I am not cynical by nature. I don't want to be cynical about British politics. But I've had cynicism thrust upon me by our uniquely undemocratic first-past-the-post electoral system.
When Douglas Hurd decided last year to retire as MP for Witney at the forthcoming election, a handful of leading local Tories met in secret session to choose his successor. They then announced to the press who the next MP for this safe Tory seat was to be.
And the electorate? They will merely rubber-stamp the decision on 1 May. It is unthinkable that any other candidate could win.
There is no effective political representation under our Byzantine system for the minority who will decline to vote Tory, no choice of Tory candidates so we can opt for the soft-leftie, nothing to discourage abject cynicism about the whole charade.