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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.
Requiring a supermajority vote of the legislature to increase or impose new taxes has been a popular initiative item in the 1990s.
One of his most popular initiatives with respondents has been his efforts to crack down on the state's budget.
The project, which has received SFr 200,000 in government funding, enables foreign residents to cast a vote on popular initiatives and national referenda by means of the multi-lingual web portal www.
Street lighting is one of the more popular initiatives for NRF money and we are facing a bottleneck as a result.
Mobile content, applications, broadband, and mobile money services will be the most popular initiatives offered by operators and vendors.
He further explained that the regional Administration is ready to encourage such popular initiatives.
The day's other popular initiatives did not enjoy such support.
Other popular initiatives included citizens panels, community forums, service-user surveys, roadshows, touring exhibitions, and free phone-in days to the council leader or chief executive.
Indeed, no other country in the world bestows upon its people the right to co-determine its political destiny like Switzerland, and popular initiatives such as this are regarded as the driving force behind this direct democracy.
Other popular initiatives are Facebook pages, blogs and e-newsletters addressed specifically to parents.

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