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I am leading an initiative in my micronation-state (for information on micronations in general, see Wikipedia), the Republic of Glastieve (see Micronations Wiki and again), which recently launched the Second Phase Initiative (see YouTube).

Until now, the Cabinet has been composed of seven ministers who lead departments or ministries; however, from this afternoon, the ministries will be abolished and the current ministers will remain members of the Cabinet, but without specific individual portfolios.

In the process of seeking feedback from other ministers, two people have raised concerns that the term Member of Cabinet is unsatisfactory as an individual title and that it lacks the dignity or prestige associated with the title "minister." At the very worst, one of them said, this could actually make the Glastieven Government feel less like a real government and damage the Maiestas Project (maiestas meaning majesty, dignity, prestige, etc; not meaning treason).

I was wondering what term we could use instead. We could just keep on using minister, although if a word exists that we're missing it would be nice to use that instead. Thanks for reading!

  • "There is no distinct Glastieven ethnic group, and the entire citizenry of Glastieve also hold citizenship in the United Kingdom. Every year, the Ministry for Public Works, Demographics and Cartography conducts a population census". If there is a 'Ministry' then - I assume - the title of the person responsible will still have to be 'Minister' despite the lack of a Cabinet. Even if the entire population of Glastieve were to be only a single individual then they could still be 'The Minister'. – Nigel J Mar 18 '18 at 11:09
  • Just a thought. You say 'my (micro-nation) state'. Does that mean it is not a democracy ? – Nigel J Mar 18 '18 at 11:12
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    1. Outdated wiki article. 2. No, just the way I use English. I would have also called the UK "my country" or the people to which I am related "my family" with no connotations of ownership. – Will Campbell Mar 18 '18 at 11:21
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    Would Minister do? – Lawrence Mar 18 '18 at 11:22
  • Paddy Bates called himself 'Prince' of Sealand an old fort in the middle of the English Channel, but his empire was called a 'Principality' so I guess 'Prince' was (sort of) suitable. – Nigel J Mar 18 '18 at 18:03
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You can still use minister. Your ministers would simply each be a minister without portfolio:

A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister who does not head a particular ministry. The sinecure is particularly common in countries ruled by coalition governments and a cabinet with decision-making authority wherein a minister without portfolio, while he or she may not head any particular office or ministry, still receives a ministerial salary and has the right to cast a vote in cabinet decisions.

This is a relatively common term used to describe ministerial positions with no specific brief.

  • According to Kenneth Clarke, the term sometimes was not well understood outside the UK. Have a read at his memoir : books.google.co.uk/… – k1eran Mar 27 '18 at 23:43
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How about official?

a person holding public office or having official duties, especially as a representative of an organization or government department.

Or officer?

a holder of a public, civil, or ecclesiastical office.

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Have you considered deputy?

"A representative in a legislative body in certain countries."1

This term is used in France (according to TFD):

"a member of the legislative assembly or of the lower chamber of the legislature in various countries, such as France"1

The exact role you would give a deputy (in your context) is up to you. I think it might be good because it does not have the connotation of a member of the cabinet (no specific portfolio) or that of a minister (special portfolio).

You could also say deputy member of cabinet and abbreviate to DMC or deputy MC. The exact definition / role in your context is up to you (and the others who play a role in the context).

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How about Secretary of State?

In the UK, the title Minister has been progressively downgraded over the past 70 years or so. At one time almost all the major departments were run by Ministers (eg the Minister of Health, the Minister of Agriculture), but over time the allure of the title Secretary of State has grown so that almost all government departments are in the charge of a Secretary of State under whom various more junior politicians have the title of Minister.

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    A UK SoS is an official who is in charge of a department; that is the opposite of what OP is asking. – Mark Beadles Mar 18 '18 at 14:40
  • That is not the point I was making. A Secretary of State does not have to be in charge of a department and it is an even grander title than Minster. – JeremyC Mar 18 '18 at 15:15
  • According to this page the population of this micro nation is 17 (just 17, not anything after that). I do not mean to undermine the UK's point on devaluing the importance of a minister, but perhaps a country of 17 having multiple ministers or SoSs is kind of stretching it ^^. I always thought it was weird when student associations called their leaders presidents, or had a senate with senators, but I must admit, all of them had more members than this nation has residents.. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Mar 18 '18 at 17:31
  • @JJJ I was beginning to think that the population was less than 2, myself. – Nigel J Mar 18 '18 at 18:02
  • @NigelJ "Head of state: None, but Executive powers exercised by the 8-member Cabinet. " So their cabinet is almost larger than their general population. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Mar 18 '18 at 18:10

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