Quality of Laws Institute

 

  

                 DEDICATED TO EXCELLENCE 

                IN GOVERNANCE AND THE

            ASCENDANCY OF DEMOCRACY 

 

                            

 

   “Our government sprang from and was made for the people – not the people for the government. To them it owes an allegiance; from them it must derive its courage, strength and wisdom.”

Andrew Johnson

 

 

Glossary of Terms

 

See reference text 

 

aristocracy An authoritarian form of government in which the sovereign consists of a group of “aristocrats” whose claim to the position of sovereign is based upon wealth, birthright, military rank or other arbitrary factor.
authoritarian government The category of government characterized by two unequal political classes: (1) the superior, or “elite,” ruling class that constitutes the sovereign of the government and (2) the ruled or subject class. There are three forms of authoritarian government: aristocracy, ideocracy, and theocracy.
bill A draft of a proposed new law of government presented for approval to a legislative body.
citizen An individual who is recognized by a government as a political member of that government. In a democracy, the highest unit of political power is citizenship, and each citizen is equal to every other citizen in terms of his or her possession of political and other human rights.
control system The means by which a variable output is made to conform to a prescribed input. There are two types of control system: feedback and feed-forward.
creative science (engineering) The scientific disciplines that combine knowledge, tools and the problem-solving method to solve problems through the creation and optimization of useful products and processes, i.e., tools, or technology.
democracy The category of government in which the citizenry (the politically equal citizens; the people as a whole) constitutes the sovereign. The sovereign controls the operations of government directly (rare) or through elected representatives
dialectic Logical argumentation; the investigation and evaluation of opinions and ideas through dialogue and debate
electoral democracy A government that meets the first requirement of democracy. See also requirements of democracy
empirical Relating to the use of observation or experimentation rather than speculation.
engineering See creative science
engineering discipline of laws The creative scientific enterprise that is concerned with the efficacious solution of societal problems through the creation and optimization of the laws of government
fact Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed.
feedback control system A type of control system in which the system’s output directs the system’s operations
feed-forward control system A simple type of control system in which the input to the system directs the system’s operations. A feed-forward control system does not measure or respond to its output.
government The institution that exercises authority over a society of people. Every government is controlled by and serves the interests of its sovereign. Governments are either authoritarian or democratic.
human rights The freedoms of action and freedoms from harm that are inherently equal in every individual. Human rights are bounded by two conditions: (1) They are inalienable and (2) the exercise of human rights by one individual cannot interfere with the human rights of any other individual. Human rights include substantive, property, political and legal rights
hypothesis An unproven speculation that is tentatively accepted to explain certain observations. Hypotheses are formulated so that their validity can be established by empirical means.
ideal law of government A law that has five characteristics: (1) It is simply stated and has a clear meaning; (2) It is completely successful in achieving its problem-solving objective; (3) It interacts synergistically with other laws; (4) It produces no detrimental side effects; and (5) It optimally serves the purpose of democracy
ideocracy An authoritarian form of government in which the leaders of a secular belief system, or political ideology, constitute the sovereign.
intellect An individual’s ability to learn and reason
investigative science The scientific disciplines that employ knowledge, tools and the scientific process to derive, record, organize and promulgate scientific knowledge.
investigative science of laws The scientific discipline that derives, records, organizes and promulgates scientific knowledge of the structure and mechanics of the laws of government
knowledge The sum of the recorded facts that have been accumulated by humankind over the course of time.
law of government An order of government prescribed and enforced under the authority of that government.
letter of the law The entire written content of a law; the fixed arrangement of its words and punctuation.
liberal democracy

A government that satisfies the first and second requirements of democracy. See also requirements of democracy.

