Tips Before Buying A Car In Quebec

By Todd Herman

Consumers in need of a used car in Quebec have a range of resources in order to buy an inexpensive car. Now it is possible to shop online in the comfort of your home for a used car for sell. But buying a second hand car remains nonetheless a risky venture.

It is easy to find a used car for sale on the internet and the net is covering several cities as well as countries. But now, more scammers are trying to trick you with a used car for sale in Quebec and they have more tools to earn profits on the backs of uninformed clients. On top of that before you shop, it is good to think about what kind of used car that fits your budget and then stick to two or three brands to know them better. After, you can research to find out the price range of spare parts that you can easily get in your region. In addition, you must take into account the fuel consumption and the insurance costs.

There are several specialized websites about used cars in Quebec such as CAA. Some are accredited by organization you can trust. They offer comparison charts of costs and performances about car for sale. Then there are some blogs written by individuals that can guide you in your efforts to buy a used car. It is recommended to choose a used car for sale that is a reasonable distance from your home so you can easily get your transaction done.


Here are some additional tips to guide you while your looking for a used car in Quebec. First, always deal in person to visually inspect the used car for sale and then have it checked later by an independent mechanic before giving a deposit. Dealing with a car dealer that sells second hand car have many advantages such as getting a warranty and you can check them with Better Business Bureau.

On the other side, if you still want to buy a used car from an individual is that you can count on some tricks to find out about the wear and use of the vehicle. You can first look at the maintenance bills of the used car for sale. But the most important thing to check in a car for sale in Quebec is the identification number located on the windshield and to contact the Socit de l’Assurance Automobile du Qubec about its history. Then you must perform a visual inspection outside of the used car for sale in order to detect rust or leaks. Then get inside the vehicle and look at the condition of the seat belts and possible rot under the carpets.

Finally, it is the road test of the used car for sale preferably on a main road. Begin using the accessories such as ventilation and lights. During the ride in the used car, listen in silence the noise coming from the engine or the bodywork and test the brakes.

Finally, if you still want the car for sale in Quebec then take an appointment with a expert from a specialized garage who will give you the final green light in order to buy it.If you are looking for affordable and reliable Quebec cars for sale, you have to get to a reliable auto dealer where we have the most affordable, reliable cars in the industry.

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Magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits New Zealand

Friday, September 3, 2010

The USGS says an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 occurred in the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island at Saturday 04:35:44 AM local time (Friday 16:35:44 UTC). Officials in New Zealand say the magnitude was 7.1. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10.0 kilometers (6.21 miles). The epicenter was located 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Christchurch; 190 kilometers (115 miles) south-southeast of Westport; 295 kilometers (185 miles) southwest of Wellington; and 320 kilometers (200 miles) north-northeast of Dunedin. New Zealand’s Civil Defence Minister John Carter has declared a state of emergency in Christchurch and Selwyn District.

Widespread damage extending beyond Christchurch has damaged infrastructure, including substantial disruption to the power and water supply. Two people were reported seriously injured, and local residents have also reported that chimneys have fallen in through roofs, ceilings cracked and brick walls collapsed. Several aftershocks were also felt as far north as New Plymouth.

Bob Parker, the mayor of Christchurch, told the New Zealand Herald that he is “thankful there has been no loss of life but there had been considerable damage across the city and outlying areas.” “We are very happy and blessed that no one died,” Prime Minister John Key said; he further pledged that “we are here to support them. We are not going to let Christchurch suffer this great tragedy on their own.”

People in the Christchurch area have been told not to enter the CBD, and a curfew has been established there from 7pm to 7am. Other towns have also had parts closed off to be inspected for safety. The NOAA’s evaluation of the situation predicts that significant damage will not progress beyond New Zealand: “Based on the earthquake magnitude, location and historic tsunami records, a damaging tsunami is not expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska coasts. At coastal locations which have experienced strong ground shaking, local tsunamis are possible due to underwater landslides.”

