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head of state

The head of state is the name given to the office which exercises the formal executive power of the government and, on official occasions, represents the whole political community. While British Columbia is nominally monarchical in form, the powers of the Crown as head of state are exercised by the lieutenant governor of the Province.  The head of state in parliamentary systems is an office which is seen to be above politics, in contrast to the head of government who is the prime minister or premier .

Note that the distinctive characteristic of the United States presidential system is that the roles of head of state and head of government are combined in the office of an elected President.  In parliamentary systems , the offices of head of state and head of government are kept separate.
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