IT'S easy to be cynical about the idea of more politicians.

I suspect these views will come through loud and clear in the consultation launched this week into proposals to increase the number of AMs in Wales from 60 to as many as 90.

There are compelling arguments on both sides of the discussion over whether Wales really needs more AMs.

There's a case to be made that the workload of the Assembly is far too large for 60 AMs to handle effectively.

And there's certainly something to be said for restructuring the unnecessarily complicated system of having 40 constituency AMs working alongside 20 regional AMs covering large areas which no one politician could hope to focus on alone.

But is more politicians, and with it inevitably more bureaucracy, really the answer to this?

The experts - or at least the expert report commissioned by the Assembly - say yes.

But this is a decision which will ultimately have to be taken by the Assembly, and without public support it's unlikely it's one they'll sign off on.

Realistically the only way I can see this being justified is if the UK Government's plans to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 - which would see the number of Welsh MPs cut from 40 to 29 - goes ahead.

In this case it would be reasonable to argue an increase in AMs would give the Welsh people the democratic representation they might otherwise face losing.

But it remains to be seen how many would be convinced by that argument.

And there's an issue which isn't being talked about.

Spend a bit of time in the Senedd and you'll see space is at a premium.

Staff are already packed in like sardines, with seemingly every broom closet and meeting room converted into offices.

Even this politics reporter was recently relocated into a stuffy fishtank in a busy corridor to make space for more staff.

If the number of AMs is increased this is going to become a real problem.

And the only real answer is to either find more office space elsewhere in Cardiff Bay, or expand the existing buildings.

Neither option would not be cheap, and is hardly going to help win the support of the Welsh public.

If the Assembly is serious about going forward with this it's got a massive uphill battle on its hands to convince the people of Wales it's a good idea.

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- Surprising no-one, Carl Sargeant's son Jack was elected to replace his father as Alyn and Deeside AM in a by-election triggered by his father's death last week.

While there's certainly something poetically attractive about a son stepping up to fill his father's shoes after his tragic - and untimely - death, hopefully the Assembly's newest AM realises the scale of the challenge ahead of him.

As a 23-year-old with no political experience, goodwill based on the Sargeant family name will only take him so far.

How long will it before opposition parties, who've been respectfully quiet on the issue so far, start claiming nepotism?

No doubt he'll have no lack of support from his father's friends and former colleagues both within and outside Cardiff Bay, but sooner or later he'll have to prove himself as an effective politician and representative for the people of Alyn and Deeside.

It's then that he'll sink or swim.

Surely only the most cynical actively want him to fail, but politics is a cutthroat world. No doubt Jack Sargeant is acutely aware of this given the circumstances leading up to his father's death.

I hope for his sake he's ready to face this world head-on.