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CALGARY, January 2, 2002 (LSN.ca) – An interview with Alliance Leadership candidate Stephen Harper is published in the Jan. 7 edition of Report magazine. The following excerpts from the interview deal with Harper’s stand on abortion.

Q. During the last election the party was thrown into turmoil by questions of social policy. How would you prevent this from happening again?

A. I was the founding policy officer of the Reform Party, and I thought we had some of the right formulae there. I think that very sensitive and clearly religious denominational moral issues should not be issues of party policy, and the leader should be careful not to make his views the central issue. I think those issues should be left to free vote in the Commons. I think they should come up at the initiation of private members, and I think we can look at the citizenry raising them in a democratic process. But I’ve been very clear in this campaign – I don’t believe the party should have a position on abortion. I don’t believe an Alliance government should sponsor legislation on abortion or a referendum on abortion. Even in a conservative party there are going to be wide differences of opinion on a question like that.

Q. When you are asked your personal opinion on the lack of an abortion law in Canada, what will you say?

A. Because I’m running for the leadership, I tend to not spend a lot of time discussing these issues, because of the danger that the leaders’ views become the party’s views. My own views on abortion, I’m not on either pole of that and neither of the interest groups on either end of this issue would probably be comfortable with my views. I just leave it there.

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