The existence of billboards is proof that democracy doesn't work

We all have a neutral-to-negative opinion about billboards, and yet the apathy of our collective voice cannot overcome the motivated will of a tiny advertising lobby.

We have always lived under democracy, just with varying degrees of dormancy

Democracy is not so much representational government as it is government with begrudging consent. The government takes as much as it can from people without inciting them to become informed and vote with total participation. Before modern democracy, the old autocrats ruled similarly, in that they took as much from the people without inciting them to overthrow the government. Even the slave of Ancient Greece lived in a democracy of sorts in that their slave masters knew there was a limit to how much they could extract before it would incite rebellion. While the masters could disrupt peaceful gatherings of slaves or interfere with slave communication, if they mistreated them enough, the slaves would commit the democratic act of voting with their fist. Government is the redistribution of violence, and since violence is available to all humans, minimally based on an individual's ability to resist force, we have always lived under democracy, with just varying degrees of dormancy.