Prime Minister David Cameron made the trip to Buckingham Palace yesterday to formally ask the Queen to summon the new parliament to meet on Monday 18 May, and so begins officially the 2015 election process. Just 24 hours in and already I am bored both with and by the same-old same-old.
There was a time when a voter had - in reality - just three choices; to vote for the candidate representing the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, or the Liberal Party. Granted, there were always a few wild cards like Screaming Lord Such or the occasional Communist Party candidate, and even a sprinkling of independents. But none of them ever had a snowball's hope in Hell of ever being elected. No, it was just the Tories, the Socialists and the Liberals - now the Liberal Democrats through a series of splits and amalgamations. And of those, it would be either the Tories or the Socialists who formed the government. How things have changed.
Over time - or so it seemed to me - the Conservatives moved towards the centre, the Labour Party edged in as well - and lo and behold! there was little to tell the difference between them. The result? The mish-mash that we have endured for the past five years, a coalition of the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems forming a government. This has meant that neither party has been able to do much of what it laid out in its manifesto because a coalition required compromise.
This year, things are even worse. As well as the three "main" parties, we have the UK Independence Party, who want us to leave the EU; the Green Party, who don't seem to know quite what they want or how to achieve it (just look at the mess they have made of running Brighton & Hove); Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalists who have always fielded a few candidates in Welsh constituencies; and - the fly in the ointment - the Scottish Nationalist Party., who are expected to take many of Labour's traditional seats in Scotland.
The whole thing is beginning to resemble those parliamentary farces they have in Italy where the country is so often governed by a coalition of three or more parties.
I wish I could simply hibernate for the next five weeks.