It was once said that Democracy at it purest form is nothing more than conversation. Whoever said this had obviously never seen the internet.
Democracy thrives when free speech and discourse are not only permitted but actually encouraged. The individual invents a political hypothesis which they then spread to the rest of the populace. The people then dissect the hypothesis, picking out every minor flaw and splitting every lat hair, but this only causes the hypothesis to grow stronger over time. Perhaps it picks up some influence from different political beliefs which may include everything from capitalism to communism. Eventually the hypothesis has grown into something realistic, something that the people would be willing to put into practice. The democratic system facilitates this rather nicely. If the idea winds up benefiting the community overall it will most likely be kept around. If not than the democratic system will ensure that it does not remain in practice for much longer.
The key to this is the free exchange of ideas. The open marketplace of hypotheses. Without a system in place in which the individual can be exposed to new ideas and new criticisms, the state system will become stagnant. Change would be incredibly difficult to facilitate. People would be locked in partisan bickering. There would be no "right" and "wrong" but only "loud" and "louder". This is a form of authoritarianism in which nobody is in charge. It is essentially an anarchic authoritarian dystopia.
Fortunately for modern times, the internet exists as a source of rational discourse between like minded individuals. This serves to belay the absurd amount of closed-mindedness that the mainstream political media is pushing onto the citizens. One can speculate all sorts of irrational theories that the internet serves as the collective subconscious of very human that uses it, or that it was created not of technology and business but out of necessity to the human race. The only theory that can be supported with evidence at this particular point in time is that the internet is completely essential to the evolution of humanity.
The worst thing that could happen is for authoritarianism to gain hold of this particular free marketplace of ideas. Be they corporations such as Google and your internet service providers, or governments such as China and the United States, no version of control must be placed over this as-of-yet still free domain. This is the place where bad ideas come to die, and where the good ideas may yet survive despite layers upon layers of propaganda.
"VI VERI VENIVERSUM VIVUS VICI"