Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom is trying to fulfill his party's key 2015 election promise of scheduling a referendum to put the UK's future EU membership to an up-or-down vote, but the UKIP and right-wing Conservative members of Parliament dealt him an embarrassment today, voting down the referendum's proposed rules and putting the plans on an indefinite hold.

No, the anti-EU crowd hasn't changed its stripes: Skeptics are primarily worried that if the UK Government continues regular operations during the referendum, people will be more inclined to support the status quo. They seem to believe this strongly enough to hold that, at least for now, no referendum at all is better than a referendum on Cameron's terms, given that Cameron adopted the policy plank with reluctance and clearly would rather not bother with the whole business.

Really kind of shows the weakness of the parliamentary system, IMO, at least as it exists in the UK. Moments like this put on the impression that the UK's global peers actually must contend with hundreds of different Foreign Secretaries and their various points of view on what associations and treaties the country should be part of. The U.S. system isn't perfect but nonetheless it's better that the President gets to set the course on foreign policy and the Senate only is able to block him on treaties that are of massive importance or day-to-day decisions that are precipitously unpopular.