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It was subsequently put into force by the incoming NDP government. The first referendum was held under this legislation on September on the subject of repealing the Harmonized Sales Tax. The proposal of introducing the European Citizens' Initiative ECI was that 1, citizens, from minimal numbers of different member Proposition 8 research paper, could invite the executive body of the European Union EUthe European Commissionto consider any proposal "on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Constitution.
Critics underlined the weakness of this right of initiative, which did not ultimately entail any vote or referendum. A similar scheme under the same name, European Citizens' Initiative ECIhas been put forward in the now ratified European Lisbon Treaty which entered into force on 1 Decemberenabling a limited indirect initiative right.
These citizens would thereby obtain the same right to request the Commission to submit a legislative proposal as the Council has had since the establishment of the European Communities in With the variety of languages within the European Union, this creates a significant hurdle for people to navigate.
The treaty also makes it clear that right of initiative should not be confused with the right to petitionparticularly since a petition is directed to Parliament  while a citizens' initiative is directed to the Commission; whereas a petition is a method of remonstrance, usually focussing on perceived infringements of European Law, an initiative is a grassroots proposal for new legislation.
In the subjects of ongoing open initiatives of the European Citizens' Initiative are e. However, the only power these "local referendum initiatives" confer on citizens is the ability to add propositions to their local assembly's meeting agenda.
The decision as to whether to submit citizen propositions to a popular vote referendum rests with the Proposition 8 research paper assembly.
Germany[ edit ] All German states have the right to initiative. Ireland[ edit ] The Constitution of Irelandsince its enactmenthas never made provision for initiatives.
If the initiative concerns changing the Constitution, Article of the Constitution  states that the group must include at leastRomanian Citizens with suffrage who reside in at least half of all the counties, with a minimum of 20, per county.
Article of the Constitution  also states that any amendments brought to it, must be also approved by means of a National Referendum. New Zealand[ edit ] In New Zealand a vote initiated by the public is called a citizen initiated referendum.
These are non-binding referendums on any issue in which proponents have submitted a petition to Parliament signed by ten percent of all registered electors within 12 months. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein.
No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. A petition to propose amendments to the constitution. A petition to propose enactment of national legislation. A petition to propose enactment of local resolution or ordinance on regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay level.
The law also provides indirect initiative defining the exercise of people's initiative through a proposition sent to congress or local legislative body for action. Popular initiative Switzerland The federal popular initiative was included in the Swiss Federal Constitution inpermitting a certain number of citizens currentlysignatures within 18 months  to make a request to amend a constitutional article, or even to introduce a new article into the constitution.
The right of initiative is also used at the cantonal and communal level in Switzerland all cantonsall communes where the direct democratic citizens' participation originates ; many cantons allow initiatives to enact regular non-constitutional law, but the federal system does not. If the necessary number of supporters is reached, the initiative will be put to a plebiscite about two or three years later; the delay helps prevent short-term political moods from getting into the constitution.
The parliament and government will both issue their official opinions on whether they recommend voting for or against the proposed amendment, and these opinions will be published. The parliament may also pass an alternative amendment suggestion which will also be included on the ballot; in this case, the voters cast two votes, one for whether or not they want an amendment, and one for which one they want, the original one from the initiative or the one introduced in parliament, in case a majority decides for amending.
A citizen-proposed change to the constitution in Switzerland at the national level needs to achieve both a majority of the national popular vote and a majority of the canton-wide vote to pass. The vast majority of national initiatives introduced sincewhen the system started, have failed to receive voter support.
But the initiatives have proven to be a useful tool to force the government to concentrate on subjects that will otherwise remain hidden from the politic, lowering the distance between the government and the citizens.
Initiatives and referendums in the United States In the United Statesa popular vote on a measure is referred to as a referendum only when originating with the legislature.
An initiative may be called a " ballot measure ", "initiative measure", or "proposition". The Constitution itself, pursuant to Article VIIwas ratified by state conventions rather than by a referendum. Several proposals have been made to institute a national referendum. The Ludlow Amendmentintroduced several times to the House of Representatives by Louis Ludlowof Indianabetween andproposed an amendment to the Constitution that would require a national referendum to declare war except in the case of invasion or attack.
The amendment came closest to overcoming a discharge petition on January 10,when it was defeated in the House by a vote of to That was short of the two-thirds vote required for its passage.
Unsuccessful attempts to get initiatives have nevertheless occurred, but since the proposals were bills, not a constitutional amendments, no initiative could probably have lawfully been voted on notwithstanding the bills' passage.
The first attempt to get national ballot initiatives occurred in when House Joint Resolution 44 was introduced by Rep. Elmer Fulton of Oklahoma ; the proposal was never put to a vote. Senator Mike Gravel was part of that effort.There is a growing bipartisan sentiment in Washington that Chinese trade practices are a problem, since these practices are unfair to American companies in a number of ways.
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