Well (to use a recent Boards example), take the recent campaign against Sean Sherlock's new internet legislation. People engaged, wrote their TDs and so on - only to be fobbed off with generic auto-replies (and poorly written, and spelled, ones at that!) and in the end he signed it through anyway.
The problem is politicians in this country face no personal consequences, regardless of what they do. If they misbehave they get a slap on the wrist (if even that), and sure you can say "well you can choose not to vote for them at the next election" but how well does THAT work either?
Take FF - sure they got decimated but most of the top echelon took their fat pensions that they will get now and for the rest of their lives (20-40 years maybe?) despite what happened to the country under their watch! Sure Bertie has made a nice retirement out of lecturing others on how to replicate the Irish Miracle that was the Celtic Tiger years
Why WOULD they do anything beyond serving their own interests? And who's going to change that? - it'd be like asking Turkeys to vote for Christmas.
"Democracy" (at least the Irish version) just doesn't work!