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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.
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, 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 ?
A master in the art of collecting more than 100,000 signatures in 18 months, needed to launch a popular initiative for any constitutional change, the UDC knows how to operate in the opposition.
Disgust at such blatant selfishness among top managers is seen across the political spectrum, and has generated three popular initiatives to equalise pay (see sidebar).
Al-Bashir who met with leaders of political parties at his residence on Sunday announced that the committee will be composed of 11 sub-committees including one for national unity, committee for the records and referendum in northern states, the Commission for records and referendum in the southern states, Committee for coordination of popular initiatives, Committee for civil society organizations, Committee for media and mobilization, the Women's Committee, Youth Committee, the Committee for Student Affairs and the financial and administrative committee.
One of the most popular initiatives is trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro.
ONE of the most popular initiatives in Jordan is Zikra, launched by the young Jordanian; Rabee Zureikat.
Among the most popular initiatives is the UWIC Rider bus pass scheme, which has so far attracted more than 2,000 staff and students and remains the largest and most innovative dedicated student bus service in Wales.
ROSOOM is one of Dubai Trade's highly successful and most popular initiatives bringing customers closer to leading entities such as the port and the free zone.
The most popular initiatives were recycling bins, sensor lighting and automatic computer shutdowns to save energy.
Tony Juniper, of Friends of the Earth, said: "Instead of spending time and energy battling popular initiatives, Porsche should put its effort into a new generation of much less polluting vehicles.
The flexibility of its approach is impressive, with several of its most popular initiatives set to grow even further, including Topic Based Network Projects, Supply Chain Improvement Projects, Strategic Change Projects and its specialist support for the Rail sector.
Distinctive and adventurous programming has continued alongside more popular initiatives, including music from the world of opera and notably a series of family concerts on Sunday afternoons aimed at the younger listener.
Oregon, the state that pioneered the initiative and referendum process in 1902, has no less than 18 popular initiatives (plus eight other measures) on its ballots this year.

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