So at the Scottish Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Edinburgh this weekend the party passed the motion to bring in all women short lists in target seats by 75% to 25%. This is all being done in the name of diversity.
There have been huge debates over the weekend on Liberal Voice, Facebook and Twitter with many differing views and opinions being expressed. I must admit, having been one of those voices debating over the weekend, that the social media debate has been carried out mostly with a great deal of respect and says a lot for those interested in this issue.
My views on this policy are very clear; I am against all women shorts lists because I believe that you do not end perceived or real discrimination against women or minorities by discriminating against men. I will not vote for any candidate that has been imposed on my local party by the Leadership or selection.
However, what focusses the mind for myself today, and demonstrates that debates about diversity are not the big issue just now for the party was the latest Survation polling that puts the Scottish Liberal Democrats potentially behind UKip and the Greens in Holyrood Voting intentions.
So while we have been wasting time debating diversity motions which are all about political correctness and come from the Leadership and not the members from what I have seen (remember motions at Conference are passed by those who can afford to attend so therefore may not represent the broader memberships view) we are now bottom of the pile. The party is at serious risk of becoming insignificant in Scotland, even behind the right-wing and hate filled UKip. How did we get to this! I know many out there will say standing with the Tories, the Referendum, Clegg, Carmichael and Rennie being the most unpopular leader of any party in Scotland but I suspect that there is more to it than this. We have lost our way and maybe our Liberalism.
To be a Liberal for me means that you are allowed to make as many decisions on your own as you can, that power should be devolved to the lowest possible level, that we fight for democracy and against inequality but through education not discrimination. I believe in opportunity for all, I believe in protecting the environment and I believe in an independent Scotland. I hate poverty and the abuse of privilege and I hate discrimination.
So at a time when we are fighting for our very future as a party, we are embarking on the I-Liberal policy of discriminating against men with all women short lists when the focus should be on actually saving the party. Right now we are drifting towards oblivion and the priorities are all wrong.