Democracy, by definition, reflects the desires of the populus. Regardless of how well the system is actually functioning to serve such a purpose, democratic leaders will only work within the limitations set forth by the voters to whom they are trying to appeal. That said, we're not going to see any rapid deurbanization or a paradigm shift in our economic principles. Such initiatives simply would not cater to the sentiment of the common folk. Democracy is not majority rule, but the goals of the nation are very much reflected in the initiatives targeted by politicians.
An example of how things work: So global warming is becoming an increasingly moderate topic; find alternative energy sources, build hybrid SUVs, etc. Heck, economic nationalism may even become popular (again) give the right motives and enough talk. However, the widescale changes needed in our society don't appeal to this interests (financial, social, personal) of Joe Anyone, so potential solutions never enter the discussion.
It isn't as if there aren't folks with good intentions running for local government positions. But who would entertain the possibility of voting for someone who appears to have an all too keen grasp of history, ecological systems, etc.? These weren't the comfortable fraternizers that were part of the culture of oversocialization, flashing plastic smiles and sitting on the debate team throughout college. The majority is not controlling the country, but democracy is like high school, where a representative sample that has something at stake will hoist into leadership anyone with the drive to ascend the social ladder.
People aren't denied the right to vote anywhere, anymore. They are either lazy or comfortably uninformed. Who rigs elections? How do variations of "cronyism" develop? There are already folks in place, and networks emerge through government, the media, academia, and just about anywhere else you'll find people willing to sell-out or emerge from the bourgeois woodwork. I doubt there are any evil geniuses within such a network, however, that would give us cause to pooh-pooh a perceived manipulation of the unfortunate peons. This is simply not the case. There are bumbling idiots up and down the societal strata whose bums are yearning for the warmth of oversiZed pizza ovens.
In case you haven't noticed, I've been ranting more or less in sequence with the tenets you've proposed. I don't remember all that much about the electoral college, because such information doesn't seem very important. I don't see how it ultimately holds any relevance in this issue. Would eliminating the electoral college bring about the much-needed reforms we seek?
Really, if someone were genuinely interested in bringing about an exemplary society within the context of a democracy, an organic network would need to emerge in which communication is placed at centre. There is a term, participatory democracy, in which citizens are more or less required to serve in deliberation of political affairs. What happened to town hall meetings? People are too busy, or they simply aren't held. There are too many fucking people, and communication breaks down. The orientation retreats in scope to maintain perspective, and thus the local is no longer the focus. Now, we deal strictly with the large-scale. I'm waiting for the inevitable collapse, in which most people will die because their local supermarket has run out of Marie Callendar's frozen dinners. (This is most of America, with well over half of our citizenry ranked as "pleasantly plump" or some other ridiculous euphemism.) By then, I'll be in Europe, which has a few more decades yet, if it ever encounters calamity on the same scale as the U.S. What's your plan?