“Have you spoken to George lately?”
“No. We had an argument over Facebook message and that he unfriended me.”
“An argument? About what?”

Case study, George and Peter. A friendship spanning decades made obsolete because they voted differently from each other. The two grew up together, went together, and were there for every other throughout their lives. Their difference of opinion was enough to sever their long-standing relationship.

Voting is a sticky business. Typical Western political systems give us the choice between two parties, two candidates so when two people post their slip for any different side, their relationship is instantly put under pressure.

For as long as there have been politics, there have been some nasty exchanges between your different parties, but the fallout from recent elections happen to be significantly more brutal than any in the last several decades; from hate crimes after 2021's US election, the Brexit referendum and police brutality in Catalonia for starters. Here are three ways voting season takes its toll on our friendships.

Political Issues Today Have a Huge Focus on Rights

We may live in modern times, but the gender pay gap and racial discrimination are still big issues in Western society. Voters are divided of these issues for two reasons. Some people are directly affected by these issues, whilst others are so unaffected they prefer to believe they don't exist. Second is that the people affected believe these problems need to be addressed, and those that aren't prefer we dedicate our time for you to something “worthwhile.”

In the case of the 2021 US election, one candidate promised in no uncertain terms to take away several rights associated with women and those of the Muslim faith. Lots of people who didn't fall into either of those categories saw no problem with this particular, whilst those that did were understandably outraged.

Whilst the purpose of friendship is to enjoy your time together, a big part of this relationship is to be a listening ear, or a soggy shoulder. How can a friendship be expected to survive when one friend votes in a manner that suggests they don't believe another friend's hardships exist, or aren't important?

People Feel Protected through the Anonymity of the Internet

Voting season signals the beginning of informal debates between friends, families and folk on the web. As each side tries to gain momentum for a victory, the discussions can get uncomfortably heated. Sitting behind our computer screens we feel safe, as the consequences in our words aren't immediate and gives us as sense of anonymity.
The problem was, until your friend Steve posted on Facebook the KKK might have a point, you didn't realize that they had any racist sentiments. Whilst lots of people prefer to put their voting differences aside, learning that somebody you like wants nothing more than to see the rights of your other friends removed, your opinion of them is probably going to tank.


These previous couple of internationally observed elections have spawned some pretty iconic slurs. If one of your friends calls a “Liberal snowflake” or “troglodyte Brexiteer,” chances are you're going to get pretty annoyed. How we were able to descend to playground name-calling remains a mysterious, but these antics can elicit a pretty strong reaction, especially if you're directing them at the friends. Chances are you're going to ignore that next invite for any pint down the pub.

The end of friendship isn't painless, or easy, however in the long-run it may be beneficial. Who we prefer isn't just a matter of what policies we support but are often an example of our moral standing. While small differences between friends for example love or hatred for peanut butter is simple to ride out, if someone you call a friend believes do not be allowed to have children because you're gay, you're best without them.