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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 classic literature ?
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.
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.
I will not remind you," he said, "that you came on your own initiative.
He met delicacy with delicacy, though it was obvious to her that the initiative in all such matters lay with her and must lie with her always.
President Bush's faith-based and community initiative is deeply rooted in America's heartland," Towey maintained during a press conference announcing his departure.
With exception of the Son of Boss shelter, taxpayers not agreeing with the initiative offer have been able to come to Appeals through the traditional channels, and we resolve based on their individual facts.
Former Assembly speaker Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, was supposed to weigh in on the merits of the California ballot initiative system in a debate Friday morning with Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Northridge, Democratic consultant Joe Cerrell and moderator Tracy Rafter, Daily News publisher and CEO.
The United States now has a window of opportunity to seize the initiative with India, to build bonds and habits of cooperation that will stand the test of time.
From the poet and the paper and the column and the contest came the Poetry Initiative, a South Carolina organization that runs a variety of poetry programming, including reading series, a poet-in-residence program, poem and book contests, the South Carolina Poets' Summit: and student- and teacher-training programs.

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