- In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote
- The initiative may take the form of a direct initiative or an indirect initiative
- In a direct initiative, a measure is put directly to a vote after being submitted by a petition
- In an indirect initiative, a measure is first referred to the legislature, and then put to a popular vote only if not enacted by the legislature
- The vote may be on a proposed statute, constitutional amendment, charter amendment or local ordinance, or to simply oblige the executive or legislature to consider the subject by submitting it to the order of the day
- It is a form of direct democracy
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