Despite the rising prevalence of rogue backbenchers, the federal Conservatives deny that there are growing divisions in the Tory caucus, the Hill Times reports.
Harper has been known for his singular leadership, but his rigid control of the government’s message is beginning to slip as members of his own party are speaking out against certain controversial social and economic decisions.
Some of Harper’s Alberta MPs, including Calgary veteran Rob Anders, have publicly expressed their opposition to the Chinese bid to take-over oil sands developer Nexen, which Harper’s cabinet is reviewing. Party officials claim that the Conservatives are as united as ever and still debating the “net economic benefit” of the takeover.
The resurfacing of the abortion discussion is a foggier issue. While Harper has said he would not support a motion to debate the beginning of life, Ontario MP Stephen Woodworth continues to submit the matter for debate in the House.
Despite this splintering of opinion on prevalent social and economic matters, the official word from the Conservatives is that the party is united, and focused on the economy.