Government by the people would require no need for politicians. If the people could develop and carry out their own policies, it would mean that we would not have to have go-betweens, people of excessive pride and arrogance.
We would need no laws and no officials to tell us what to do. We the people, we would be the government.
But now we have politicians, people seeking our vote to represent us but who never again think about the citizenry except as to how to earn their vote.
They never have to think about representation, only as to how to earn the vote. They then do very little except to develop a hierarchy of officials among themselves to carry on. The job of the politicians is to officiate.
Democracy is an inspiring notion. Lincoln whom I admire, gave us “of the people.” A grand notion. What is the significance of “of”? If government is of the people in basic principle, then we don't need it to be “FOR the people?”
And if it's by the people and the people could have a “by the people” rule, we would be ruling ourselves.
Some democracies are more responsive than others. They require politicians with less pride and less hubris. These democracies are run by people more likely to believe in something, they are more apt to be of the people in their beliefs and with the common beliefs of their party.
They are not elected for their perceived views that appear to be those of the many. These democracies are likely to have several parties, each with closer held views among the members and they must often come together with one or more other parties to form a majority government. And again, here's the problem.
Then they must agree to support certain principles basic to their own beliefs. This arrangement may work at times. Usually during times of crises. When it does not, then another election. A majority is more difficult to achieve where government is excepted to function with the involvement of many parties.
So government “by the people” is still a difficult dream to attain regardless of the kind and where. An individual not within the government nor not likely to run for office will find it difficult to get his view represented.
Unless he represents a larger group, a sort of party that could make it difficult at election time, politicians only have deaf ears.
Politicially appinted bureaucrats are not of or by the people, responsible to no one. Although theoretically they can be removed by politicians, the best of them usually dig in roots so deeply, that their removal sometimes is not without difficulty and not always possible.
We often refrain from criticizing the notion of government “by the people” because it is so ingrained in our idealism but for a realist with that idealism still within him, government by its very nature is not “by the people.”