Three general problems stand in the way of democratic innovations designed to give citizens greater power and influence over public policy. First, democratic innovations are covered by shadows of the past. They are most usually created by the political and administrative elites of the existing system, they are inevitably embedded in the structures of representative democracy and their operations are inevitably conditioned by the accepted routines and practices of the established system of government. Their effectiveness as innovations designed to change and improve political life is inevitably reduced, to the extent that they are sponsored and guided by the very individuals, institutions and routines they seek to modify.