Shuggy, in the comments, points approvingly to Blood & Treasure's take on how the Lib-Dems should be treated.
I'm not sure that they've accomplished their mission and should be treated as though they no longer exist - for a number of reasons, and rather than offering you a long post now, I'm going to let these observations out a bit at a time over the next few days.
My point for today is about how we understand what a political party is these days.
I don't buy the argument that the Lib-Dems (like their predecessors with the word 'Liberal' in their title) is simply a project "designed to get a share of power for their senior managers" - or rather, I do buy the argument to a certain extent (I'm sure it applies to Nick Clegg) but think that it applies to elements of all of the main parties.
It seems to me that a political party today is a coalition of different minority political interests that dislike the combined coaliton that makes up other parties more than they dislike the moderated coalition that makes up their own.
If the electoral system changes, I suspect that those coalitions will simply reconfigure slightly as different groupings become more prepared to hold their noses and get into bed with old adversaries in return for a crack at achieving a cherished goal / a sniff of power / getting their pictures in the paper.
The corollary of this is that each political party has been captured - however temporarily - by an unrepresentative social caste usually on the basis that it has persuaded the wider membership that their leadership will result in more electoral success.
This in turn effects our thinking on the question of being beastly to the Lib-Dems. If we keep shrieking at them, telling them that they're a bunch of Birkenstock Traitors, and so on, we run the risk of pushing the wider party into the ballast of Clegg's boat.
Surely, a more productive step would be to highlight the policy-areas where Labour has more in common with the Lib-Dem rank-and-file, while at the same time pointing out what a poor deal they've had from the Tories and how, if the electoral maths were to stack up in future, they would find that they'd have to make fewer compromises and achieve a good deal more by dealing with Labour?
All of that raises the question for next time: What do the Lib-Dems want?