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The institutions of government have traditionally been classified under three heads:  the legislature which makes laws; the judiciary which interprets laws and applies them to particular cases; and the executive which administers laws made by the legislature.  The biggest of these components is the executive because it includes most of the activities we associate with government—all government departments and public servants as well as the premier , the cabinet and ministers are part of the executive.

 It can be helpful to subdivide the executive into three components:  the formal executive, the head of state which, in British Columbia is the lieutenant governor acting in the name of the Crown ; the political executive which is the premier, ministers and the cabinet acting as the key decision makers for steering government; and the public service and government agencies which administer the laws of the Province.
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