What is PLEBISCITE?

In modern constitutional law. the name “plebiscite” has been given to a vote of the entire people, (that is, the aggregate of tho enfranchised individuals composing a state or nation.) expressing their choice for or against a proposed law or enactment. submitted to them, and which. If adopted, will work a radical change in the constitution, or which Is beyond the powers of the regular legislative body. The pro- ceeding is extraordinary, and is generally revolutionary In its character; an example of which may be seen in the plebiscites submitted to the French people by Louis Na- poleon, whereby the Second Empire was established. But the principle of the plebiscite has been incorporated in the modern Swiss constitution, (under the name of “ref- erendum”) by which a revision of the constitution must be undertaken when demanded by the vote of fifty thousand Swiss citizens. Maine, Popular Govt. 40, 90.

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