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Cash Crunch Leads To M&Amp;A In E Retail}

Submitted by: M&A Critique

At a time when start-ups are finding it difficult to secure more funding to run their business, consolidation is increasingly taking place in the online retail space. This year alone, there have been 15 mergers and acquisitions (M&As), double that of last year and if the funding pipeline doesnt show any improvement, the dream run of online retail may come to a naught.

Apart from cash crunch, most of the business models lack differentiation in the way of their working. As their working models are becoming very repetitive, big-ticket funding is drying up and valuations of most the e-commerce companies have taken a hit. This year, 10 companies raised $520 million only, a drastic fall from $2.3 billion raised by 14 e-commerce firms last year. Cautious investors have pruned the size of deals as the average investment ticket size in Series A and Series B levels dropped over 50%.

This trend of M&As will continue and grow in the next few years as big companies are always on the prowl to acquire those companies that complement their offerings or add new segments that could help them with incremental growth. Moreover, given the current tight funding scenario, smaller startups wont be able to raise funds like they did before and are open to the idea of getting acquired.

Buying for customer acquisition, vertical addition, and cost rationalization all in non-cash deal

Big companies in the e-commerce business acquire smaller ones to consolidate their position in the high growth cash-intensive sector. Also, they wish to further boost their capabilities, with the right technology and talent. Flipkart, which has so far raised $3.19 billion, is the most funded company, followed by Snapdeal ($1.76 billion) and Paytm ($950 million). With larger players like Flipkart and Snapdeal on a high after having received record-breaking investments last year, they are looking to add more power to their company through strategic acquisitions. The objective is to expand their portfolio and increase their customer base. In the first major M&A activity in the e-commerce space, Flipkart picked up a stake in the marketplace and auctions startup WeHive Technologies Pvt. Ltd. This acquisition will help Flipkart increase its market dominance by scouting for mobile-focused companies.


However, while e-commerce companies raised lot of money in the past, especially the countrys most valuable one Flipkart, there has been a rapid markdown in the valuation. Mutual Fund Morgan Stanley marked down Flipkarts valuation to $5.58 billion. The US-based firm marked down the value of Flipkart for the fourth time in a year, lowering the value of its shareholding by 38% on a quarter-on-quarter basis. It comes at a time when the Indian e-commerce giant has been struggling to raise funds at a valuation higher than or equal to $15.2 billion. Two other investors too, Valic and Fidelity, who earlier marked up the value of their shares in the company, marked down their shares in Flipkartby 11.3%, and 3.2%, respectivelyfor the quarter ended August.

Snapdeal too made its next big kill when it acquired MartMobi, a Hyderabad-based mobile technology startup for an undisclosed amount. This helped Snapdeal strengthen its mobile platform for merchant partners. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is also looking at acquisition of Indian e-tailers that have a large customer base as well as a robust network of merchants. Snapdeal too has clearly demonstrated this intent by acquiring other companies that can add more to its existing capabilities.

Another top M&A deals of this year is Myntras acquisition of Jabong for $70 million. Firstcry acquired Mahindra Retails BabyOye for $54 million and Titan acquired CaratLane for $53 million. In the last three months, for example, online fashion retailer Voonik acquired four startups, and Craftsvilla, an online store for ethnic products, made three acquisitions. So, in Indias e-commerce industry, it is just not customers who are scouting for deals, even companies are peers are looking for cheap deals to acquire and grow.

Jabong-Myntra M&A deal

The online fashion retailer Jabong was shopping around the idea of a merger and was in talks with several competitors, including Chinas Alibaba Group, Kishore Biyani-led Future Group. Snapdeal and Aditya Birla Group also may make a bid for Jabong. Finally, Myntra acquired Jabong.

