Voters may have short attention spans, but they don't soon forget disavowing themselves from a party they've voted for all their lives.
And that should make Premier Kathy Dunderdale worry.
Earlier this week, a local blogger highlighted the results of an access-to-information request seeking "all correspondence from the public to the premier ... regarding Bill 29."
Bill 29, if memory fails, is the controversial information law the government passed in the spring of 2012. Opposition parties filibustered for a few days, but were eventually shut down when debate got too testy.
Dunderdale and her ministers repeatedly said the legislation makes the government more transparent. Practically no one - including the media, policy experts and the public - agrees. The law essentially leaves access requests totally to the whim of ministers and other heads of public bodies.
The aforementioned request for documents garnered 72 pages of emails (see link at bottom). Some were angry and venomous; others pleaded politely for common sense to prevail. But all invariably condemned the bill in no uncertain terms.
And there's more - a common theme that arises again and again. It's best explained through examples gleaned from only the first dozen or so pages.
° "I for one will not vote for YOU ever again."
° "I feel like I can no longer support you or your party if this is the type of leadership I will receive."
° "I have voted Progressive Conservative provincially since I have been eligible to vote (I'm now 60 years old)."
° "I never thought I would hear myself say I was ashamed to be a provincial Tory."
° "I am writing as a lifetime provincial PC voter."
° "Please don't make me regret voting for you in the last election."
° "Bill 29 is unacceptable and will cost the PC Party my vote, and, I am certain, the vote of many others."
° "I voted for you in the last election, but you have lost my vote and my husband's and many more, I'm sure ..."
This is the sort of uprising that should send shivers down the spine of any politician. Yet the premier and her cabinet seem utterly cavalier about the criticism.
There may be many reasons why the Tories have slid so precipitously in the polls since Dunderdale became premier in 2010. Most will likely fade from memory when the next provincial election is held.
But the emails presented here demonstrate that losses in Tory support have cut straight to the bone. And little of that is likely to come back.
It's hard to imagine how a government can expect to ride that out for a mere two years.