I was super close to not voting in this years NZ election. It took a change of the Labour party head (to the now Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern) to get me involved at all. I was so apathetic, the two big parties felt like the same over-arching group who pretended to hate each other, and I was just mentally preparing to handle whatever shit fest ensued and look after myself.
But eventually I was able to see that apathy is so dangerous.. The less people 'they' need on their side, the easier they can shit on the populace. I'm really glad I voted, the party I voted for formed a coalition government and have started enacting some changes I didn't think they would. I have this idea in my head now that I'm not voting for me in the here and now, I'm voting for what I'd want for the future generations - continuation of universal healthcare, a strong welfare system, changing our flawed education setup, paying nurses and teachers a salary reflective of their importance in our society, focusing on our absolutely fucking atrocious mental health/suicide statistics and our socioeconomic disparities where a young Maori person is much more likely to wind up in prison than a Pakeha person.
There's so many things I want for the future people, and I realized if I didn't vote, I don't get to complain. But I want to complain, and hold people accountable. So I voted.
We just passed a bill that would abolish letting fees, https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/369993/letting-fees-to-be-banned-from-next-month, something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime. No more forking out $500+ to a property management company for doing a job they're already being paid to do. I've paid a few thousand dollars in letting fees in my renting time - and I'm close to building a house so this may be the last time I have to pay it, but if it means nobody else has to deal with it, I'm happy to have been the sacrifice.
They're finally starting the talks about legalizing marijuana, though it's more a talk about possibly having another talk to decide whether or not to have a referendum asking if NZ should think about legalizing it. But still, a step. I don't even smoke - I just know it'll create jobs and add to our tourism marketability.
Fucking vote, man.