The buzz about Jabongs acquisition started two years ago. In 2014, news reports had suggested that Amazon was in talks to acquire the company for $1.2 billion as it looked to counter Flipkarts acquisition of Myntra. The negotiations failed as the two companies could not reach a consensus on Jabongs valuation. Jabong was among the two top online fashion retailers in India competing closely with Myntra. However, over the last two years, the company has lost steam as a source of funding dried up. While Myntra continued to get a massive funding infusion from Flipkart, Jabong could not manage to attract funds to support its business and eventually got acquired.

M&As – growth enable

M&A in the e-commerce sector have been on the rise as it is the only way for gaining competitive advantage. The growing penetration of technology facilitators such as internet connections, broadband, and third-generation (3G) services, laptops, smartphones, and tablets will drive the e-commerce eco-system. Also, to capitalise on the benefits offered by the unique Indian consumer base, e-commerce companies have been innovating with policies traditionally not available in a brick-and-mortar store.

The primary motivation for most mergers is to increase the value of the combined enterprise. Synergistic effects can arise from four sources: For one, operating economies take place from economies of scale in management, marketing, production, or distribution, which help the company to grow. Secondly, financial economies will gain such as lower transactions costs and better coverage by stock market analysts. Thirdly, differential efficiency, which implies that the management of one firm is more efficient and that the weaker firms assets will be more productive after the merger; and lastly, there will be increased market power due to reduced competition.

Industry surveys suggest that e-commerce industry is expected to contribute around 4 percent to the GDP by 2020. In comparison, according to a NASSCOM report, by 2020, the IT-BPO industry is expected to account for 10% of Indias GDP, while the share of telecommunication services in Indias GDP is expected to increase to 15 percent by 2015. With enabling support, the e-commerce industry too can contribute much more to the GDP.

Deals in potential sectors

The Indian cab market is reporting a host of M&A deal as most players are looking a pie in this huge sector given its immense potential. The sector is worth close to Rs 50,000 crore, with only 5% in the organized sector. As the city traffic is increasing every day, the number of customers relying on a taxi for their transportation has also increased significantly. Ola bought TaxiForSure for $200 million in a cash-and-stock deal. TaxiForSure was actively looking out for a big investment to keep up with the cash-rich Ola Cabs and Uber. This acquisition added value both on the supply and demand side, for Ola. Apart from a huge customer base, TaxiForSure added 15,000 cars to Olas fleet of more than 100,000 cars.

Food is another area where in e-commerce which is throwing a lot of opportunities. Countrys online food-ordering platform Foodpanda acquired its biggest rival Just Eat India four months after acquiring Pune-based competitor TastyKhana. After closing the deal for an undisclosed amount, Foodpanda is now present in over 200 cities in India and partners with over 12,000 restaurants.

On their path towards expansion, e-commerce players in India are looking out for potential M&A deals in order to expand their businesses. The consolidation drive in the e-commerce industry follows from the fact that foreign direct investment will not happen much and domestic players to grow the pie and expand their business share on their own.

About the Author: M&A Critique is the only magazine, News published from India which gives M&A News, Mergers and Acquisitions News, Analysis, Restructuring, Takeovers, and JV.Read More on:


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UN Secretary General Annan cleared of influencing oil-for-food contracts by Volcker report

Wednesday, March 30, 2005UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has been cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation of charges that he influenced the UN to award aid-screening contracts in Iraq to Swiss company Cotecna Inspection Services, which employed his son Kojo Annan. The investigation was led by former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who said that the investigation initiated by Kofi Annan should instead have been referred to UN’s independent watchdog agency. The report issued was called by the secretary general a “second interim report” in his statement reported in the New Zealand Herald. The commission will issue its final report in the northern hemisphere summer of 2005.

While Kofi Annan was exonerated, two of his staff members, Iqbal Riza and Dileep Nair, were criticized by the report. Riza allegedly shredded documents related to the contracts under investigation after the secretary general ordered that they be retained. The New York Times said that Nair was “faulted for appointing a person to a high-level post with oil-for-food responsibilities who did almost no work on the program”.

