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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 recent rise in use of the popular referendum parallels the historic use of the recall over the past two years.
I hope that we will one day have a true European Constitution, to be then decided by a popular referendum," said Westerwelle in an interview for Bild am Sonntag.
According to Article 28 of the constitutional declaration -- issued last year by the ruling military council and approved via popular referendum -- SPEC decisions are immune from appeal.
Discussing Article 3 of the draft law, several members stressed the need to submit the draft constitution to a popular referendum, regardless of the mode of its adoption by the NCA.
The constitution was ratified by popular referendum during the military junta of 1980-1983.
In 2008, activists in California fed up with gerrymandering used the popular referendum process to circumvent the legislature.
He criticized the amendments introduced to the constitution in a popular referendum and said a new constitution should have been drafted.
The Council had issued its statement in the background of a statement by Kurdistan Parliament's Speaker, Kamal Kirkuki, who told Aswat al-Iraq news agency as having warned that non-implementation of Article 140, "would push the citizens of the city and the people of Kurdistan in the areas of conflict, to wage sit-in demonstrations, the same way as it happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, to force the other side to carry out a popular referendum to decide the future of the Province, or to decide it by themselves, without leaning to violence.
On June 2, 1946, Italians voted in a popular referendum for abolishing the monarchy.
These crowds represent a clear message to the inside and outside ,and a popular referendum on the constitutional legality ,President Saleh added.
In this spirit, the 2010 constitutional reform package, prepared and approved by the parliament, was put to a popular referendum this past September 12th--the very date that thirty years ago a military junta took over the civilian government and subsequently put in place Turkey's latest constitution.
The Italian Republic was established on June 2, 1946, through a popular referendum in which the people chose between a republic and a monarchy.