Many modern "democracies", especially the US Federal Government (& to a large extent, state governments) are effectively run like a public (with public shareholding, and probably listed on an international exchange) corporation, which, strictly speaking, are run via an autocratic top-down model.
Public corporations exist to serve the interests of their shareholders alone. They will even see breaking the law as a "cost of business," desirable if doing so adds more to shareholder value than not doing so, taking into account the risk of being caught and held to account.
Shareholders decide who the corporate leaders are, and the market is used by shareholders to gauge which leaders have more profitable approaches.
The US Congress and Executive is effective composed of people who have passed through a filter, which Laurence Lessig refers to as the "money primary" - the people who are viable candidates for office are those who receive campaign funding support from a tiny percentage of the US population. The people making up this money filter are the shareholders in the system. They anoint all the qualifying candidates - by funding them. They effectively eliminate those who they do not fund (the only recent exception was Bernie Sanders (Elizabeth Warren almost avoided selling out, but sadly, not quite), but the DNC closed ranks at the behest of the campaign financiers to ensure he didn't make it through). In this metaphor, the voters are "the market".
The voters are only offered the choice of selecting from among the candidates anointed by the campaign financiers.
In the end, all the candidates, recognising the real source of their support, will ensure that those supporters receive the most responsive treatment by far (not their "official" constituents, the citizens/voters). The funders are, after all, the real shareholders. And that is a damning illustration of a corrupt and fundamentally broken system.
Watch Lessig's talk. It is superb. The situation in the US (and many other "modern democracies" around the world) is not. The citizens are no longer "driving the bus". The status quo needs to change dramatically to redress this corruption and return the balance of power to the people.