Vice Admiral von Friedeck awarded Military Cross

ROSEWOOD – King Adam of Überstadt has awarded his father, Vice Admiral Michael von Friedeck, their country’s highest military honor.

Vice Admiral von Friedeck became the first person awarded the Military Cross for his actions during the August storm in which he saved the entire Überstadti fleet with the king aboard.

Adam presented the medal, certificate, and citation to von Friedeck in the Royal Residency during New Year’s Eve celebrations. He read the following excerpts from the citation:

The King of Überstadt takes pride in presenting the Military Cross to Vice Admiral Michael von Friedeck, His Majesty’s Navy, for exceptional gallantry demonstrated as the pilot of His Majesty’s Naval Ship Bert George, which ran into a gale in the Haro Strait on 29 August 2015 with the King aboard. At great personal risk to himself, Vice Admiral Oberstadt guaranteed the safety of the King and of the entire fleet. His valor is worthy of the highest recognition.

Vice Admiral von Friedeck performed these heroic deeds despite multiple opportunities to intentionally ground and abandon the fleet for the security of shore, or to cut the tow line of HMNS Bergstrom rather than save the vessel. Instead, he returned the fleet to port while protecting the King, risking his life and sustaining multiple injuries in his battle against the forces of nature.

The king said to those present that when the award was created in 2013, he had not anticipated bestowing it in the foreseeable future. “We don’t go to war,” he said of his nation, explaining why he did not realistically expect to grant an award for military valor.

military cross
The Military Cross, Überstadt’s award for “gallantry and heroism beyond expectation”

State Opening of Parliament: Constitutional change, prep for king’s move, realist politics

ROSEWOOD – The State Opening of the Eight Parliament of Überstadt occurred Saturday evening, with King Adam delivering his Speech from the Throne summarizing his government’s aims moving into the new year. Major changes were then made to the kingdom’s constitution and cabinet.

Adam summarized his agenda by saying that Überstadtis “must continue to build up [their] Kingdom in a way that increases its independence, strengthens its identity, and makes it a rewarding pursuit for all citizens.”

Specific goals addressed in the speech included renewing the international cultural exchange program, reforming the largest welfare program to increase benefits, increasing government observance of national holidays, and working to eradicate invasive plants within the kingdom. These goals were comparatively restrained to some of the more ambitious ones that had appeared in previous throne speeches.

“This signifies an increased sense of realism in what our government is capable of in practice,” the king told the Chronicle. “Working toward more attainable goals will help us actually progress instead of getting stuck trying to fulfill extravagant promises.”

A major theme of the event was preparation for Adam’s January move out of Überstadt to attend university in the United States. In his speech, the king indicated that his brother Prince Aaron would have much more responsibility over daily administration, but also emphasized the roles he would play remotely, such as managing foreign relations and experimenting with container gardening.

Part of these preparations included a complete reshuffle of the national cabinet, the first such rearrangement since the first Überstadti PM’s original group of ministers. Prince Aaron became Secretary of the Treasury, a role previously held by the king. Adam’s parents, both Überstadti judges, accepted posts formerly held by their sons: Sir Michael von Friedeck, the High Chancellor, became the economy minister, and Kara, Baroness Rosewood, became the new culture minister. Adam was confirmed the new Minister for the Environment.

Three bills were passed during the first meeting of the new parliamentary session. One reversed an older law on noble titles for the rulers of the nearby quasi-micronational entity called the Band Room Realms, and another eliminated the requirement for naturalized citizens to swear an oath of allegiance.

The third and final bill passed was the Constitution Act, which annuls Überstadt’s previous constitution and replaces it with a system of uncodified constitutional law. It was approved unanimously by all citizens, including the High Chancellor, who ordinarily is not allowed to participate in legislation. This new basic law is designed to allow organic evolution of politics over the course of many years.

Überstadt adopts uncodified constitution

ROSEWOOD – On Saturday evening, the people of Überstadt unanimously approved a move to an uncodified constitutional system. This reform was the centerpiece of the policies described in the Speech from the Throne at the opening of the kingdom’s eighth parliament. It was unanimously approved.

Citing the organic aspects of Überstadti politics and the problems inherent in changing comprehensive written constitutions, King Adam proposed the Constitution Act to provide basic law moving into this new system. The change was found legal by the High Chancery, which had in years past interpreted the adoption of a new constitution as technical amendment of the existing one.

The act was the first in national history to rely on absentee votes for passage. Überstadt’s two non-residential citizens, comprising 40% of the voting population, submitted their affirmative votes the night before Parliament met.

Following the bill’s passage, Adam predicted that the new system would last decades, eliminating the constitutional instability of the first few years of Überstadt’s existence. Most of the act’s provisions are very general, allowing for future evolution to meet the nation’s changing needs. The document is meant to provide a balance of power between the monarch and Parliament and clarifies the relationship between the two institutions.

The new constitution is partially based on that of Canada, where entrenched laws consist of the Constitution Acts, legislation that is explicitly constitutional or deals with certain aspects of government, and customary principles that are routinely treated as binding. The named sources of binding Überstadti constitutional law are the new act, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, principles universally accepted by citizens, and laws on certain issues.