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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 ?
He said the only body entitled to look into postponement of elections is the legislature and that this would come through an initiative from the supremacy bodies and the adoption of a number of constitutional measures, referring the matter to a popular referendum.
Any popular referendum would be troubling to hard-liners because it would be likely to produce results reflective of the changes in Iranian society.
Article 55 of the constitution, ratified by a popular referendum in January 2014, mandates that "every person who is either arrested, detained, or his freedom is restricted shall be treated in a manner that maintains his dignity.
It should be put for a popular referendum as a final step before approval.
The bill, aimed at transforming the upper house into an unelected body and drastically reducing its legislative powers, requires many more months and perhaps a popular referendum in order to become law.
If it does not attain this, the constitution must face a popular referendum, a step that many fear could derail the political process.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning to conduct the first popular referendum in Israel's history to ratify the amended peace framework proposal which Secretary of State John Kerry is drafting for presentation in the coming weeks, DEBKAfile reveals.
The National Youth and Student Organisation for Abyei, a youth group composed by Misseriya and Ngok Dinka youth from the disputed region announced in a press conference held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum the organisation of a popular referendum on the future on the areas.
They plan to defend the intangible area by organizing a popular referendum and by taking legal actions that could force the government to halt oil operations.
A BILL DECRIMINALIZING abortion in Uruguay during the first three weeks of pregnancy will not be subject to a popular referendum.
Particularly as His Majesty King Hamad when he came to power over a decade ago removed many of the authoritarian aspects of Bahrain's political system that were reflected in releasing political detainees and initiating a series of reforms through a new constitution voted on by popular referendum, consolidated through the reforms and constitutional changes of 2012.
As for the constitution, it will remain in place despite the court ruling because it was adopted by a popular referendum, the presidency said.