According to the New York Times, the Secretary General said “I am deeply saddened by the evidence to the contrary that has emerged, and particularly by the fact that my son had failed to cooperate fully with the inquiry”. The Guardian reports that Annan’s son concealed from his father the fact that Cotecna continued to pay him for 6 years after “he left Cotecna in 1998”. It was not clear from the Guardian report why Cotecna was paying Kojo Annan if he had indeed left the company.

Asked whether he planned to step down as Secretary General, as called for by US Republican Senator Norm Coleman, among others, Kofi Annan responded, “Hell, no!” according to Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian, as well as an unattributed Sydney Morning Herald article. Senator Coleman continued to press forward with his criticism of Annan and calls for his resignation despite the report’s findings.

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Wikinews interviews Duncan Campbell, co-founder of wheelchair rugby

Friday, September 7, 2012

London, England — On Wednesday, Wikinews interviewed Duncan Campbell, one of the creators of wheelchair rugby.

((Laura Hale)) You’re Duncan Campbell, and you’re the founder of…

Duncan Campbell: One of the founders of wheelchair rugby.

((Laura Hale)) And you’re from Canada, eh?

Duncan Campbell: Yes, I’m from Canada, eh! (laughter)

((Laura Hale)) Winnipeg?

Duncan Campbell: Winnipeg, Manitoba.

((Laura Hale)) You cheer for — what’s that NHL team?

Duncan Campbell: I cheer for the Jets!

((Laura Hale)) What sort of Canadian are you?

Duncan Campbell: A Winnipeg Jets fan! (laughter)

((Laura Hale)) I don’t know anything about ice hockey. I’m a Chicago Blackhawks fan.

((Hawkeye7)) Twenty five years ago…

Duncan Campbell: Thirty five years ago!

((Laura Hale)) They said twenty five in the stadium…

Duncan Campbell: I know better.

((Hawkeye7)) So it was 1977.

((Laura Hale)) You look very young.

Duncan Campbell: Thank you. We won’t get into how old I am.

((Hawkeye7)) So how did you invent the sport?

Duncan Campbell: I’ve told this story so many times. It was a bit of a fluke in a way, but there were five of us. We were all quadriplegic, that were involved in sport, and at that time we had the Canadian games for the physically disabled. So we were all involved in sports like table tennis or racing or swimming. All individual sports. And the only team sport that was available at that time was basketball, wheelchair basketball. But as quadriplegics, with hand dysfunction, a bit of arm dysfunction, if we played, we rode the bench. We’d never get into the big games or anything like that. So we were actually going to lift weights one night, and the volunteer who helped us couldn’t make it. So we went down to the gym and we started throwing things around, and we tried a few things, and we had a volleyball. We kind of thought: “Oh! This is not bad. This is a lot of fun.” And we came up with the idea in a night. Within one night.

((Hawkeye7)) So all wheelchair rugby players are quadriplegics?

Duncan Campbell: Yes. All wheelchair rugby players have to have a disability of some kind in all four limbs.

((Laura Hale)) When did the classification system for wheelchair rugby kick in?

Duncan Campbell: It kicked in right away because there was already a classification system in place for wheelchair basketball. We knew basketball had a classification system, and we very consciously wanted to make that all people with disabilities who were quadriplegics got to play. So if you make a classification system where the people with the most disability are worth more on the floor, and you create a system where there are only so many points on the floor, then the people with more disability have to play. And what that does is create strategy. It creates a role.

((Hawkeye7)) Was that copied off wheelchair basketball?

Duncan Campbell: To some degree, yes.

((Laura Hale)) I assume you’re barracking for Canada. Have they had any classification issues? That made you

Duncan Campbell: You know, I’m not going to… I can’t get into that in a major way in that there’s always classification issues. And if you ask someone from basketball, there’s classification issues. If you ask someone from swimming… There’s always classification issues. The classifiers have the worst job in the world, because nobody’s ever satisfied with what they do. But they do the best they can. They’re smart. They know what they’re doing. If the system needs to change, the athletes will, in some way, encourage it to change.

