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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Indirectly, the citizen initiative process represents a threat that can cause elected officials to choose policies that are generally more consistent with the will of the people.
There is also evidence that supports the notion that the constraints imposed on politicians by the citizen initiative process produce a more efficient level of government spending.
Pickens recommended--on behalf of the select committee--that the citizen initiative process be preserved.
"If you're considering a citizen initiative, don't do it.
2) citizen initiatives promulgating statutory or constitutional changes, or
As Exhibit I shows, the number of citizen initiatives reached a peak of 23 in the 1996 election.
The five citizen initiatives are: "Fekra" (Idea), "Qadiroun" (We are capable), "Nejmet Tounes" (the Star of Tunis), "Yahia Echaab" (Long live the people) and "Tounes laaziza" (Our Dear Tunisia).
From a legislative perspective, though, citizen initiatives are second best.
Worth noting: All eight did so by citizen initiatives.
Voters have approved about 45 percent of all citizen initiatives and about 75 percent of legislative referrals and bond issues since 1996.
Citizen Initiatives Legislative Referrals Other Measures 1996 87 147 6 1998 55 163 17 2000 69 132 4 2002 49 143 10 2004 59 100 3 2006 76 121 7 2008 59 84 10 2010 42 113 5 2012 42 115 17 2014 35 112 11 Source: NCSL Note: Table made from bar graph.
* Citizen initiatives often mandate expensive programs or policies without creating new revenue.

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