We do the best we can in electing public officials that we think will do a good job. But then it seems that they get to Washington and make all sorts of deals with each other and are ultimately more concerned about prestige and money. It is very hard to be responsible as a citizen because of this.
There are actually very few places of a republic, and even fewer times in those republics, where voters actually have as substantial an impact on the leadership as they believe. One a government or government official has reached a certain level of power, its quite easy for them to manipulate the people.
Elected officials in the government are ultimately responsible for the actions that they take and how those actions effect others. We may have elected them as a people, but they still are making the final decision on what they do in government. They need to be held responsible for what they do.
The leaders are ultimately responsible in a republic form of government. They are placed there by the people but the people can not be held accountable for what the leader does. We vote them into office trusting what they said when they were trying to get the position in the first place. If they ultimately mess things up, it should then be on them to either fix the problem or resign.
The people are responsible for the leaders in place in a republic form of government. The electorate has the right to recall leaders who don't live up to their duties while in office. Towards the end of a term, voters can choose new leadership if old leaders failed to oversee their constituents properly.