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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 ?
This popular initiative is usually presented as a precisely worded text that can't be changed.
The popular initiative proposes that shareholders vote on total wages paid to board members.
Sheila Newbury, Deloitte community investment co-ordinator, said: "The reading day has proved to be a popular initiative with the children and teachers at Christ Church Primary School.
The state's independent redistricting commission was established by popular initiative in 2000.
The Swiss people were asked to give their verdict about a Government counter-project to a popular initiative seeking to strength the Swiss motorway network quite significantly (Avanti initiative - in favour of safe and efficient motorways).
She presents Aleksandra Kollontai in this context as the defender of popular initiative and workers' needs, a role consistent with her leadership in the Workers' Opposition.
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.
Boggs had sunk a popular initiative with classic influence-peddling.
It is not beyond Mr Odinga to start collecting signatures for a petition to amend the Constitution through a popular initiative, seeking to settle opinion of whom between the People's President and the President should rule over Kenya.

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