A government of the people, for the people, and by the people can only be a government in which those that are governed are governed by their explicit consent to that government, which in the scheme of things, is a government which governs well by being fair and beneficial for the people. Further to the point, that government, and thereby the people that make up that government must be answerable and accountable to the people. It can be said that all governments that perform this fundamental function well -- are good and legitimate governments, whereas all those that do not, are in all probability, illegitimate and in all likelihood, coercive in their governance.
Each citizen of any country should look at their governance by those that govern them and must recognize the importance of first knowing what good governance is, and further, to comprehend what clearly represents the characteristics of bad governance. Those that live within a construct in which that government appears to be a law onto itself, in addition to that government being fundamentally unaccountable to the people, as well as being effectively unalterable in its structure as a government by the people, are living in a despotic country, that has wrongfully denied its citizens their inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This signifies that each time that citizens cede power to their government, or consent to do so, or have their liberties curtailed, then those citizens are, by definition, less free and have less choice, because their liberty has been traded or taken from them in order to receive, perhaps, at best, benefits that the government can thereby bestow upon them, which, in theory, is in a manner that is fair and equable to all. Instead, in most cases, when that government decides, without accountability to its citizens, who the winners are, and who the losers are as implemented and decided by that government -- then that is the very beginning of a government that favors some at the expense of the many, and therefore no longer represents a government of the people, but rather is the personification of a government that uses its powers to aggrandize unto that government, powers that really should be in the hands of the people, especially in consideration that those that govern have a sacred obligation to serve and to protect those people.
So many governments, on local, state, and national levels have fundamentally forgotten that their mission for being is to be an aid for the people, of which those people have gathered together into a compact, in order to form a better society, then if they were to remain separated. If more people that worked in government, would perform their functions under the condition that their highest duty is to the people that they ostensibly served; and if the people, would more frequently and consistently hold that government accountable to them, then that governance would be more in keeping with its very purpose to begin with, which is to be just, equable, helpful, and fair to all.