Political conventions aren’t what they used to be. No suspense awaited Missouri delegates who traveled to Los Angeles for the national convention. All knew Al Gore would be the party nominee for president. Parties and scripted evening shows have replaced contested nominations and platform arguments. But Kansas City delegate Dutch Newman, who went to her first convention in 1968, won’t say they have become glorified pep rallies. Other veteran delegates say the conventions have improved, even though heavily scripted.