into one centralized government agency, ensuring the fair and equal distribution of the critical resources of modern life— water, electricity, and internet —are available in abundance to every Fremetian. We will pursue extensive transportation investment. We will explore new means to reduce Fremet’s reliance on fossil fuels, including foreign oil, AND reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the process. We will continue investment into Fremetian social welfare programs, keeping our extensive social safety net ready and primed to ensure equal opportunities for all Fremetians. We will also establish a new sovereign wealth fund. Using surplus revenues from the FKEM dividend we can build a strong investment portfolio that will work to keep our social programmes funded into the future. Furthermore, we already have proposed legislation that would ban diesel vehicles in Fremet by 2025 and all internal combustion engines by 2040. These changes, in addition to new funding into research of new energy sources and sweeping agricultural reform, will catapult Fremet into the next decade prepared to meet any challenge our nation may face.
Our accomplishments have been great, but there is still work to be done. I pledge myself to continue the great torch of reform, and I ask all Fremetians to join with me. We are not only a nation of dreamers, for we are a nation of doers as well, willing to make the sacrifices and to enact the changes necessary to fulfill those great dreams we have for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children. I pledge to never settle, to never give up on making the Fremetian dream a reality. Together, we will continue the tireless work of our forebears to build a society that stands the test of time and for all of its members. Together, we can! Thank you.
KS: Thank you Erna. Now, we move on to Jermias Corbychov. Mr Corbychov, your time begins now.
Comrades, with every election, we shape the future of our island. This election is no different. Rising tides of instability and corrupted communism have cast a dark shadow over Europe, and now is not the time to waiver. We must continue the fight for a better Fremet and a better Europe.
For too long have we been avoiding the great question of our time: at what point is capitalism no longer sufficient for a modern society?
Our nation’s slow drive to the left has not been a coincidence. The inevitability of the fall of capitalism is indisputable. Through continued reform and a clear vision of the end goal, we can achieve a post-capitalistic society here on our island.
I will not ignore the mistakes of the past, however. The state must exist first to preserve the rights and freedoms of all Fremetians. That much is certain. We will not allow the horrors of the past to be repeated.
We will continue to support existing nationalization initiatives to ensure the equal distribution of wealth and government services to all Fremetians. In addition to these initiatives, we will introduce new legislation that will call for the increased regulation of Fremet’s larger corporations, ensuring that they do not grow so large as to garner power to manipulate Fremetian society and the Fremetian government.
We will push for continued reach with other like-minded governments and political parties —namely the Party of the European Left— to bring about real change across Europe and create a new, united front for the new left in Europe. Fremet must seek a voice in this circle, if it is to continue to remain relevant in the internationale politick.
The Rødt stands for freedom and equality just as much as any other party on this stage does. We will always support the natural rights of all peoples on this island and uphold our nation’s constitution. To continue to ensure the freedom and equality of Fremetian socity, this party stands to protect it against those who wish to exploit this society and its people.
To achieve this, we must remain vigilant and continue to engage in economic and social reforms that ensure equality in Fremetian society. We mustn’t allow the privileged of Europe to call Fremet a safe haven and influence the national agenda as we’ve seen in the likes of Inquista. For our society to remain truly free, all members of it must have an equal voice with equal representation in government. We must do everything we can to ensure that paramount ideal. Thank you.
KT: Thank you Jermias. It is now time to hear from Markus Hartmann. Mr Hartmann, your time begins now.
Tonight, we all seek to give you, the Fremetian people, a look into our goals for Fremet and its future in the hopes of swaying you to our disposition in the coming elections. I urge all of you to listen carefully to that which is proposed and the promises that are made and hold these politicians accountable. You are the ultimate deciders of our future.
In progress and reform we must not lose what makes Fremet great. Our trust in the European Union is misplaced. What is to say the last five years would not have been much different had Fremet not joined the European Union? What is to say that another five years will continue to bring about further successes? The great powers of Europe have already turned their backs on the Union. Angleter and the DU have been distancing themselves from the Union for quite some time. Why should we seek increased integration if the Union’s strongest members seek separation?
I am deeply concerned for the future of the European Union. Seeking further integration like many of our leading politicians have leaves us vulnerable to forces on the continent that have been sewing discontent and instability for years now. Mrs Solberg and I disagree on many things, but I do echo her sentiment that Fremet must be able to stand on its own and forge relationships that don’t rely on this fickle Union in order to ensure the lasting prosperity of our nation.
We must also remain ever-vigilant to defend our great island. Across the emerald sea, a red giant is forming to oppose the free peoples of Europe, and we must stand together, willing to defend our island and our accomplishments because the cost of failure is too high.
