As a general ideal, the process of government decision-making should strike a balance among the need to take into account the concerns of civil society while making decisions according to rational, demonstrable and defensible criteria.
Civil society always must have the space to make its voice heard; the consequences of an inability to do so are there for all to see in the experience of unfree countries.
Unfortunately, however, some issues appear to be decided solely on the criteria of governments nervous about their popularity only to willing to back down when faced with protests by those skilled in the use of social networks while sometimes not fully skilled in matters of science and law.
The fracking and ACTA issues are illustrations of this. Debate should be democratic, indeed, but it also should be rational and factual.