Yesterday I was talking with someone that lived for a couple of years in Vladivostock, in the far East of Russia. She said that in there the Mafia is very strong (very far away from the central government, so there isn't much power given to the government). So strong that they easily decide who should win elections. Here is an example:
Elections for governor were going on, in the middle of winter. The privately owned water company said that they couldn't supply people with hot water this winter because there wasn't enough rain during the summer months. But cold water had unlimited stock. Did it make any sense to you? No... But it gets better.
So the current governor is trying to get reelected and loses the elections because people were quite distressed because of the lack of cold water. One day after the elections, suddenly hot water starts flowing again. For the general public they simply lost: they voted for someone that wouldn't really solve the water problem, just would be able to be nicer to the hot water owner and decrease the chance that in the future they will cut the hot water again.
And what about the government? They couldn't do anything... It's owned by private companies that offer a "service" to the region. If they claim that they can't supply hot water because they don't have enough water, what can the government do? Probably they even had some specialists analyzing the situation and having scientific claims that showed that couldn't afford providing hot water.
So what if there was no democracy? My claim is that the people would certainly suffer less. No figuring out what "they" want you to vote next. No retaliation for voting in the "wrong" candidate. Things wouldn't improve, but until you are able to ensure power to the government, why have one?