Unfortunately, either the essay fails to convey the essence of service an elected official conveys or you are still seeing an election as contest for status, influence, and power as a good thing. I believe the book does a better job, but it is a heavier read.
There are people in Canada and USA who also believe the system works well. But I scratch the surface a little, I find they are political junkies who enjoy the drama, especially if their party is in power.
It is strange that Canada also has a first-past-the-post electoral structure, yet we are much more progressive than the USA or UK these days. I cannot figure out why we are not, as you say, like a dual-communism.
I disagree about the Europeans. I believe average Europeans hold their politicians in just as much contempt as they do in the USA. Look at the yellow vest movement in France. Both Italy and Israel have been in political turmoil for a while. All the limitations are in Europe from what I see. But I will concur that the influence of big money is of less predominance than in the US.
And I do not believe the voters self-pick their representatives in PR. My understanding is that the party puts up a ranked list of candidates to the parliament. How far down that list goes depends on voter support for the party, not the people the voters prefer. At least in first-past-the-post, voters can refuse, in theory, a known useless candidate proffered by the party. But I have seen one dead man get elected!