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Stone Collection: Volume 20 - Item 45
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 20

45. Lucius F. C. Garvin, “The Constitutional Initiative,” North American Review (July 1903): 78-85.

Discussion of the Constitutional Initiative as a mechanism for giving voters a more direct say in the legislative process. Examples of Constitutional Initiatives include “1. the Compulsory Referendum, which requires all laws and ordinances to be submitted to a vote of the people. 2. The Optimal Referendum, which allows a minority of the voters (say, five percent), by petition, to require the submission of any law or ordinance to the judgment of the voters. 3. The Initiative and Referendum, which permits a minority, by petition, to propose a bill and have it submitted without change to a popular vote. 4. The Constitutional Initiative, which provides that a reasonable minority of the voters may propose amendments to the Constitution, to be submitted unchanged to the popular vote.” The movement in favor of Constitutional Initiatives reflect a discontent among the public with the lack of responsiveness on the part of state legislators.