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Comparison on Article 11 of the French Constitution and Article 75 of the Italian constitution

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  1. The invention of television or a succession of discoveries
    1. The discoveries that introduced the invention of television
    2. The birth of the term "television"
    3. From the mechanical television (1925-1931) to the electric television (1932-1945)
  2. Television in the footsteps of players like the radio
    1. The FCC and Congress: state control
    2. The networks: diffusion
    3. U.S. companies: financing
  3. Television and the American public
    1. Television proved to the Americans
    2. The placing of television sets on the market
    3. Programs
  4. Conclusion

The word comes from the Latin ?referendum', which is a request. ?Referendum' itself is a word derived from ?referre', which means a reference, submit to the people. The referendum is a consultation of the people formed by the people themselves or by the governors on a specific issue.

The referendum is a tool for semi-direct democracy (that combines elements of representative democracy and direct democracy). Citizens are not content just to elect representatives; they participate in political life through the referendum. Thus, representatives share some of their power with citizens. We must distinguish the referendum repeal which aims to end the application of a legislative referendum that goes against the adoption of a law.

A consultative referendum was used in October 1945 when the French people were asked if they wished to return to the institutions of 1875 or establish a new Constitution. Thus, France is a pioneer in the establishment and implementations on the subject of referendums. It was the first country to hold a national referendum in 1793. There have been 22 referendums since 1791 in France and 8 applications of referendums in Article 11 of the French Constitution.

The use of referendums was common during the Revolution and under the various empires. It disappeared from the political scene because of mistrust vis-à-vis the people. In addition, to this referendums had a negative image as, in the Napoleonic era they seemed to be plebiscites to justify the authority of the Emperor. We must therefore distinguish the referendums from the plebiscite which aims to confirm the authority of a man. Referendums did not reappear in France until after the Second World War.

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