Sadly, democracy doesn't work, at least not as we have it.
An effective democracy REQUIRES a populace well educated on the candidates, issues, and processes which the populace in the US is not. Once educated on such, those people also then have to bother to vote. Too many people see their vote as unimportant and don't bother. I have two daughters who could have voted in this last presidential election for the first time. Despite strenuous urging, I couldn't get either one to go vote. True democracies only work on a small scale.
On the large scale, you really have to go with a republic if you want an effective, responsive government. In a true republic, the local citizens would choose from among themselves who would represent them at the local level. Those representatives would then choose amongst themselves, people they know and work with, who to represent them at the next level and so on. The reality is that the masses can not know enough about the people at the higher levels to make an effective decision as to who will best represent their needs, so we end up with this travesty called a party system, where the vast majority people blindly follow their party line because of this issue or that issue, or because they belong to this union, born in that family, etc. And why is this the case? Just review a few episodes of "Jay Walking" from the tonight show when they are asking people on the street about political issues, leaders, the Constitution, etc. Far too many people in the US are completely clueless about government or politics. "Don't talk about politics or religion" ... is the attitude of so many here, whereas in other countries, such as those of Europe, people commonly sit around the local pub/gasthaus/etc. and talk meaningfully about those very things. Why? Because those are two of the most important topics in life! Yet most here choose to treat them as taboo!
No, we need to elect people at the local level whom we can trust and hold accountable, and they in turn need to pick people they trust and can hold accountable. This type of system would dramatically reduce the amount of campaigning at the higher levels of government and dramatically reduce the power of special interest/corporate financing of campaigns. Currently, elections are little more than image based popularity contests along party lines heavily influenced by who has the biggest bankroll (and is therefore most likely deepest into the pockets of the corporations). This is NOT good government.