Anyone who has given humanity the critical thought we deserve should realize if humanity could reach consensus on our common purpose, we wouldn't have elections. We would just get on with it. "Common good" and 'democratic' election are as oxymoronic as "military intelligence". "Democracy" as it is being defined through practice is the way of governing designed to accommodate our shared inability to see common purpose at any level of organization. It involves allowing those persons looking for an individual sense of purpose in 'leadership' to participate in formal crap throwing contests to decide who looks best in front of a group of people who can't agree on where it is going.
These contests can vary in length and cost. The recent US presidential contest for instance, lasted an agonizing two years and cost $2.4 billion. Mercifully local elections last only about two weeks and cost around $2.40. Regardless of the cost or the length of time, contests are decided by "the people" who vote for the persons who at the end have the least amount of crap on them. The unlucky winners then discover their purpose is to be a target for the informal crap throwing that lasts until the next contest. Poor George Bush will never be able to crawl out from under the pile of crap that has been thrown on him during the last 2 years not to mention the previous 6; and it wasn't even his fault he 'won'.
Such is the degradation of our so called democracy, my sense is unless we become enlightened en masse by an event such as the impending economic collapse, certainly in my lifetime lexicographers will be forced to change the spelling and definition of the word we assign to our system of government. The word will become "democrapy" (de mo' crapy) from the Greek word "demo" meaning people and the refined English word "crap" meaning shit. The definition of "democrapy" will be: "a self-destructive system of organizing people who for lacking knowledge of common purpose, throw shit at each other." The consequence will be a society polluted to the point it will be unable to sustain life.