I went to a Fabian meeting last night (I know sad git on a Friday night!). Dr Meg Russell (previously PA to Robin Cook) outlined her ideas in her Fabian pamphlet "Must Politics Disappoint?".
The basic thrust of her argument is that the current disenchantment with politics is mainly because a consumerist, individualist (I want it all) society and a bloodthirsty media put unrealistic demands on politicians and that politicians actually encourage this by raising unrealistic expectations that must inevitably be dashed. Also the concentration on negative campaigning (both by the media and political parties) is destroying the reputation of actually quite decent (on the whole) politicians. It also is encouraging the attitude that all politicians 'are the same', when anyone who studies politics in depth will know that this is still far from the truth.
Dr Russell argued that (although not opposed to PR, constitutional, media and party funding reform, etc), she thinks the underlying problem goes much deeper and is more embedded in our culture and difficult to cure.
My own thoughts are that Russell's argument is ok as far as it goes, but when it came to offering solutions she seemed quite vague. She just seemed to propose that politicians need to be more honest about their limitations, indepth about their policies and there should be more consensual politics between the parties and less negative campaigning. What she failed to recognise is that it is the current system that largely drives this politician and media behaviour - change the system and politicians campaigning will improve.
Of course, constitutional and electoral reform will only help so much, we can't ignore the fact that globalisation is eroding our democracy and that power is seeping more and more to multinational corporations. The only way to combat this is at a global and regional level, which is why we need to make the EU and world bodies more democratic and give them real powers to rein in multinational corporations.