This is the first General Election campaign I have lived through where I am at a loss who to vote for.
The ability to vote is one of the most important rights assumed by the individual on reaching the age of majority. It is on the list of rights which include coming home after 3am on the nightbus after drinking to excess, a test which was originally introduced by the Masai in Kenya but involved lions.
Being able to vote moves us out of the enabling dictatorship of our parents who have fed us, defended us, ensured we are well and driven us everywhere and replaces it with the guardianship of the Government of the day which provides us with the means to do the same with the advantage that you don't have to visit them at Christmas, wince when they break wind falling asleep on the sofa and you can replace them when you don't like them anymore.
We are raised by our parents sitting in front of the television often in their pants passionately declaring views which become increasingly detached from reality as they get older. They are replaced by our chosen Government who do the same from the other side of the television set, also in their pants though thankfully covered in well-presented tailoring or couture.
For those new to vote this time, they have been presented with Posh, Creepy, Hippy, Nicey, Scarey, Scottie and Welshie - a more socially and geographically representative version of the Spice Girls, but a Coalition which would only get through "Britain's got Talent" if it was accompanied by a performing dog.
The language used by the candidates during the election campaign is beginning to grate with me. With Cameron declaring he is now "pumped up", I fear we may be heading for a slow puncture. One can be enthusiastic without the need for a pump. And with Ed enthusiastically answering a question in the affirmative with the statement "Hell yeah" is evidence that his strategic adviser, David Axelrod was brought up on a diet of "the Dukes of Hazzard". Come election day, I expect little difference between Ed and Sheriff Roscoe P Coltrane of Hazzard fame.
The communication content of the candidates is also now so organised that it resembles the Spaghetti Western set of "Blazing Saddles" which is brought down at the end of the film revealing it to be precariously propped up and held together with gaffer tape. I yearn for a statement from one of the leaders which is born by genuine belief rather than skilfully crafted by a sharp-shootering wordsmith.
As a result of this, my starting point in reaching a choice for this election is to put a red line through the definite dogs.
Nigel Farage - good communicator, strong leader (therefore potentially dangerous) but essentially a Black-shirted Cameron.
David Cameron - good communicator, strong leader but developing the Thatcher-like zeal which will inevitably lead to the slaughter of our eldest children and Monday to be re-named Cameron-day.
Natalie Bennett - while I have had my Green moments and hope to have many more, no. You know why.
Nick Clegg - good communicator, strong leader, good priorities and I would not mind being stuck in a lift with him. However, as he may lose his seat, it will be like voting for turkey at Christmas. Then again, I like turkey.
Ed Milliband - an able man without a doubt but can you imagine him reciting a "we will fight them on the beaches" style rallying cry with his adenoidal Winston voice.
And then there is the Scottish and the Welsh one. If I could swap Ed for the two of them in the same way as I exchanged Norman "bite yer legs" Hunter and Billy Bremner of Leeds United for Georgie Best in the great football cards swapsie deal of 1973, I would.
The Leadership interviews too have been no help. Like any interview, they can yield questionable conclusions. I have always found dogs to be good judges of character and would therefore encourage dogs to be used in helping us to come to the right outcome in our fine parliamentary democracy. If Julie Etchingham was joined by a pack of angry pit bull terriers at the leadership debate, the result would have been a lot more interesting as calming a dog down is a real skill. The benefit of this approach would be that it would introduce swifter whittling down of the candidates into the process and thus act in the same way as the U.S. Primaries albeit with the death or serious injury of the weaker candidates.
There has been a complete absence of dogs in the campaign apart from in the calibre of UKIP candidates. We learn from the media that the First Lady in waiting of the red variety fell in love with Ed Milliband when he bandaged her hand after she had been bitten by a dog. We did not hear the dog's side of the story as she may have bitten him first. It is likely that the experience would have put him off biting barristers for ever and he took to his basket shaking permanently thereafter. Unsurprisingly, the only candidate professing any love for dogs is Natalie Bennett which is fortunate as she will have lots of time to exercise them after the General Election.
My advice to Leadership candidates is that they should move on from being pictured kissing babies to being pictured throwing sticks for dogs instead (or kissing dogs and throwing sticks for babies, the effect would be the same). This would woo Middle England particularly dog breeders who it has been scientifically proven are able to control anyone in their hinterland with a growl and swift movement downwards of their outstretched palm making those around put a cross in the preferred box.
Until help arrives, the democratic process is going to fail me this time round. I may have to spoil my ballot paper in the same way that the Pickwick pooch has spoiled the lounge carpet in a number of key places. Despite the application of copious amounts of stain remover, it will never be the same again.