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A process of a participatory democracy that empowers the people to propose legislation and to enact or reject the laws at the polls independent of the lawmaking power of the governing body.

The purpose of an initiative, which is a type of election commenced and carried out by the people, is to permit the electorate to resolve questions where their elected representatives fail to do so or refuse to proceed with a change that the public desires.

See: initial, original, overture, preparatory, rudimentary

INITIATIVE, French law. The name given to the important prerogative given by the charte constitutionelle, art. 16, to the late king to propose through his ministers projects of laws. 1 Toull. n. 39. See Veto.

References in periodicals archive ?
Adversaries sometimes complain that citizen's initiatives could "weaken the authority and standing of parliament by creating a new and competing centre of political legitimacy" (Cotton and Bennet, 1994, p.
Inhumane and Fiscally Irresponsible Council Decision Will Lead to Citizen's Initiative
In 2002, the Legislature referred five measures to the November ballot, and seven citizen's initiatives brought the total number to 11 measures.