((Laura Hale)) Do you think the countries that have better classifiers… as someone with an Australian perspective they’re really good at classification, and don’t get theirs overturned, whereas the Americans by comparison have had a number of classification challenges coming in to these games that they’ve lost. Do you think that having better classifiers makes a team better able to compete at an international level?

Duncan Campbell: What it does is ensures that you practice the right way. Because you know the exact classifications of your players then you’re going to lineups out there that are appropriate and fit the classification. If your classifications are wrong then you may train for six months with a lineup that becomes invalid when that classification. So you want to have good classifiers, and you want to have good classes.

((Laura Hale)) When you started in 1977, I’ve seen pictures of the early wheelchairs. I assume that you were playing in your day chair?

Duncan Campbell: Yes, all the time. And we had no modifications. And day chairs at that time were folding chairs. They were Earjays or Stainless. That’s all the brands there were. The biggest change in the game has been wheelchairs.

((Laura Hale)) When did you retire?

Duncan Campbell: I never retired. Still play. I play locally. I play in the club level all the time.

((Laura Hale)) When did you get your first rugby wheelchair?

Duncan Campbell: Jesus, that’s hard for me to even think about. A long time ago. I would say maybe twenty years ago.

((Laura Hale)) Were you involved in creating a special chair, as Canadians were pushing the boundaries and creating the sport?

Duncan Campbell: To a degree. I think everybody was. Because you wanted the chair that fit you. Because they are all super designed to an individual. Because it allows you to push better, allows you to turn better. Allows you to use your chair in better ways on the court. Like you’ve noticed that the defensive chairs are lower and longer. That’s because the people that are usually in a defensive chair have a higher disability, which means they have less balance. So they sit lower, which means they can use their arms better, and longer so they can put screens out and set ticks for those high point players who are carrying the ball. It’s very much strategic.

((Hawkeye7)) I’d noticed that in wheelchair basketball the low point player actually gets more court time…

Duncan Campbell: …because that allows the high point player to play. And its the same in this game. Although in this game there’s two ways to go. You can go a high-low lineup, which is potentially two high point players and two very low point players, which is what Australia does right now with Ryley Batt and the new kid Chris Bond. They have two high point players, and two 0.5 point players. It makes a very interesting scenario for, say, the US, who use four mid-point players. In that situation, all four players can carry the ball; in the Australian situation, usually only two of them can carry the ball.

((Laura Hale)) Because we know you are going soon, the all-important question: can Canada beat the Australians tonight?

Duncan Campbell: Of course they are. (laughter)

((Laura Hale)) Because Australians love to gamble, what’s your line on Canada?

Duncan Campbell: It’s not a big line! I’m not putting a big line on it! (laughter) I’d say it’s probably 6–5.

((Hawkeye7)) Is your colour commentary for the Canadian broadcast?

Duncan Campbell: That was for the IPC. I did the GB–US game this morning. I do the Sweden–Australia game tomorrow at two. And then I’m doing the US–France game on the last day.

((Laura Hale)) Are you happy with the level of coverage the Canadians are providing your sport?

Duncan Campbell: No.

((Laura Hale)) Thank you for an honest answer.

Duncan Campbell: Paralympic Sports TV is their own entity. They webcast, but they’re not a Canadian entity. Our Canadian television is doing… can I swear?

((Laura Hale)) Yeah! Go ahead!

Duncan Campbell: No! (laughter) They’re only putting on an hour a day. A highlight package, which to me is…

((Hawkeye7)) It’s better than the US.

