I'm just linking below two articles that reflect how decision-making in the US and UK is unabashedly understood as something more that just casting a vote, for better or worse.
First, on how and why the UK government cannot trigger EU leave negotiations of its own accord:
Brexit just got a whole lot more interesting:
Second, on the difference between popular vote and electoral college in the US and how the most voted may not win:
The Odds Of An Electoral College-Popular Vote Split Are Increasing