HOME
TheInfoList



A minister is a politician who heads a ministry, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with the other ministers. In some jurisdictions the
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet (gover ...
is also a minister and is designated the ‘ prime minister’, ‘premier’, ‘chief minister’, ‘chancellor’ or other title. In Commonwealth realm jurisdictions which use the Westminster system of government, ministers are usually required to be members of one of the houses of
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislature, legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, an ...
or
legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday l ...
, and are usually from the political party that controls a majority in the lower house of the legislature. In other jurisdictions — such as
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the s ...
,
Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; ...
,
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the largest of four Kingdom of the Netherlands#Constituent countries, cons ...

Netherlands
,
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republik ...
, Slovenia,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It borders Niger in Niger–Nigeria border, the north, Chad in Chad–Nigeria border, the northeast, Cameroon in Cameroon–Nigeria border, the east, and Ben ...
— the holder of a cabinet-level post or other government official is not permitted to be a member of the legislature. Depending on the administrative arrangements in each jurisdiction, ministers are usually heads of a government department and members of the government's ministry, cabinet and perhaps of a committee of cabinet. Some ministers may be more senior than others, and some may hold the title ’ assistant minister’ or ‘ deputy minister’. Some jurisdictions, with a large number of ministers, may designate ministers to be either in the inner or outer ministry or cabinet. In some jurisdictions — such as
Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the China, People's Repu ...
,
Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; ...
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republik ...
, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
, and the United States — holders of an equivalent cabinet-level post are called Secretary (title), secretaries (e.g., the Home Secretary in the United Kingdom, United States Secretary of State, Secretary of State in the United States). Some holders of a cabinet-level post may have another title, such as ’Attorney-General’ or ’Postmaster-General’.


Etymology

The term ’minister’ also is used in diplomacy, for a diplomat of the Diplomatic rank, second class, such as in the title Minister Plenipotentiary, ranking between an Ambassador and a Minister Resident. The term minister comes from Middle English, deriving from the Old French word ''ministre'', originally ''minister'' in Latin, meaning "servant, attendant", which itself was derived from the word 'minus' meaning "less". In jurisdictions that use the Westminster system of government — such as the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
and Australia — ministers or their equivalents are selected from the legislature, and usually from the political party that controls a majority in the lower house of the legislature. In jurisdictions with strict separation of powers, ministers cannot be members of the legislature — such as
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the s ...
,
Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; ...
,
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the largest of four Kingdom of the Netherlands#Constituent countries, cons ...

Netherlands
,
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republik ...
, United States — and a legislator chosen to become a minister must resign from the legislature. Normally the leader of the majority party becomes the prime minister, or an office of equivalent function, and selects the other ministers. In the Westminster system, these ministers continue to represent their constituency in parliament while being part of the government. Often, a person from the outside may be appointed minister, usually in order to bring special skills to the government. Such a person would not have to be part of the parliament while serving as minister, nor would he/she necessarily be a member of the party/parties in government. In the United Kingdom, a government minister does not have to be a member of either House of Parliament. In practice, however, convention is that ministers must be members of either the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons or House of Lords in order to be accountable to Parliament. From time to time, Prime Ministers appoint non-parliamentarians as ministers. In recent years such ministers have been appointed to the House of Lords.


Types of ministers and name

Various countries form ministries as Cabinet (government), Cabinets (see List of cabinets). Other cabinets are usually included in List of politics by country articles, ''Politics of ..''-articles * Lists of incumbents groups lists of ministers by country Specific ministers include: * Agriculture minister * Commerce minister * Ministry of Communications, Communications minister * Culture minister * Defence minister *Electricity minister * Home minister * Deputy prime minister * Education minister * Energy minister * Environment minister * Finance minister * Foreign minister *Housing minister * Health minister * Industry minister * Interior minister * Justice minister * Labour minister *Mental health minister * Prime minister * List of public works ministries, Public works minister * Ministry of Science, Science minister * Sports minister * Tourism minister * Transport minister Some ministers may hold multiple portfolios and lead several ministries simultaneously, while multiple ministers with separate portfolios may oversee a single ministry, or may also share both ministerial and deputy-ministerial portfolios in different ministries. A cabinet minister can sometimes be in charge of no ministry at all, and is then known as a "minister without portfolio".


See also

* Minister of the Crown * Ministry (government department) * Ministry (collective executive)


Notes


References

{{Authority control Government ministers, Government occupations