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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 ?
Should development of Donlin Creek, which includes Barrick Gold as a 50 percent partner, be blocked due to the water ballot initiatives, a significant economic opportunity for the region would be mired in lawsuits or would simply dry up and disappear.
According to APTA, the recent transportation ballot initiatives authorized public transportation expenditures approximating $40 billion.
It's beginning to look like we lost everything when we lost on those ballot initiatives in November - including losing the governor himself.
Even though other antigay ballot initiatives in recent years were defeated by voters, the tact that they made it onto the ballot was a telling sign, he says.
s Proposition 59, a 1998 ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the District.
In 1993, California voters, by a 70 percent to 30 percent margin, defeated a ballot initiative that would have authorized massive amounts of tax aid to sectarian and other private schools through vouchers.
However, the Campaign is alarmed that members of Congress may prevent District voters from being able to vote on the ballot initiative due to policy riders that were added to the District of Columbia's 2015 appropriation budget.
Then only ballot initiatives linked to that emergency and approved by the Legislature could appear on the ballot.
While many gay men and lesbians across the country are debating the impact each presidential candidate could have on policy, voters in four states will be faced with ballot initiatives on November 7 that will have an immediate effect on how gay people can live their lives.
Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Pete Schabarum and two former Immigration and Naturalization Service chiefs have already proposed anti-immigrant ballot initiatives.
Reynolds Tobacco Company on Wednesday announced, while releasing its quarterly earnings report, that it will spend $40 million of its profits trying to kill state ballot initiatives aimed at reducing smoking and improving health care.