It is hard to get your head around the expense, but security for the Prime Minister of Canada while on visits to foreign nations with a history of violence towards politicians should never be compromised.
How many Indian Prime Ministers have been assassinated? Let us not forget the Mumbai bombings a few years ago 2008.
Flying the Prime Ministers armored cars to Afghanistan, Haiti and now India is not largesse or excessive. The Canadian Press is reporting that Harper had been offered an armored Mercedes for his entire visit but the RCMP declined.
The RCMP, which is in charge of Harper's security arrangements, made the decision after skillfully evaluating current events in India and locations the Prime Minister would be visiting.
I would wager a bet that the prime minister would have fought the recommendation because of the perception and cost. At the end of the day the security of our prime minister has to come first. Those decisions have to be made by the RCMP. The prime minister does not direct his own security.
To listen to some critics, one would swear that the Prime Minister had taken his private sports car with him. The mock outrage out rage is unfair. Listening to some you would swear that the armored cars were trappings of power akin to former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi minus the personal virgin bodyguards!
Security trumps image.
India is a dangerous place.