The law has, long ago, ceased to apply to the powerful. That is why a poor person who murders someone gets the chair, whereas a CEO who murders someone through the actions of his corporation gets a bonus (see, for example, TASER). That is also why Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have not been prosecuted despite confessing to war crimes on national television.
This problem cannot be solved through elections. Most often, elections comprise a choice among two or more immoral, unethical, rich adversaries, none of whom have any intention to upset the status quo if elected, because the status quo leans sharply in favor of those in power. Thus, vote all you want – nothing will change.
With the fundamental equalizer of democracy (elections) gone, a disenchanted public must turn to other means. I hate to say this, but peaceful protest don’t do shit. Worse, violent protests will only attract more violence. (UPDATE: Worse still, some so-called western democracies are working to criminalize dissent.) And just forget about overthrowing the government of any modern country. Unless you manage to hypnotize the military, all the rifle-toting rednecks in the Southern U.S. won’t mean dick-all.
One thing that’s left is jury trials, and herein lies the power. As a juror it is your right to find a defendant “not guilty” for any reason you like, regardless of the judge’s instructions. So here is the plan: if you are an american and are called for jury duty, find the defendant ‘not guilty’ on the basis of discrimination, then get on the news and explain. Until Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the cast of The Torture Show are held responsible under the law, no one will be.
I recommend this same method of protest in any country where those in power purport to be above the law. I don’t know if it will work, but it will damn well get some attention.