Since the 2001 election, the provincial Liberals have been resting their heads on a cushion that muffles all but the most partisan public criticism of their administration. Many who have had cause to complain about the government haven't - in part, because there isn't an effective left or right-wing alternative to the Liberals; in part, because they fear retribution or the loss of future fours. But that cushion has been getting the stuffing knocked out of it since the election.
Many of the government's base backers - homebuilders, restauranteurs and tourism operators - have went to the media with concerns they could have kept inside a minister's office, emboldened by controversial policies (such as the harmonized sales tax) that could put their profits at risk. And while it's true many others have stayed out of the headlines, I can't help but think the Campbell administration will be having many sleepless nights between now and 2013, having stretched too far the security blanket that twice won them re-election.