This past fall, peace groups in over a dozen cities across the nation sought to place the issue of the Vietnam War before the voters in the November municipal election through use of the initiative petition or referendum.* This novel use of the referendum formally to register opinion on a foreign policy issue was first tried in 1966 in Dearborn, Michigan, where 40 per cent of the voters supported a resolution calling for “an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of United States troops from Vietnam.”
The concept of the referendum, with its emphasis on familiar forms of electoral politics and its potential for reaching out into the community, greatly appealed to the antiwar coalition that proliferated throughout the count...
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