The people and institutions with authority to govern the people within a territory – primarily by defending the boundaries of that territory, by making and enforcing laws, and by judging disputes. The degree to which a government serves its people or demands to be served by its people, and the institutions it relies upon to serve or coerce, are often referred to a “system of government” or a “government regime.”

In many parliamentary systems, the word “government” applies only to the politicians a parliament has selected to run the institutions of governance. Thus the phrase “form a government” refers only to putting together a group of politicians acceptable to parliament.

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