Ministry (collective executive)
In constitutional usage in Commonwealth realms, a ministry (usually preceded by the definite article, i.e., the ministry) is a collective body of government ministers led by a head of government, such as a prime minister. It is described by Oxford Dictionaries as "a period of government under one prime minister". Although the term "cabinet" can in some circumstances be a synonym, a ministry can be a broader concept which might include office-holders who do not participate in cabinet meetings. Other titles can include "administration" (in the United States) or "government" (in common usage among most parliamentary systems) to describe similar collectives.
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The term is primarily used to describe the successive governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which share a common political heritage. In the United Kingdom and Australia a new ministry begins after each election, regardless of whether the prime minister is re-elected, and whether there may have been a minor rearrangement of the ministry. For example, after winning the 1979 general election, Margaret Thatcher (as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) formed the first Thatcher ministry. After being re-elected at the 1983 general election, she formed the second Thatcher ministry, and so on. In Canada and New Zealand, a new ministry is formed only when there is a change of prime minister.