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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 ?
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).
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.
Another friend and CWL member recently remarked that she wishes the League would do more to build up and strengthen marriage and family life, rather than pursue more popular initiatives, like supporting cancer research, nuclear disarmament and lobbying to have food dyes removed from candy (arguably all good causes, but there are already others fighting these fights).
Clinton condemned ``political battles'' in the form of the popular initiatives to address issues such as bilingual education and immigration-related problems.
The simple logic begins to fall into place when you consider that one of ASDA's most popular initiatives gives employees extended leave over the school summer holidays.

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