living standards The measured level of the economic status of the people within the jurisdiction of a government
mechanics The relationship between cause and effect; the linkage between the input and the output of a given process or device
model A systemized description, often in the form of a mathematical representation, of a natural or human-created or human-envisioned structure, process or system
monarchy An authoritarian form of government in which a “royal” family constitutes the sovereign
opinion A belief or conclusion that has not been verified by empirical means
performance envelope for laws The internal and external boundaries of a law’s range of operations, such as its allowable limits of costs and side effects
political ideology A secular belief system that defines the uses of government authority; the dogma of a political party
problem-solving method The systematic process by which problems are solved
purpose of democracy The purpose of democracy is to achieve the objectives that serve the best interests of the people and reflect their highest aspirations. The parameters that define the best interests of the people are human rights, living standards, and quality of life standards. To accomplish its purpose, a democratic government is limited to the accomplishment of the honorable objectives of the people by honorable means. A government must meet the three requirements of democracy to satisfy the purpose of democracy. See also requirements of democracy
purpose of government To accomplish the objectives set forth by the sovereign of government
quality The degree of excellence a given entity possesses
quality assurance (QA) standards The criteria that are used to determine the efficacy (effectiveness, cost-efficiency, safety, etc.) of products and processes. QA standards are used to identify and eliminate flaws of design and operations
quality design (QD) standards The criteria that guide the creation of new products or processes. QD standards emphasize excellence of design methodologies and outcomes
quality improvement (QI) standards The quality design standards that apply to design improvements of existing products and processes
quality-of-life standards The measured level of the physical and cultural environment of the people within the jurisdiction of a government
requirements of democracy The three criteria that governments must meet to satisfy the purpose of democracy: (1) Recognize the citizenry (the people as a whole) as the sovereign of government, (2) Secure the full complement of human rights of the people and (3) Efficaciously solve or mitigate societal problems for the benefit of the people as a whole
rhetoric The art of effective expression and the persuasive use of language
rule of engineering Each new generation of engineering product is characterized by improvement over the preceding generation
rule of law Defined and consistent rule; limited government; the concept of governmental authority which holds that the body of written, duly enacted and codified laws of government are superior to any other directive of government. The rule of law defines the limits of the scope of government
rule of man Arbitrary rule; tyranny; unlimited government; the concept of governmental authority which holds that the temporal orders of the leaders of government are superior to any other directive of government. In contrast with the constraints under the rule of law, the scope of government is unlimited under the rule of man, wherein the written laws of government may be arbitrarily enforced, overruled or ignored by the leaders of government
science The systematic and principled intellectual enterprise that employs knowledge, tools and peer-reviewed empirical processes to (1) derive, record, organize and promulgate scientific knowledge (investigative science); and (2) solve problems efficaciously through the creation and optimization of useful products and processes (creative science, or engineering). The term science is also used as a synonym for investigative science
science of laws The systematic and principled intellectual enterprise that employs knowledge, tools and peer-reviewed empirical processes to (1) derive, record, organize and promulgate scientific knowledge of the laws of government (the investigative science of laws); and (2) solve problems efficaciously through the creation and optimization of the laws of government (the creative science of laws; the engineering discipline of laws)
scientific knowledge The recorded facts and theories that have undergone the scientific process and have been judged, by a scientific society of peers, to be accurate descriptions of reality. Scientific knowledge is not regarded as absolute truth. However, it is composed of the tentative and incomplete descriptions of the physical world that have been rigorously tested and judged to have the closest correspondence with reality. It is therefore the most accurate and reliable form of knowledge—the “gold standard” of knowledge
scientific process (formerly “scientific method”) The principles and techniques necessary for the accumulation of scientific knowledge, including rules for concept formation, experimentation, observation, measurement and the validation of hypotheses by a society of peers
software The instructions that direct the operation of a device or process. Musical scores, food recipes, computer programs and laws of government are examples of software
sovereign The group of people who control a government
special interest group A group of people who share a common belief, goal or circumstance. Special interest groups include corporations, religions, trade unions, schools, political parties, athletic organizations, etc
spirit of the law The purpose, or intent, of a law. The spirit of any given law is the hoped-for change, or benefit, that the law will produce from a less desirable condition to a more desirable condition, as predicted by the designers of the law
statute A law of government that has been enacted by the government’s legislative assembly
theocracy An authoritarian form of government in which the heads of a religious belief system constitute the sovereign
theory A coherent explanation of a group of related natural phenomena. Theories are not directly observable in their entirety but are supported and refined by a preponderance of facts and ongoing scientific studies. Examples of theories are biological evolution and the big bang theory for the origin of the universe
traditional method of lawmaking The lawmaking process of government in which (1) an idea for government action is transcribed into a written petition, or bill; (2) the provisions of the bill are discussed, debated and possibly amended by a legislative assembly; and (3) the assembly enacts (or rejects) the final version of the bill as an enforceable law of government
true democracy A government that meets all three requirements of democracy and thus fully satisfies the purpose of democracy. See also requirements of democracy
wisdom Knowledge combined with prudent and just judgment in the use of that knowledge