The Retirement of Monte Solberg

By Royce Koop on Sep 11, 2008
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Rick Bell has written a glowing political obituary for Monte Solberg, one of the three senior cabinet ministers that won't be running for re-election.

First elected in 1993 as a Reform Party MP, Solberg was probably the most entertaining MP in the House throughout the 1990s. He was certainly one of the most effective oppostion critics I've ever seen (the other being Diane Ablonczy, although the two of them employ radically different styles). While complaining about tax increases, Solberg once asked Paul Martin in Question Period:

"When is the minister going to change the name from 24 Sussex Drive to 24 Sucks Us Dry?"

As a Conservative critic, Solberg ran a very entertaining blog. He then convinced his room-mate, MP and future indian affairs minister Chuck Strahl, to start his own half-hearted blog. From their respective online homes, the two future cabinet ministers began criticizing one another for refusing to do the dishes.

The blog disappeared after he was appointed as a minister in 2006, and so it seemed did Solberg. He likely had a great deal in common with Deborah Grey, the first Reform Party MP who has long since retired, and never accepted Preston Manning's defeat. Solberg seemed to confirm as much in his interview with Bell:

"I bleed Reform green. There's no question, at the time, Reform was more than a party, it was a movement. People were committed at the heart level. It wasn't just a head thing and we wanted to make big changes," says Monte, who adds many people are like him and proud of the bygone days.

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