initiative


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initiative,

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.

Bibliography

See P. Schrag, Paradise Lost (1999).

initiative

Government
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 classic literature ?
But in another moment she seemed to have descended from her womanly eminence to helpless and timorous girlhood; and he understood that her courage and initiative were all for others, and that she had none for herself.
Days came and went, and still my new jailer continued his duties, nor would he ever speak a word to me, either in reply to the simplest question or of his own initiative.
But in such a case, no matter how many are present, all prefer to keep silence: no one will take the initiative, but all reserve their comments till afterwards.
He said that the Emperor Alexander did not consider Kurakin's demand for his passports a sufficient cause for war; that Kurakin had acted on his own initiative and without his sovereign's assent, that the Emperor Alexander did not desire war, and had no relations with England.
Of course there can be no exact parallel between arts so different as architecture and poetic composition: But certainly in the poetry of our day also, though it has been in some instances powerfully initiative and original, there is great scholarship, a large comparative acquaintance with the poetic methods of earlier workmen, and a very subtle intelligence of their charm.
He may have done this on his own initiative, but it is also quite possible that in her desperation she urged him to it; he certainly implied that she had taken to book-writing because it must be easy if I could do it.
The Rajah Muda Saffir, tiring of the excuses and delays which Bududreen interposed to postpone the fulfillment of his agreement with the former, whereby he was to deliver into the hands of the rajah a certain beautiful maiden, decided at last to act upon his own initiative.
He is force, energy, initiative and good judgment combined and personified.
The Arabs eyed their Manyuema slaves; the slaves looked first at one of their fellows, and then at another--they were but waiting for some one to take the initiative.
I will not remind you," he said, "that you came on your own initiative.
Well, Clara, if you can suggest nothing, I suppose that I must take the initiative myself," said he.
Of his own initiative, he approached the lady god again, attracted by the talcum powder and other minor fragrances he had already identified as the strange scents encountered on the beach.

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