QUESTION: I am Prince/PM and I have some slack/dormant Ministers. Why can't I give out aideships, even with emergency decree powers?
ANSWER: Dictatorship and totalitarian clique government are fatal to a city's future growth and health and proper representation of its citizens. But Avalon doesn't disallow dictatorships. Autocrats are free to climb to the top then try to kick away the ladder. The shouldn't be done by accident of "do-it-all-myself" mentality or "cannot trust them, best I handle these responsibilities" O..C..D. micromanaging. These are common traits in a Prince/ss and usually not because the player wants all power at others' expense but - blinded by city needs and how laboursome it is teaching new ministers or how tough it is confronting lazy ones, Prince/ss decides 'do it without them'. It is a recipe for burn-out. They wrongly conclude that what's important is the tasks get done and it doesn't matter who does them.
The 'do everything myself' mentality often has its roots in wanting to do the best for the junior/middling citizens and herein lies the "no aideship" rationale. Prince/ss wants to nurture the young. Aideship is a natural step on the ladder. Prince/ss is in touch with personality of his/her juniors. Wanting to give out aideship or remove lousy aides is natural. Disallowing it forces the spotlight on the Minister and Deputy and encourages Prince to shit or get off the pot re. deciding how to remove the obstacle in the way of turning promising juniors into involved middling into future ministers themselves. Prince/ss and PM can appoint a deputy to the ministry with all powers of the Minister. This encourages serious thought on the candidate and how far to go addressing the failings of the ministry..
Should the Minister be replaced? If yes, bestow the new Minister and he/she can handle aideships. Is the Minister preferred in position? Then put in a deputy, choosing the best of the junior/middlings. If the choice is good it will naturally evolve your next Minister. If the choice is bad, replacement is easy. In both cases the appointment becomes a big deal, a significant trust and makes the hard-working junior/mid feel the implicit praise and know burdens of responsibility that'll be invaluable in later days.
What all the above also means is there are barriers to marching unknown into dictatorship. At the very least the Prince/ss and PM must bring in one active significant city-mate to head up or deputy each ministry. The government cannot be just a tiny clique unless happy to become moribund. State, Trade, Relations, Justice Ministries; Ambassador for Foreign Affairs; Field Marshall; Chancellor - seven positions, seven deputies. Proper function of government needs the seven plus Prince/ss and/or PM. Barons make up another layer. The sum of these parts while it isn't a guarantee against autocracy or clique-exclusionism or stagnation, is at least an ever-present coersion to involve others, to reward by inclusion those deserving, etc. Each of the seven is responsible to the Crown but runs his/her ministry or military without constant direct interference short of new minister or new deputy. The dynamic is sometimes inconvenient. It is almost always beneficial.