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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 ?
Oregon's ballot initiative process is protected by our state and federal constitutions.
10) The ballot initiative arose in the western United States in the early 1900s, promoted by Populists who were disillusioned with representative democracy and believed direct democracy would increase citizen involvement in politics, make government more democratic, and circumvent the influence of special interests and money.
Operational plans for Rock Creek includes adding ore from Big Hurrah, a satellite gold deposit located some 50 miles away, which is currently in the permitting stage and could possibly be one of the first victims of the proposed water ballot initiatives.
A few thousand Indians have spent more than $100 million on lobbying, ballot initiatives, and campaign contributions to turn their quasilegal gambling industry into a fully legal one.
There were about 10,000 quasi-slot machines run by the California tribes immediately before the ballot initiative was passed.
Groups like Equus, of which there are many in California, form a core activist constituency for the state ballot initiative, which is spearheaded by Cathleen Doyle and Sherri DeBore of Save the Horses.
It reaffirms the protection under federal legislation and sends a message to other states considering ballot initiatives like proposition 211 that it would be both costly and futile.
Advocates from FAIR (For Adult Industry Responsibility), a campaign to shepherd the ballot initiative, needed at least 41,138 qualifying signatures (15% of all votes cast in the last mayoral election) by Dec.
The ballot initiative, for example, did not even require Perry's signature since it's going before the voters.
Lazarus, a third-year law student at Case Western University, reasoned that the definition of marriage enshrined by a 2004 ballot initiative known as Issue I precluded Burk's girlfriend from charging him under the state's domestic violence law.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has set a March 1 deadline for legislators to deliver "real" reform of California's costly workers' compensation system, threatening to bring his own proposals to radically cut costs directly to voters in a November ballot initiative if state lawmakers fail to respond to the challenge.