Its a much used phrase, but as a party we would have to ask ourselves if Lembit Opik is the answer, what is the question ?
If the question is who should be our London Mayoral candidate then the answer cannot be Lembit Opik.
It is important for any politician to be more famous for their work as a politician than their outside of work activities. As Iain Dale points out in THIS article, Boris Johnson has just about managed to do this. Whilst Boris has a shady private life and seems to find it difficult to remain faithful to his wife, he is more famous as a politician. He makes the headlines for the occasional gaffe, but they are political gaffes in the main.
Compare this to Lembit.
Lembit Opik was selected before the 1997 General Election for the relatively safe seat of Montgomeryshire with a reputation as a fearsome campaigner, a vibrant and sharp debater, and was seen as a future star within the party. But over the course of the next 13 years, he became a pantomime character, drawn, almost magnetically attracted to various celebrity partners, seemingly willing to appear in any old Z list celebrity TV show, in short, most Lib Dems I knew winced with embarrassment every time he appeared on TV.
And what of Lembit's parliamentary seat ?
Since ditching his weathergirl girlfriend, getting engaged to and then splitting from a Cheeky Girl, getting pictured in with various other models, appearing regularly on Ant and Dec with various other minor celebs who we'd long thought had left out screens for good, a majority of over 7000 votes was destroyed with the Tories winning by over a thousand votes.
This was one of the biggest turnaround in votes from Lib Dems to Tories in the whole country in 2010. Given that this result was massively different from other constituencies, it says that the main factor why people didn't vote Lib Dem was because of Lembit.
As I say, if Lembit Opik is the answer, the question is probably "Which Lib Dem MP appears to have spent too much time trying to be a a celebrity and being on TV whilst seeing his majority go up in smoke ?"