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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 ?
The SCR held that popular fears were being exploited for partisan gain and that it was out of the question to deny religious communities their constitutional rights, for example with a popular initiative prohibiting minarets.
In states without a provision for popular initiative, reformers must navigate the normal state legislative process to alter the redistricting process.
The week of tax-free shopping really did not cost the state that much revenue and became a politically popular initiative that caught on in other states.
The American experience is very much like what is going on today in the Third World and the formerly communist countries: The official law has not been able to keep up with popular initiative, and government has lost control.
Sit around a dinner table here with a bunch of government officials and civic junkies and it's only minutes until the "I" word--a popular initiative process run amok--is at the center of discussion.
It is proving to be a hugely popular initiative and Virgin Vie now boast more than 100 home visiting consultants around the country.
Boggs had sunk a popular initiative with classic influence-peddling.
Isam al-Sheikh, a businessman who launched the popular initiative, said a delegation including 14 tribal chiefs would visit the US for two weeks, pointing they will hold meetings with congressmen and the state department officials.
Ibrahim Al-Yamany, a 27-year-old Al-Azhar University medicine graduate, has been on hunger-strike for approximately a year, according to 'Freedom for the Brave', a popular initiative set up to provide support for detainees.
The NCB's call came in tandem with a popular initiative launched recently by a number of political, religious figures, some with the opposition -- "for the safety of our people, reach out for a ceasefire in Syria.
Dunia's Young Business Leaders Programme proved to be a popular initiative in its inaugural year, winning recognition for Innovation in Learning at the Asian Leadership Awards 2013.
The Federal Popular initiative Against Mass Immigration held a referendum on withdrawing from free movement within Europe.

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