On the surface, Harper has said that he doesn't want to get into those subjects, right?
Well, let's look a little further, shall we?
First of all, Harper's "back benchers" like Vellacott, Bruinooge and Epp have been very active putting forward bills that are directly or indirectly about abortion. We know that the base is alive and well in Harper's caucus - and they haven't exactly been silent.
Nobody in Harper's caucus so much as sneezes without permission from the PMO, and usually with specific instructions as to precisely when to sneeze and at what volume. Make no mistake, those bills had Harper's permission to exist in the first place - which, given Mr. Harper, is essentially an endorsement of the bill itself.
Second, I've found plenty of occasions where Harper (or his minions) have been dog-whistling to their "base" on a regular basis.
So, how do Harper's recent statements constitute a "dog whistle"? Simple, they're key hot button issues to his base - even mentioning them publicly is a reminder to his base that those issues haven't been forgotten about even if they haven't been acted on yet.
He describes abortion as an issue he’s spent his political career trying to “stay out of” and insists he wants no debate on abortion law. “What I say to people, if you want to diminish the number of abortions, you’ve got to change hearts and not laws,” he said.
Uh huh - spot the dog whistle phrases in there:
insists he wants no debate on abortion law
That's perfectly true - Harper doesn't want a debate. What he wants is the absolute power to impose his will. There will be no debate about it.
if you want to diminish the number of abortions, you’ve got to change hearts and not laws
Ah - in other words, under Harper, Canada's government will be funding more wingnut welfare programs by handing money out by the ton to so-called "pregnancy crisis centers" (fronts for various anti-choice groups) that lie to women about abortion.
Remember, Harper has done more to subvert and disrupt our democracy than any previous Prime Minister, and he's got his sights set on power - and I don't think he gives a damn what the price for that is as long as he can impose his will on Canada.