Furthermore, we will pursue reducing government waste and unnecessary expenditures. It is time that the Fremetian government guarantee its ability to pay for proposed programmes before they can be implemented. We may be running a surplus now, but that does not guarantee that we will run a surplus in the future. We must act proactively to ensure the continued economic strength and stability of Fremet.
I will also personally ensure that the Ministry of Defence does not see a drop in its funding. We must continue to invest in the future of Fremet, and the first step in that lofty goal is ensuring that there will still be a future for Fremet. This can only be achieved if Fremet can defend itself from its enemies. There is a grave threat rising to the east, and we must be willing to meet it when the time comes.
Fremet is a land of great opportunity and promise. Let’s not waste such potential on failed ideas and empty promises. Vote for a stronger Fremet, vote for progress, vote for the party that will keep Fremetia marching forward!
KS: Thank you Markus. Up next is Skei Grande. Mrs Grande, your time begins now.
Good Evening Fremet. My name is Skei Grande, leader of the Venstre, Fremet’s oldest political party. Even today, we continue to provide a voice that stands for common sense reform in this beautiful land of ours.
During these troubled times, it is more important than ever that the flow of reform remain constant and the continuity of government is not interrupted. We can accomplish the lofty goals that we set forth for ourselves and our nation through steady, incremental reforms, bringing about larger change in the fullness of time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was Fremet.
To reach this goal, we will continue to support extended funding for Fremet’s social safety net. By ensuring that all Fremetians are on equal footing, we can build a foundation for the continued success of a fair and equal society. Furthermore, we will support efforts to protect Fremet’s environment. We have great natural beauty in this country, and we must continue to protect it from abuse and exploitation.
Our cautious move forward in domestic policy must be mirrored with cautious foreign policy. The European Union provides countless opportunities for continued growth for Fremet, but we must not move too quickly. There is rampant instability in the national politick of many continental nations, and we must be careful not to allow these sentiments to take hold here in Fremet. Our nation strives on consistent governance, and any threat to the stability and progress of Fremetian society is a threat to our very existence. We must strive to shield ourselves from the tumultuous tides of international politics and forge a path forward that catapults Fremet into a bright future and avoids dark clouds and tumultuous seas.
These policies must work in tandem. To pursue cautious foreign policy and maintain a brash domestic policy —or vice versa— is like having a table without chairs. Its use and effectiveness is limited without its complimentary pieces. By applying careful consideration to Fremetian politics, we can continue our goal of fulfilling the great Fremetian dream and deliver the best our society has to offer to all of its members.
KT: Thank you Skei. Last, but not least in our Opening Arguments this evening is our Statsminister, Ursula von der Leyen. Mrs Von der Leyen, your time starts now.
My fellow Fremetians, as Statsminister of Fremet for these last three years, I have worked tirelessly to bring good government and service to all Fremetians. I have, with my party, expanded our reach abroad and increased our involvement in the European Union. Together, as a nation, we have grown into a nation of relevance in the European Union. This is no time to look back on what we could have done differently, but a time to continue on this path that we have wrought for ourselves. This is the time for us to fine tune our efforts and remained focused on making Fremet today the best it can be.
We will continue to bolster railway reform and seek further investment into Fremet’s infrastructure as a whole. As our nation continues to grow, we must continue investments into the services and systems that keep the engine of Fremet running smoothly. Furthermore, my party will seek to implement a new small business grant and tax break to aid in the creation and continued success of small business in Fremet. Our furniture industry is almost entirely made up of small, local producers with fewer than 10 employees. Such a massive industry, driven by so many small pieces. We will continue to protect the FKEM co-op and the larger Fremetian furniture industry.
In closely examining Fremet’s existing programmes and services, we can fine-tune them so that they operate with the upmost efficacy.
Internationally, we will seek increased ties with the European Union. As we continue to build a better society here at home, we must be willing to open it to the wider world. As the never-ending push of globalism comes to our shores, we must be willing to open our minds and our nation to mutual cooperation and growth in the hopes of building a better, brighter, safer future not just for Fremet, but for all of Europe.
We have often been called the party of the “status quo.” While I reject the negative connotation of the term, I do not reject its basic definition. Yes, we are the party of now. It is the position of the Liberal Democrats that our system works, and that any reform to said system must be carefully considered implemented so that the balance we have so carefully toiled over is not disrupted.
We must strive to maintain the systems of now and continue to implement iterative improvements over the years. By doing so, we can ensure a strong, stable, consistent, and responsible government, securing a brighter future for all of Fremet, together.
KS: Thank you Mrs Von der Leyen. We will shortly be moving to the question and answer stage of the debate after a short break for our candidates.
KT: Thank you for tuning in to SR1 and NRK this evening. We’ll be back with your 2020 Debate Live from Rhodenheim in a moment.
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