Representational democracy was invented and institutionalized in an era that had little in common with current times. Lack of education, agrarian issues, language barriers, civil rights deficits and geographical isolation added up to a context where representational democracy made perfect practical sense.
What's exciting about this era is how the innovation and tech communities are quickly inventing ways for people to be directly engaged in common affairs. We are already seeing how current representational systems are struggling as disruption to a more engagement democracy becomes possibility and reality.
At root, I would argue that a society advances when it ceases to confuse representation with engagement.