Why Democracy Is Important
The single most valuable element of a working democracy for a nation's people is government accountability. If a certain government administration doesn't perform, the citizens, as the true holders of power of the state, can criticize, demonstrate, use legal means or simply vote them out of office. The will of the people, for better for worse, is reflected in an accountable government.
Whether or not the nation adapts and/or improves towards the needs of the times, basically depends on two things: government accountability, and an educated, critical electorate.
My argument is, the application of democracy has supported the raising of living standards across the globe, pushing along educational standards as well, where other models, like communism, have fallen apart. Democracy has proven to be adaptable and scalable, although certainly there's a lot of things that need improvement. Yet there lies it's strength: it can improve for the benefit of the many. Voting in elections is a good way, for someone who might perceivably be "forgotten by the state", to participate in democracy, to provide the ultimate check and balance to the seemingly all-powerful government.
Democracy has had some scalability issues do to the sheer size of populations which did not have educational levels raised in step, but I argue that this is more of an issue with the people running things than the system itself. Autocracy is definitely not a better solution either, considering this. Oligarchy, although seemingly an ever-present system in today's capitalist world, is definitely not a choice either. A signifier of whether or not an oligarchy is in place is in fact, rowdy, controversial and sometimes money-laced election campaigns :)))
So when someone says "I don't believe in democracy" while he or she stands on a history of a nation that chose self-determination through democracy and built itself up, also benefiting from the accountability of democratic processes, so that its people at some point can educate themselves, I think it's pretty ignorant and irresponsible.