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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 ?
Although uptake has so far been slow, those behind the project hope that the popular initiative vote on November 28--for the SVP's (Swiss People's Party) foreign-criminal deportation initiative, as well as the SP's (Social Democratic Party) taxation proposal--will encourage foreigners to sign up and add their voices to the debate.
In addition to the popular initiatives, Canton Zurich's electorate was also called upon to vote for a new city council.
As winter tightened its grip over Switzerland once again, 45.2 per cent of Swiss voters braved the arctic temperatures of March 7 to vote on three separate popular initiative votes.
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.
Pending popular initiatives that are currently in the pipeline--i.e., under review by the Swiss Parliament or Federal Council--include: a proposal for agriculturally produced foods without genetic technology; the "Yes to Animal Protection" initiative; a proposal advocating fair child supplementary benefits; an initiative calling for the allocation of Swiss National Bank profits to the country's social security system (or AHV); as well us a proposal demanding that the government provide adequate postal services for everyone.
The proponents of all seven popular initiatives came away empty handed at the ballot box at the recent round of referendums held on May 18, while the two proposals of the Swiss government garnered thumbs up from the citizenry.
The Swiss citizenry will be facing a slew of popular initiatives and government proposals at the forthcoming second round of referendums to be held on May 18.
Swiss voters gave a resounding "yes" to both proposals presented at the ballot box on February 9: the revision of the process for lanching popular initiatives, as well as a change in federal health insurance law.
Two decisions are on the agenda: the government's proposed revision of the procedures for popular initiatives, as well as a federal health insurance law.
Some popular initiatives that are currently running the maze of parliamentary deliberations include initiative for better animal rights, the gold initiative, the nuclear-free energy initiative and the automobile-free-Sunday initiative.
Mandatory Referendums are carried out for popular Initiatives on amending the constitution and issues such as UN membership and "Yes to Europe." In addition, anyone with any opinion to voice is entitled to express that view in the form of a petition, which is presented to the government for consideration and, almost always, receives a response.

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