For the first time in my voting career, I don't want to vote. Labour and National are cut from the same blue and red striped sateen nylon blend bedsheet and have never appealed to me, I don't bother with any party run on separatist or thugish platforms, and I don't go near anything that even hints at the prospect of reducing my freedom. And I can't get excited about rabid, frothy mouth zealousness.
And I despise any party that thinks we need 120 MPs, or that 99 MPs is somehow better. It's still too many when all that is really needed is an elected board of 10 directors governing the country, with specific skills, rather than seniority and numbers based on party loyalties.
I do not generally consider myself to be of the anarchist persuasion. And the reason I do not want to vote in the next election is not because of apathy. I have always voted, and always treasured that I have the right to do so. But I also don't agree with the oft-quoted comment that if don't vote you do not have the right to speak out against the government.
Even if a libertarian politician got into the House, brimming with good intentions, they would be naive to think that they will use the State to further their ends. The sad truth is that the State will use the libertarian politician to further its ends.
My civic role would be much easier if the libertarian voices infiltrated the major parties to create an influence. And, in doing so, becoming the group to which the major parties rely on. Of course the problem is not losing sight of the principles when doing this. The small parties, even though they ensure balance of power while maintaining some of the principles of those who voted for them, do very little to meet any libertarian ends.
I know I am letting the side down if I don't vote. Politics is ugly, like war. The objective is to win. There are really no moral victories in politics, only moral losses, and I would rather my preferred party loses elections rather than their souls. Many in New Zealand view political participation as a endorsement of the status quo - an endorsement of the State. If there is to be a political solution, then a lot of people need to change. And that's not going to happen in a hurry.
Which brings me to my original dilemma: what is the point of voting this year? Does voting change anything? Probably not a great deal. At best, it makes it slightly harder for certain measures to pass. And then, after all my ranting, there comes an inevitable point on voting day where I just say "screw it, I'll take five minutes to vote against this nonsense".