If we could elect Ministers directly and replace them at will, wouldn't it solve the problem of controversial Ministers' decisions provoking strikes? It can be applied to pretty much every country, especialy France.

  • It's actually even less relevant in France than in many places where coalitions are the rule. In France, strike-worthy decisions are approved by the president (if not in their details then at least in broader terms) and s/he can (in practice) get rid of any minister at any time. And the president is already elected directly by the people so maybe the key question here is “Would a popular recall procedure for the procedure help avoid conflictual decisions?” – Relaxed May 3 '17 at 15:57

Not necessarily, because a (big) minority could be disappointed by some minister's decision, although the majority still supports him.

In general, there is a tradeoff between how representative and responsive any political body (in that case, the government) is and how good it works. If any member of the government could be voted out of office at any time, how do you get the system running? Long-term planning, bargaining and concessions, especially in multi-party governments, would be made harder.

Anyways, in most political systems, ministers are member of parliaments and could be voted out of office that way. Also, ministers quite often resign when there is huge public criticism of their behavior.

  • For an illustration of how this works (or doesn't work) look at Israeli political life. – user4012 Feb 21 '14 at 16:41
  • "If any member of the government could be voted out of office at any time, how do you get the system running?" - this was the case of the USSR, and possibly multiple other countries (possibly modern China as well). – Anixx Feb 23 '14 at 21:27
  • Though in the USSR or China, minister were/are not voted out of office by the people, right? In the USSR, it was rather the case that government officials could rapidly lose the "trust" of higher politicians and would therefore be removed. – Julian Schuessler Feb 24 '14 at 12:13

Ministers and ministries are not independent mini-governments. They are appointed by the governing party or coalition to implement its programme (as made into law by the parliament) and can usually be forced to resign by either the parliament or governing coalition if they deviate too much.

Ministries are also interdependent parts that can't function own their own, or have no purpose on their own (Finance Ministries). You would need to give all of them the power to set budgets and raise taxes to make them independent.

If ministers were elected directly with their own mandates, the country would become ungovernable. A simple (and likely!) example would be a Health minister being elected on a promise of free health care for all alongside a Finance minister elected on a promise of eliminating taxes. Conflicting priorities would cause an unending gridlock where none of the ministers is willing to compromise on their promises.

As a note: I expect that the "controversial" decisions that cause strikes are actually made by the government as a whole, the ministers are just the public face on them.

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