personally, that statement is not a problem for me. it's just that the voice over sorta says that democracy is alive and well, and this is a demonstration of it. it's muddled. confusing, even, in its aim as a film, and definitely not scorcese's best film. i'm sure they'll give him an oscar for it, though. (well, they might not, but it's an oscar, and who really cares about them?)
it's a long film, too, and the plot (removed from outside the themes) is fairly predictable, right up until the army starts shooting people for rioting, but that's because the sense of disquiet and revolution in the film don't mesh with the story of revenge. in fact, one could go as far as saying that the 'gangs' in Gangs of New York could be cut out of the film entirely, and it'd probably be a better, and more cohesive film.