Trevor Lunn, the veteran MLA for Lagan Valley, recently urged the Irish Government to be more proactive in its discussion about a united Ireland.
He explained his suggestion: "Lay it out in some sort of document. Let people absorb it, give them time for reflection and a consideration of the issues. Doing it in advance would be a very useful exercise in the interests of certainty and to give a measure of reassurance about the matters that concern people."
He made it clear that he was not advocating a united Ireland, but rather "a process we need to get into".
And he emphasised that he was "... a slightly unionist-leaning politician".
It was a constructive suggestion, but one, because of its timing around the pre-Christmas period, did not make much of a ripple.
Significantly, though, there was little negative unionist reaction, which suggests that maybe they are quietly saying to themselves that this is something to be considered.
Lunn is now an independent in the Assembly, but was formerly a long-serving member of the Alliance Party.
There was a fall-out between himself and the party leadership, the details of which were never revealed.
However, it is speculated that the leadership wanted the 74-year-old to retire so that his seat could be taken by a younger replacement.
By opening up this discussion he is reflecting some of what former DUP leader Peter Robinson has said to unionists.
Some months ago he memorably advised them not to ignore the prospect of a border poll and to start talking about that issue.
He wanted unionists to stop being in denial and to face up to the debate.
While Lunn's call is directed primarily to the Irish Government, it also unintentionally challenges Alliance's increasingly threadbare position on the issue of reunification.
While the party may self-righteously lecture unionists and nationalists on all such issues, it has avoided addressing this central one for too long.
It is time for Alliance to constructively enter into this crucially important debate about the future of Ireland.
It is insufficient for its leadership to simply say that they are willing to engage with discussions about unity.
Alliance being neutral on the issue of reunification may have served the party well in the past, but in 2021 it is no longer a viable position to present to the electorate.
Being "Other" is not a feasible position for a such significant political player.
Current demographic trends do not favour unionism and this will inevitably be further confirmed by the census to be conducted here in 2021.
It is an unavoidable fact that there will be a Catholic electoral majority in the medium term.
For responsible unionist politicians to deny that - or worse still to wish it away - is simply stupid.
Unionists are already a numerical minority in the Assembly. This, however, does not mean an automatic electoral majority in favour of a united Ireland in a border poll.
But that cannot be disregarded and the likelihood is that such a majority will not be delayed for very long.
Positions can and do dramatically change.
In 1976 leading barrister Desmond Boal, who founded the DUP along with Ian Paisley, advocated jointly with Sean McBride, the ex-IRA leader and former Irish Foreign Minister, what they termed an "Amalgamated Ireland".
Each part of Ireland would have its own parliament, but there would also be a central one.
This idea got nowhere, but represented a radical shift of position for both men and was creative thinking of a type that we could do with now.
Unionists would be extremely foolish to expect that the Union with Britain will remain untouched forevermore.
After Brexit the politics of the United Kingdom will undergo radical change, with the probability of Scottish independence.
The relationship between here and Britain will become more uncertain. Therefore there needs to be an open debate on the future of the island of Ireland.
Micheal Martin has talked about a shared island and has set up a top-level Shared Island Unit in the Taoiseach's office to translate this concept into a meaningful reality.
There is a major possibility of having an imaginative look at how we actually can share this island together.
A shared island is not a covert scheme to get a united Ireland through the back door, but rather a smart way in which this island (home to us all) can be shared.
This is a golden opportunity for unionists to show imagination and rise to the occasion by taking up the Taoiseach's offer and participate in this mutually beneficial joint enterprise.
Lunn's remarks were, therefore, both timely and to the point.