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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 ?
136) Reitman supports the argument that more than deferential scrutiny is warranted to determine how the state is operating when a voter initiative is at issue and a claim of discrimination is brought.
Much of this constitutional and statutory structure has been brought about not by legislative fact-gathering and deliberation, but rather by the approval of voter initiative measures, often funded by special interests.
Most of this service expansion is the result of the agency's ability to take advantage of voter initiatives that expanded or reformed public policy and service delivery in the Golden State.
voter initiative permitting the use of medical marijuana.
Peter Schrag's Paradise Lost (1998) makes a powerful case against the voter initiative in the Golden State, showing how it has led to retrenchment and reaction.
Though it will require the government to hold referendums on constitutional changes or tax increases, and provides for a voter initiative on other matters, the result is not binding on the government or legislature.
The voter initiative process, part of the American landscape for more than 100 years, appears to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
On June 26, 1992, Tax Executives Institute filed the following comments with the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation on a pending Massachusetts voter initiative that would require the Massachusetts Secretary of State to disclose certain information set forth on corporate tax returns filed with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
Prop 103, a California voter initiative, narrowly passed in November 1988, provided for an overhaul of the state's insurance laws.
A statewide voter initiative in 2012 legalized recreational marijuana.