Duncan Campbell: Yes, I’ve heard it’s better than the US. At the same time, it’s crap. You have here [in Great Britain], they’ve got it on 18 hours a day, and it’s got good viewership. When are we going to learn in North America that viewership is out there for it? How many times do we have to demonstrate it? We had the Paralympics in Vancouver two years ago, the Winter Paralympics, and we had crappy coverage there. There was an actual outburst demand to put the opening ceremonies on TV because they weren’t going to do it. And they had to do it, because everybody complained. So they did it, but they only did it in BC, in our home province, where they were holding it. The closing ceremonies they broadcast nationally because the demand was so high. But they still haven’t changed their attitudes.

((Laura Hale)) I have one last question: what did it mean for you when they had a Canadian flag bearer who was a wheelchair rugby player?

Duncan Campbell: I recruited that guy. It was fantastic. I recruited him. Found him playing hockey. And that guy has put in so much time and effort into the game. He absolutely deserves it. No better player.

((Laura Hale)) Thank you!

((Hawkeye7)) Thank you! Much appreciated.

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Massive blackouts hit Florida

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Massive blackouts occurred throughout the US state of Florida shortly after 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (18:00 UTC) on Tuesday afternoon. Out of the 4.4 million customers served by Florida Power & Light, Co. (FPL), about 680,000 residents were affected, with an additional two million-plus customers affected in other parts of the state. It is estimated that as many as four million customers throughout Florida were affected, with many different power companies losing control of their specific grids.

Power outages were reported as far south as the Florida Keys, on the original FPL grid, and as far north as Orlando and Daytona Beach, nearly 300 miles (483 km) away on the Progress Energy grid. Most of Miami-Dade and parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties suffered the worst outages.

FPL President Armando Olivera said that a disconnect switch failed at 1:08 p.m. at the automated substation west of Miami, and a piece of equipment that controls voltage caught fire about the same time. Neither failure by itself would have caused a widespread outage. The event at the utility’s Flagami substation consequently led to the rolling blackouts.

Originally the first failure was thought to have occurred at the utility’s nuclear plant at Turkey Point. It is still unclear how failure at this site spread, but with power turning off at the main Turkey Point location, which serves all of south Florida, FPL’s grid shut down as well. It contributed to a domino effect which ended up sapping energy from bordering grids all over Florida.

Police reported several people were stuck in the elevators of high-rise buildings in downtown Miami and several hospitals were running on backup power, although no injuries or fatalities have been reported. The blackouts caused major traffic jams and a few accidents, but the original outage was contained shortly after it occurred. All customers affected had power restored to them by 6:30 p.m. (23:30 UTC).

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Four new breeds in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This year, four breeds of dogs are competing for the first time in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, United States.

The new breeds making their Westminister debuts this year, are the Plott, a hunting hound originally bred by two German immigrant brothers in North Carolina; the Tibetan Mastiff, once described by Marco Polo as “tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion.”; the Beauceron, a herding dog originally bred to herd flocks of sheep in France, later used to sniff out landmines and send messages during the World Wars; and the Swedish Vallhund, a breed dating back to the time of the Vikings, used on farms to catch vermin, herd cattle, and as a guard dog, noted for its double coat and harness markings.

This brings the number of unique breeds competing in the famous dog show to 169.

The Plott, the Beauceron, and the Vallhund were shown on Monday. The Tibetan Mastiff will be shown tonight as part of the Working Group.

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Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.

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Left-wing EU parliament candidates debate in Cardiff

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cardiff, Wales —Labour, Plaid Cymru, and No2EU candidates for the Wales seats in the European Parliament met at Cardiff‘s Sandringham Hotel last night for the second of two pre-election hustings debates hosted by Cardiff Trades Union Congress. Cardiff TUC president Katrine Williams moderated as Derek Vaughan of the Labour Party, Jill Evans MEP of Plaid Cymru, and Rob Griffiths of the No2EU coalition, the tops of their respective lists, took questions from an audience of 22 composed largely of socialist activists and trade union members.

