Feel free to judge, but I'm one of those cretins who only ever voted in referendums 'cause I just didn't know which sh*tehawk to pledge my allegiance to, and therefore decide to opt out altogether. Indeed, in spite of acquaintances wailing "but women died for your vote!", I abstained.

Since that tack worked out really well, I've been brushing up on my political knowledge, watching leading party members liberally mass debate on various TV shows. I've also been focussing on the independent contingent; surely they wouldn't be living in a habitual vat of denial like staunch party members (here's talking to you Mr. Andrews of Fianna Fail, who's caption "A Name You Can Trust!" graces the mammoth billboard bearing down on passengers at Blackrock train station. No wonder his brother changed his name to McSavage.

Anyway, for the last week, I've been excitedly collecting scraps of paper at Dart stations and reading the litter that's been forced through the letterbox despite the No Junk Mail! sign.  First up was Carl J. Haughton, who's flyer joyously announces that tomorrow is Independents Day! I have to say the arrival of this leaflet was welcomed; prior to that all I'd seen of Mr. Haughton were posters declaring he's "Nobody's Candidate But Yours!" which doesn't instil confidence. Neither does his website (electcarl.ie. You might enjoy the wave effect he's enlisted for his other slogan "Let's Kick Up a Fuss!"). Reading his leaflet, he vows that he and his fellow independents will "end cronyism and all that is foul in party politics", "will bring honesty and transparency back into Irish Politics", and "will ensure the financial crisis is brought under control..."

This leads us on nicely to Mike Deegan's flyer, the second page of which opens with: "These election cards are about meaningless, empty slogans." He then proceeds to say: "I just need to introduce myself... I don't do hot air. I DO WHAT I CAN. I do what I promise. I never give up.. and I never give in." Right so.

Mike then goes in to what he's done in the past ("qualifications in areas as diverse as information technology, fashion design and the food industry"), before continuing with: "My commitment to NO POSTERS, no litter makes this is a very difficult campaign (sic). Please recycle this mail and please vote for me. I promise I will not let you down!"

To be honest, the only reason I read that far was because the opening gambit on page one of Mike's flyer reads: "You may never have heard of me before, you probably never heard of Barack Obama either, you haven't heard of me because I did NOT litter the constituency with posters, and I did NOT call to your house. I think that's just rude...." Brilliant.

Then we have Daire Fitzgerald of the Christian Solidarity Party: "All the main parties support abortion in some form attack and the right to life (sic). Micheal Martin refused to defend embryonic humans (as opposed to the other kind) at the EU. Ireland's reputation for championing the downtrodden is being destroyed... Ireland is becoming an increasingly tyrannical society. The political correctness agenda is beginning to threaten liberties we have taken for granted. Freedom of speech, conscience and association are being sacrificed on the alter of equality. The civil partnership act criminalises anyone who wishes to opt out of cooperating with such unions is just one example. Comhar Criostai defends your right to excercise (sic) your freedoms." Um, unless you're gay? Apologies, it's just all so confusing...

As is Trevor Patton's slogan: "If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them. And Then Beat Them!" Trevor's obviously up for a harmonious government, so.

So clearly I'm none the wiser. Although I'd vote for any one of them in a heartbeat if they promised to do anything about the mountain of dog sh*te in Dalkey. IT'S RANK.

These are only some of the sentiments from independents residing in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown constituency. Is the rest of the country faring any better?