In my limited experience, the key to democratic success is for moderators to transparently and unselfishly demonstrate the willingness to serve those that cannot or do not speak for themselves effectively and make that voice their primary focus in a sustainable way. It ought to be the primary hallmark for people to extend trust to emerging leadership.
I currently have the view that all groups that do not have a face to face knowledge of each participant regardless of the method of organization include the seeds of their own failure or can be co-opted. Rules for transparency cannot breach the social boundaries – so we need to make the social aspect of individuals work for the group not against it. Corporations, military units and churches and to a certain degree academic institutions do this blending of social and political very well.