For Harper, the visit may have to do less with new trade deals or warmed relations than with building ties to Indo-Canadian voters before the next election.
So rather than strategizing on new bilateral investment with India's Ambani brothers, the Prime Minister will travel to the Golden Temple in Amritsar – the holiest shrine in the Sikh faith – and meet with Hindi film star Akshay Kumar, a torchbearer for the Vancouver Olympics.
"By and large the Canadian Indian population has voted Liberal, but there's been an effort by this government to make Indo-Canadians feel connected," said a former Canadian diplomat, suggesting Harper aims to continue that effort with this trip.
The prime minister's trip isn't about improving trade ties between Canada and India; it's to increase votes for Stephen Harper's Conservative Party. This is a brilliant strategy. I encourage Harper to go on more trips in order to attract Canadian voters from different backgrounds. Harper can to go to Paris in order get votes from French-Canadians. A plane ride to Warsaw will secure the Polish-Canadian vote. A couple of sidetrips to Stettin and Breslau will make him sehr-popular with our German-Canadian friends.
Vielen Glück Herr Harper!