The way I see it, current political failings are our fault as much as the fault of the elite.
While we seek leaders and are unwilling or uncaring enough to watch them closely, we will always have corrupt behaviour. Although we spout democracy, we behave mostly as if we lived in Monarchies. We love the "strong" leader. We love the pomp and ceremony, the celebrity. We believe we are still the chattels of the ruler appointed by God. We are still the primate picking the fleas out of the fur of the dominant male or female.
How many people voted in Bush (GW)? If I recall correctly, it was 25% of people of voting age, or thereabouts.When most people are faced with the need to improve the situation, they are mostly happy to let someone else do the work, so long as they can complain about how it was done. With that sort of apathy in the population, I'd imagine that the elite think they can do what they like with little interference. And that is mostly how it goes. It is only when conditions get tough that the "average" person works up enough caring to do anything.
It is up to those who see and care to take a stand against the failings of Government. It is also up to those who see and care, to attempt to bring the apathetic along for the ride, for without their support, we have no democratic legitimacy and we become another lot of elitists imposing their view upon the population.