For years the Liberals have assumed that they can talk directly to the public. They are wrong. First all of all, the Liberals are not in government and so much of what they have to say is not newsworthy. Secondly, most of what the Liberals say is such thin stuff it is lucky they get any news coverage at all. The Liberals are boring. Not only is the party not coming up with interesting policy proposals, but the Liberals stubbornly refuse to talk about any issue intelligently least they offend someone. This holds true even for issues they do support. Take the gun registry. Beyond pointing to the fact that police forces around the country access the gun registry x number of times every day, the Liberals have not said a thing.
Another mistake the Liberals have made is they have been slow to realize one does not need to be on the right side of public opinion to make political gains. The public often do not care deeply about this or that issue. What is important in these cases is that parties speak intelligently about the issue. After all, being on the right side of public opinion in these cases does not have much upside. Worse, if the talking points are badly crafted, stating a popular opinion badly may actually hurt a party. Such was the case with the census. The decision to dump the voluntary long form was popular enough, but Conservative talking points were so asinine they became media fodder and punchline to various jokes.
Yet another mistake the Liberals make is that they do not spend nearly enough time poking holes in their opponents arguments. To expand on what was said above with regard to the census, the Liberals spent virtually all of their time talking about how various interest groups make use of the census. Given the fun the media were having with Tony Clement and the fact some Conservatives were saying that denying funding to special interests was exactly the point, the Liberal approach was utterly misconceived. Never mind giving credence to a Conservative talking point. Tony Clement was digging a big hole for himself and Liberals should have been gathered around and pissing in it. A good reductio ad absurdum is one of the most deadly weapons in an opposition's MPs arsenal. The Liberals do not seem to realize this.
Finally, the Liberals need to realize that not much of their message reaches the public unfiltered and much of what the public knows about the issues the Liberals care about is what they pundits have to say about them. Least they continue to give various conservative pundits free reign, something that they have done since Trudeau stepped down, the Liberals have to go to the trouble of putting out detailed arguments. These arguments might never reach the public, but the pundits will have to deal with them and what the pundits say does reach the public.