The referendum gives only the negative right to the people, whereas the initiative gives them the positive right of framing laws which they actually need. If the referendum protects “the people against the legislature’s sins of commission so initiative is a remedy for their omission.” The legislatures, it is maintained, are very often apathetic to the needs of the people and the representatives lag behind public opinion. Moreover, they primarily concern themselves to push through party programmes. If this is the case, then it is argued, “Why should a body of persons chosen by the people close the door against the people themselves allowing only such proposals as takes fancy to pass through so that the people can deal with them?” A law initiated by the people carries with it the impress of public opinion and is, therefore, held in greater sanctity and, consequently, there is more ready and willing obedience to it.
Such political behaviour on the part of the citizens adds to the stature and stability of the government and all-round reverence for the institutions of the country. Finally, the initiative minimizes the possibilities of political upheavals, because there is no indefinite postponement of legislation deemed essential by the people for their welfare; they hold it in their own hands. They act immediately and on their own initiative rather than to depend upon their representatives to feel their pulse and know what they actually want.