Stephen Harper Facing Internal Revolt?

According to the CBC, Tory MPs are getting tired of the strict message control forced on them by Prime Minister Harper.
"Backbench MPs are turning up the pressure in frustration over the Prime Minister's Office stifling debate in the House of Commons.

MPs who oppose abortion and want to see legislated limits for it are pushing back against caucus discipline, particularly in light of an all-party committee shutting down debate last week on a non-binding motion to condemn sex-selective abortion.

But they aren't the only ones upset with heavy-handed tactics on the part of the Conservative leadership. That frustration boiled over Tuesday in the House of Commons, leading several MPs to raise public complaints about a party that has so far maintained strict control over what its members can say."

This adds to speculation that Harper may soon step down as Tory leader. Harper is known to be something of a control freak, if he cannot even control the message coming out of his own party he cannot play the game the way he would like to. Harper also knows that most of Canada is not socially conservative. If his MPs insist on repeatedly bringing up abortion and other issues more associated with the American right, his party will suffer in the polls everywhere outside of Alberta. Things could get especially rough if the new leader apparent of the Liberals continues to enjoy the public adulation he's currently getting.

Harper has pulled off an amazing run: He split from the Conservatives, rose to the leadership of the Alliance then reunited the Conservatives with himself at the head and the party significantly farther the the right than it had ever been before. He then managed to oust the Liberals, stave off all chalenges, investigations and a contempt of Parliament vote and remained in power for 7+ years.

The question now is - Is Stephen Harper the kind of a guy who will gather his chips and walk away from the table on top, or will he try to ride things out at the risk of watching the wheels come off his carefully constructed machine?
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