Initiative and referendum are regarded now as indispensable parts of government. But it wasn’t always so. As a matter of fact, the first time Missourians had a chance to accept the priviledge of submitting proposed laws and amendments by petition, or overriding legislative acts at the polls, they refused. The Socialist Labor Party endorsed the idea of direct elections in 1894. The Missouri Referendum League was formed a year later. In 1898 the People’s Party, the Prohibition Party and the Missouri Single Tax League all announced their support of the idea.

AOWM – March 15