Initiatives foster competition for legislators. Allowing citizens to challenge bad laws or introduce new laws puts a much-needed check on the monopoly power of state legislatures. In this way, the initiative helps hold government accountable to the people.
Perhaps more importantly, instead of covering up their mistakes, citizens have the incentive to fix them. Whereas legislators often try to hide their personal mistakes to protect their political careers, citizens just want to see the enactment of the best policies. Citizens actually feel the pain when policies don’t work.