(redirected from Citizen initiative)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.


the originating of a law or constitutional amendment by popular petition. It is intended to allow the electorate to initiate legislation independently of the legislature. This direct form of legislation, together with the referendumreferendum,
referral of proposed laws or constitutional amendments to the electorate for final approval. This direct form of legislation, along with the initiative, was known in Greece and other early democracies.
..... Click the link for more information.
, was known in Greece and other early democracies. It is practiced in Switzerland. In the United States the initiative was recognized as early as 1777 in the first constitution of Georgia. It was subsequently adopted by a number of states and may apply also on local and city government levels. There are two kinds of initiative, direct and indirect. In both kinds of initiative a certain number of signatures (usually from 5% to 15% of the electorate in the district concerned) must appear on the petition that proposes the constitutional amendment or legislation. In direct initiative the proposed law is voted on in the next election, or in a special election, after a petition with the required number of signatures has been filed with state or local officials. In indirect initiative the petition goes directly to the legislature and reaches the people only if the legislature fails to enact it into law. In the 1990s ballot initiatives became increasingly popular as various interest groups sought to win approval of measures they supported.


See P. Schrag, Paradise Lost (1999).


a. the right or power to introduce legislation, etc., in a legislative body
b. the procedure by which citizens originate legislation, as in many American states and Switzerland
References in periodicals archive ?
Currently the process is too exclusive, whilst important gains have been achieved by citizen initiatives, such as initiating policy dialogue towards a federal solution, the decision to form a women's committee, lobbying to appoint a human rights expert was the work of significant civil society interventions.
With these constitutional protections in place, issuers can seek to insulate themselves from citizen initiatives that would require a rollback of rates or even voter approval of rate increases by making contractual commitments with bondholders that would be violated or impaired if the provisions of a future citizen initiative were imposed.
Perhaps most interestingly, though, a mayoral referendum could also be "triggered by a petition signed by perhaps ten per cent of the council's electorate" - in other words by citizen initiative.
At least 22 states have already enacted term limits for state and/or federal officeholders, all but one through citizen initiatives.
A citizen initiative petition under the Massachusetts Constitution requires placement on the ballot unless three-fourths of the legislature affirmatively vote to change or scuttle it in a joint legislative session in a roll call vote.
Dubai: The senior citizen initiative has been rolled out and Emiratis above the age of 60 can now look forward to free parking, slaughtered animals delivered straight to their homes, and free hepatitis shots.
Talking about the Lisbon Treaty, he said the treaty envisages more powers for the European parliament, greater involvement of national parliament and citizen initiative.
Now, as the Citizen Initiative Review Commission prepares for the November election, Our Oregon, the group behind an effort to eliminate kicker rebates for corporations, says it will not participate in the review process.
They join more than 100 well-known names who are already backing the Global Citizen initiative, including Katy Perry and Kings Of Leon.
Twenty-four states, in varying degrees, allow citizens to change state law or the state constitution by obtaining enough valid signatures to place a citizen initiative on the ballot.
EU (We Speak Russian) is citizen initiative which aims to educate local as well as foreign producers and service providers about the need to include Russian language translation to their products or services when they are offered on the Estonian market since 30 percent of the country's population is represented by Russian speakers.
This week's Citizen Initiative Review panelists have spent the week checked into a downtown Salem hotel that adjoins a conference center where they've met every day.

Full browser ?