David Cameron indicated on Thursday evening that Britain would not take part in military action against Syria after the British government lost a crucial vote on an already watered-down amendment that was designed to pave the way to intervention in the war-torn country.
In a devastating blow to his authority, the prime minister lost a government motion by 272 votes to 285 – an opposition majority of 13 – after scores of Tory MPs voted with Labour.
~ from Cameron Forced to Rule Out British Attack on Syria After MPs Reject Motion by Nicholas Watt and Nick Hopkins ~
In a democracy, the leader doesn't always win. There will be times when a President or Prime Minister makes a proposal that will be voted down. At other times, if the system allows, the leader might veto something passed by the legislative body. And there are times when the executive and legislative branches agree, but the judiciary steps in.
It would be one thing if, each time a nation's leader made a proposal or introduced legislation, the legislative body frequently shot it down. After a while, the reluctance of the legislature to go along with the leader might add up to a cumulative "devastating blow". But this idea that, if the executive branch loses a few key votes here and there, we should call this a "devastating blow" is farcical. No, it is called democracy in action.
It will now be interesting to see if President Obama will follow Prime Minister Cameron's lead. Cameron put the idea of attacking Syria to the UK's legislative body. He made his pitch and lost. To his credit, Cameron says he will honor the will of the people through their elected representatives.
So, what do you think? Do you believe that Obama will work within the democratic process by allowing Congress to vote on the matter OR do you think he simply will make a nondemocratic unilateral decision?