Popular consultations or popular suffrages in constitutional law and history are public deliberation by the people making decisions as electoral body and as legislator, taken in the exercise of a form of political participation. When the people are deciding in a direct manner over what is submitted for a popular consultation, both the bodies of the State and the citizens ere exercising a form of direct democracy.
There are different types of popular political consultations according to what is established in the political constitution of every country.
Modern popular consultations
- Elections and ballots, governed by the Constitution and statutes that define the electoral system.
- Initiative or citizen's initiative decision
- Petition decision, about a request to a government office
- Plebiscite decision, about political controversy
- recall or recall referendum decision, about removing an elected official
- Referendum decision, about a specific proposal previously approved, regulated by the referendum's law.
Ancient popular consultations
- boule deliberations, made by the ancient Greek council of citizens
- comitia deliberation, made by the Legislative assemblies of the Roman Republic
- volksbefragung: the non-binding referendum of Germanic tradition.