Since 1999, the Scottish Parliament has undergone many difficulties, including the spiralling cost of the Holyrood project itself and an expenses system that was out of control.
However, these problems could be addressed by MSPs because they were in a position to come up with solutions.
The prospect of wife-beater Bill Walker - who was convicted following a Sunday Herald investigation - continuing as an MSP throws up a different challenge.
His continued presence at Holyrood is a public relations nightmare for the Parliament, but MSPs are powerless to intervene. To be blunt, the problem is the law.
Under the 1981 Representation of the People Act, MPs can only be disqualified from their elected position if they receive a jail sentence of "more" than 12 months.
Following the passage of the legislation that created Holyrood, those disqualification rules also apply to Holyrood MSPs.
However, Walker was tried in a summary court, meaning the maximum sentence he can receive is 12 months - which is not enough for him to be booted out.
This legal situation means that a man who has been convicted of attacking his former wives on numerous occasions can stay in the Parliament and pick up his £58,000-a-year salary.
This appalling prospect is the reason why the Sunday Herald has today launched a campaign to change the disqualification rules. Under our proposal, any MSP or MP jailed for committing a crime of violence should automatically be stripped of their elected position.
Given that in Scotland short-term sentences of less than three months have effectively been abolished, the sanction would apply when politicians are jailed for three months or more.
Restricting this provision to violent crime is crucial. It would be absurd, for instance, if an MSP jailed for non-payment of a fine imposed for protesting against Trident was disqualified. The legal change - which has to come from Westminster - should apply to violent offenders and nobody else.
The Sunday Herald has already received cross-party support for this measure. The Scottish Government has welcomed our campaign, as have the Conservatives, Greens and Labour.
The Liberal Democrats did not respond, but the UK Coalition party is a supporter of a recall law for Holyrood - another good idea.
The legislative vehicle for change could arrive quickly. Labour MP Thomas Docherty intends to introduce a Private Member's Bill to reform the disqualification rules. His colleagues in all political parties should offer him support.
Failing to act would result in a huge cloud hanging over Scotland's democracy. It was also be a huge insult to victims of domestic abuse everywhere.
Wife-beaters should not be lawmakers.
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