But do they really need an expensive and convoluted conference to know what Canadians are really looking for from their politicians?
The Globe and Mail recently conducted a poll and the overwhelming majority were most concerned about recent changes to Income Trust rules.
People can contact their MP directly, and regularly do!
But what comes of all this?
The Liberals used to have a site call OnProbation.ca where they invited the public to submit ideas they would ask of Stephen Harper. The number one question for quite some time was regarding the Income Tax scandal. Those questions were never asked and the web site no longer exists. I'm sure someone within the Liberal party feels really good about themselves but that's about it.
And why should you care?
Because they're the only real alternative to the Conservative government. And I don't care who's in power - Cons, Libs, NDP, Bloc, Rhino - as long as they govern properly but the Libs have the best (only?) chance of forming a government. As long as they're going nowhere the Conservatives will govern as though they had no limits, no oversight, no challenge to their authority. This is necessary in a democracy - even in an autocracy - to ensure that the decisions made are the best ones. If you don't have to think about what you're doing, if you're not worried about the consequences you're not going to put in the effort to make sure you've covered all the bases, considered all the possibilities, and evaluated all the outcomes.