Call me old fashioned, but I do like a good vote once in a while.
This is how I see it. I give the state squillions every year in tax. Four or five years pass. No annual general meetings, no shareholders' reports, no consultations, nothing. That's it. Then a bit of paper with some names on arrives, and I get to put an 'X' next to one of them.
If I walked into Harvey Nics once a year and wrote them a cheque for £100,000, and they said: 'That's great. We'll send you some stuff. And in a few years we'll hold a vote for the bloke who chooses it for you.' Well, I wouldn't be too impressed, would I?
But hey, that's democracy! So here I am, about to toddle down to the East Cliff's luxury, 12 star Comfort Inn, and perform my democratic duty. What are the choices?
Conservatives: The current incumbents here on the Ile de Thanet, but not for me I'm afraid, as I lived through the mad cow years. Yes, they've had a makeover, but can a cow really change its spots? And they've hardly been on a smarm offensive locally over the past few weeks. I'll admit some things have improved, but they've made a hash of the Pleasurama site, Dreamland, West Cliff Hall, the Theatre Royal, Ramsgate Library, our crumbling East Cliff, the list goes on.
Labour: I also lived through the lying Prime Minister years, so again not my favourites. Although locally they've done a pretty good job, with Councillor Green crushing cars and eyesore caffs, removing graffiti, erecting new lamp posts and improving road safety like some kind of crusading superhero.
Ramsgate First: I find myself mysteriously attracted to our chief teeny-tiny councillor, Gerry O'Donnell. Why? Well so much of the council tax we pay here in the Millionaires' Playground seems to end up subsidising the Tory heartlands in the north of the island. We're not, as Mr O'Donnell puts it, getting our 'fair share'. But then is an organisation with no obvious links to any of the mainstream parties ever going to get its voice heard? And then there's the ever-so-faint whiff of UKIP to consider.
Of course, as regular readers will know, I'm a self-confessed Minger and would ordinarily vote for the Invisiberals. But they're not standing here on the East Cliff, and they've only put up three candidates on the entire island. Still, they're known to have a yellow streak, perhaps they're running scared of the rather combative style of local politics around here.