So far, I'm finding that voters couldn't give a monkey's about the Assembly election. Sure, 40%+ of the people will vote - but its not the future of our Assembly that will bring them out. Very disappointing for me because I think the Assembly election is more important for Wales than a General Election. In part, its the result of the soporific impact of PR which removes much of the unpredictability.
What we do know is
1) Less people will vote Labour because they want a change (+ Blair, Iraq, Spin, Labour lies etc. etc.)
2) More people will vote Welsh Conservative because they want a change (+ Cameron)
3) Who knows with Plaid Cymru. Nobody believes their promises and there's no leadership.
4) Who knows with the Lib Dems - but fewer people will support them in Montgomeryshire where I live because of the cavorting of their Welsh leader.
5) Less people will vote for Ukip because they seem to have lost their way.
Why are electors so unengaged? Are we focusing on the right issues? So far, the whole election seems to be about the NHS, which is hugely important to people. But where are the philosophical differences - as opposed to 'managerial' differences.
Unsurprisingly, I like our commitments.
a) Higher priority for modern medicines
b) Reduce bureaucracy by scrapping Local Health Boards.
c) Suspend service reconfiguration and set up a cross-party commission.
d) Unified Care Agencies - giving local authorities a wider role in social care.
e) Streamline the social care inspection regime.
f) More support for the mentally ill through early treatment.
g) More rights to respite care.
h) More support for looked after children + protection of 'whistle blowers'.
This is all good stuff - but the only exciting 'philosophical' policy is enthusiasm for Foundation Hospitals, which I am a great supporter of.
What really surprises me is that there is almost no coverage of how we are going to govern ourselves in Wales. When are we going to give the people the chance to vote on law making powers? Why are we not discussing North/South transport links to strengthen Wales as a nation. There is almost no discussion on how to deal with the problem of access to housing. At least Cymuned are highlighting this. There are manifesto commitments on these issues - but everything has been drowned out by every party shouting out "We will manage the NHS better than you". It seems to be very different in Scotland
I've got some 'hustings' coming up next week. I hope that the debate has moved on a bit by then. I care as much as anyone else about the future of our NHS, but I want a debate about the future of our nation as well.