As the revelations of stupidity, cupidity and greed continue to drip out from the purloined records in the possession of the Daily Telegraph, the chorus for change has grown ever louder.
As political leaders denounce "the system", the response from the wider market may not be precisely what they anticipate. They are of course right, "the system" has created a class of MPs in safe seats who are ultimately unaccountable.
This may have created the culture that has allowed such absurd expenses claims, but in many ways the expenses scandal is just the tip of a wider and far more serious crisis; a crisis of our constitution.
The constitution of the UK rests upon an electoral system where one can either vote for a party label or make a judgement on the personal qualities of an individual, but very rarely both. If you live in Scunthorpe and are a Labour supporter, you may be deeply unhappy to find that voting Labour involves voting for Eliott Morley, who is one of those MPs most deeply involved in the expenses furore. Likewise, one could be a Conservative supporter in Stratford-on-Avon and find that your party allegiance means supporting John Maples, who is also one of those most prominent in the expenses affair.
In these safe seats, it is very difficult to replace the sitting MP, if he or she retains the support of their party. So unless the Labour or Conservative Parties themselves reselect their candidates, it would be very rare for a sitting MP in a safe seat to be replaced.
Of course I don't believe in safe seats for any party, and that is why Liberal Democrats argue that a single transferable vote with multi member constituencies is a better system. STV allows the electorate to choose between the candidates even amongst those of the party they support. Meanwhile in some places people would choose to split their votes between parties to support popular MPs of other parties. For example Frank Field is very popular amongst supporters of other political parties, as is Ken Clarke.
If the root of the problem of Parliament is the way that small party cabals can control selection and then election in safe seats, then conduct of Parliament and Parliamentary business is also clearly in need of substantial reform. The public are growing increasingly intolerant of the way MPs conduct themselves in the chamber of the House of Commons. The contrast between the screaming hubbub of the big occasions -which always comes as a shock to new visitors to the Palace of Westminster- and the languid hours of an empty chamber reflects a deep rooted and serious problem. Parliament can no longer control the legislative process and more and more laws are being passed without proper scrutiny. The result has been that some critical areas of legislation have been totally botched. The considerable incursion of the state into our privacy has been largely done with minimal debate in Parliament.
The time has come for the creation of a proper constitution. The vagaries of the current situation have already proven themselves unsustainable. The Liberal Democrats have been arguing the case for constitutional reform for decades and in the wake of the public disgust with our MPs, we must now address the absurdities that the current system creates across the board.