How does a minister become a minister?

Total number of votes: 18

27.8% Ministers by appointment

72.2% Ministers by election

Jan 23, 17 / Aqu 23, 01 05:51 UTC

Ministers: Appointed or Elected (or Committees)?  

This is a discussion meant for how the basic structure of the government of Asgardia will be organized. Our founder Dr. Ashurbeyli has proposed at minimum some form of democracy and a variety of ministries with specified areas of functional responsibility. This strikes me as reasonable and this seems to be the consensus of the Asgardians on the forum as well. How these ministries will work is less clear.

I propose we decide on a simple question to give a direction to these discussions. How does a minister become a minister?

1) Ministers are appointed by another authority.

2) Ministers are elected.

The first option leaves the possibility for a strong executive government, a strong legislature government, or a balance between both. This is the most common structure of terrestrial national governments.

The second option leaves the possibility for more direct democracy by allowing voting on specific policy areas and combined with a referendum system does not necessarily need a legislative body. This is a common structure of terrestrial municipal governments.

Neither options rules out having ministries led by committees which could potentially include both elected and appointed positions.

Jan 23, 17 / Aqu 23, 01 12:27 UTC

Would it be possible to vote or appoint ministers based on their qualifications for a position. Might it be more productive to nominate ministers based on qualifications, ( academic, performance in their fields) and then vote on thies qualified candidates? It would be nice to be insulated from "knee jerk" decisions, maybe buffer our choices so "politics " never conflicts with science.

Jan 24, 17 / Aqu 24, 01 06:32 UTC

Would it be possible to vote or appoint ministers based on their qualifications for a position.

I don't see why either choice would necessarily exclude candidate qualifications. On a space station, it would be odd if the Minister of Science was not some kind of scientist, engineer, or academic, for example.

  Last edited by:  Michael Hoselton (Asgardian)  on Jan 24, 17 / Aqu 24, 01 06:32 UTC, Total number of edits: 2 times

Jan 24, 17 / Aqu 24, 01 20:28 UTC

here are my thoughts, as far as i can for them:


  • less need to be informed about all the candidates

  • who is gonna point them? there may be problems and benefits depending on how this is done


  • I can vote for the positions that matter to me and ignore the rest

  • all botest should be well informed about all candidates they can vote for (me be hard to do)

PS who made it so a '-' at the begging of a line will disappear? I'd like my text displayed like I type it down, without further formatting.

  Last edited by:  Jonathan Stephan (Asgardian)  on Jan 24, 17 / Aqu 24, 01 21:05 UTC, Total number of edits: 3 times
Reason: change in format

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 13:40 UTC

I'd prefer for them to be elected as well as have a system in place to test how well they perform their duties in a mock environment. In order to see how well they perform their duties. They would also receive training should they need it to perform their job. The training would be dependent on how well they performed during the mock event.

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 14:45 UTC

elected is a political exercise , appointed is meritocracy system assuming the power to appoint lies with a transparent vetting process in the hands of non partisan appointed with committee oversight may be an option.

It is notable that Ministers traditionally have limited terms but are ultimately responsible for the performance of their department whilst in office. This is not efficient in continuty.and progress of projects and goals as every few years you have to re educate the new Minister on status of everything.. When assuming the position for the first time they are heavily reliant on the Permanent secretary and the civil service structure...for Asgardia that is Lead Admin and Admin for now but should we expand a Civil service in some format may be required so before i lose the link on issues surrounding this here it is

It is often the case that there is conflict between the Minister and his Permanent Secretary who considers the Minister is on temporary vacation in HIS department , his territory before the Minister moves up the ladder to higher office . Permanent secretarys are often in a "job for life" and they protect their own including cover ups, nepotism and corruption within the ranks as they do all the work and are left to clean up the mess that Ministers often create. The civil service are the hands on workers tasked to produce..Ministers are figureheads and policy makers and the basis of their policy is created by the reports activities and input of the civil servants. Will Asgardia require a Minister to do both policy and management without a Permanent Secretary.(who is effectively the boss)? Asgardia must consder structures with checks and balances to avoid /minimise disruption from Ministerial changes in the course of Governance whilst not allowing kingdom building by civil service lifetime appointees. eg head of research in IT may consider IT his domain and resist change proposed/enacted by Ministers. Ideally this is not the case but people are people.

  Last edited by:  Gary Baltao (Asgardian)  on Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 15:00 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 15:13 UTC

For me, there's a third option to this matter. Selected at random.

Now let me explain it. Interested people would have to pass a test to verify their aptitude to the job. That test would consist of two stages: a general and specific knowledge exam, and for those who pass the first stage there would have an interview with members of some Committee that would qualify them as reliable and apt to be Minister of applied Ministry. People who passed the exam and the interview in the last three years would form the eligible group.

From the eligible group, one would be chosen at random, and as they make a good job they keep the position. Once they fail in their work, people would vote to get them out (and another one would be chosen at random)

I think choosing at random is good because when you vote for someone you are giving them your trust. They would directly represent you. When they are chosen at random, you have the right to distrust them, and the right to get them out of the job if they don't represent what they are expected to.

TL;DR: Make an exam to choose qualified people and choose at random from those. If they don't make a good job we vote to get them out and choose another at random.

Jan 27, 17 / Aqu 27, 01 10:59 UTC

I think that they should be appointed by a committee with limited amount of time a person can sit as a Minster. The committee should be made up by people who are in the respective field. I also think the Minster should have certain requirements before they can be considered.

Jan 27, 17 / Aqu 27, 01 19:04 UTC

Qwerty said: Several good points

I say this as someone strongly in favor of technocratic governments. Modern governments are defined by their formality and their tasks/duties, which means that an effective government is a professional, bureaucratic government. It is very important that the employees of the government are skilled at their jobs and can do them without much political interference in day to day operations.

However, democracy is paramount to maintain legitimacy, the confidence citizens have in the government, without resorting to Sovietesque police states to compel popular support. I think the happy median is heads of government offices who are elected for policy reasons overseeing professional bureaucrats. This allows citizens to dictate what kind of government policies they think they deserve through a democratic process that all citizens can accept, while maintaining the advantages of a professional government. This does come at the cost of Ministers who are dependent on unelected employees, but by achieving equal ability to project power, a balance is reached between the citizens who want various policies and a branch of the government that is legally required to perform certain tasks, with the elected representative serving as the conduit between the political and pragmatic needs of the nation and as a person who will take the blame and gets voted out if the policies prove bad in practice. The limited political power of the government employees also enables anti-corruption initiatives by Ministers as it becomes necessary through the power invested in them by the democratic process.

The main thing that makes me more inclined to elected ministers over appointed ones is the likely size of Asgardia. The population will likely be small enough that regular small elections and referendums would be feasible, whereas a legislature would either be very small, much like a ruling council, or have very small constituencies, which are vulnerable to coercion by incumbents. I don't really have a strong opinion on a weak executive versus a strong executive, but a strong executive needs some kind of counter balance to limit potential for abuse.