CLEP US Government

Category - Pol. participation

What is the difference between a referendum and an initiative?
  1. An initiative can be for constitutional amendments, but a referendum cannot.
  2. A referendum can remove an official from state office.
  3. A referendum starts with the legislature but an initiative starts with the people.
  4. An initiative involves a popular vote whereas a referendum involves a legislative vote.
  5. A referendum refers you to initiate political activity.
Answer: C - While both a referendum and initiative involve popular vote on laws or constitutional amendments, the two are different because a referendum is started by a state legislature and an initiative is started by a petition of registered voters. In the US, referendums and initiatives are only practiced at the state level and are more common in Western states than Eastern states. Referendums are usually either constitutional amendments or proposed laws that are too controversial or politically sensitive for legislators to vote on themselves. Initiatives more often involve issues the legislature doesn’t think is very important. Both are examples of direct democracy.
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