Candidates from the Tories, Liberal Democrats, and Green Party were not invited to the evening debate, although the Liberal Democrats did take part in the TUC’s debate earlier in the day. Ms Williams explained that the Liberal Democrats and Tories had been excluded because “we wanted to have candidates more representative of trade unions” but that not inviting the Greens had been “an oversight” due to the less prominent tradition of green politics in Wales. The BNP, UKIP and some minor parties also did not take part.

In opening statements, the three candidates discussed their records and their goals for the European Parliament. Mr Vaughan, leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, asserted the pro-organised labour credentials of the Labour Party, which has been under fire for several years from the left, and noted that Labour, which currently controls two of Wales’s four seats in the EU Parliament, has brought £1.5 billion to Wales, with a comparable amount to come in the future. Calling the BNP “Nazis” and comparing the British political situation to that in Germany in the 1930s, Vaughan called for the parties of the left to rally behind Labour in order to ensure that the BNP did not obtain any seats in Wales; but he expressed resignation to the likelihood that the BNP would earn a seat in North West England.

Ms Evans, meanwhile, who has been an MEP for ten years, announced her opposition to the pro-privatisation current in the EU and pledged that Plaid would support a new program of public investment and pro-organised labour revisions of EU directives, particularly the Posted Workers Directive.

Mr Griffiths, meanwhile, who is General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, took a position urging radical reform of the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty, which he characterised as a re-branding of the European Constitution, would, he argued, enshrine neo-liberal policies in Europe and impose them on its member states in a way that was irreversible — “at least by any constitutional means”. Calling for a “social Europe” as opposed to a “United States of Europe“, Griffiths suggested that the creation of a European Defence Agency and the actions of the European Court of Justice were being used to turn the European Union into a capitalist “empire” akin to the United States.

Discussion of the ongoing UK parliamentary expenses scandal and its implications for MEPs, who draw salaries and expenses considerably higher than Westminster MPs do, dominated the early discussion. The Labour candidate expressed the position that the problems in accountability leading to the scandal had been fixed; his opponents noted that of the parties currently representing Britain in Brussels, only Labour has not yet disclosed their expenses (although Mr Vaughan states that the party will begin to do so soon) and Mr Griffiths furthermore declared that the scandal was part of a wider problem: the corruption of the political system by big business.

On the subject of a common European defence policy the three candidates supported widely differing views. The No2EU candidate stated plainly that he considers Europe not to be threatened, and said that a European defence force would be used for foreign adventures in Afghanistan, Africa, and elsewhere in the developing world while at the same time building up the armaments industry in Europe. Ms Evans, meanwhile, argued that the proper role of a common EU force would be as a “civil force” supporting conflict prevention and conflict resolution operations, and also called for the abolition of NATO. Mr Vaughan finished the second round of questioning arguing that a common European armed force should be an alternative to the “US-dominated” NATO, but also stated the importance of bilateral alliances in building up a common European defence force, citing the Franco-German Brigade of the Eurocorps as an example.

Debate ended on the contentious question of MEP salaries, with one member of the audience challenging the three candidates to pledge to accept a wage, if they won, equal to the average wage of their constituents. Ms Evans agreed that the set wage, currently £63,000 rising to £73,000 in 2010, was “too high”, but would not commit to a so-called “worker’s wage”, under heavy criticism from the audience. Mr Vaughan, following, called it “not fair” to ask MEPs to take such a pledge but asserted “I have never been motivated by money” and finished his part in the debate with a call to elect more left-wing socialist MEPs. Mr Griffiths, whose No2EU coalition has made a worker’s wage for MEPs part of their election manifesto, readily pledged to hold to a living wage, albeit not necessarily one equal to the average wage of his constituents, and described some of the difficulties associated with refusing an EU salary, noting that initially No2EU had proposed that its MEPs should draw no salary and claim no expenses from Europe but the coalition’s legal advisors had said that to do so would endanger the status of any of its members as MEPs.

Voting for the European Parliament elections in the United Kingdom takes place June 4.

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