How do we punish elected politicians in a more effective way?
(Or at best, how do we avoid voters being willing to punish the whole political class in general?)
To briefly explain what I mean:
Exhibit 1: "In 2010, Gnarr, a stand-up comedian, stood as mayor of Reykjavik. It was a satirical gesture, designed to protest against the political class blamed for miring Iceland in the financial crisis. To his horror, and the horror of the establishment, he won." https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/15/jon-gnarr-comedian-mayor-iceland
Exhibit 2: Recent Italian constitution referendum: "While the reform has some intrinsic merits, the domestic debate is centered on the effort to unseat the prime minister. At the same time, financial markets see the vote as a test of the appetite of reform in the country" http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/30/italys-referendum-explained-what-you-need-to-know.html
Exhibit 3: Holland referendum of 2005 concerning EU constitution: "According to a poll  by Maurice de Hond, 30% of the Constitution's opponents used the referendum as an opportunity to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the government, instead of confining their deliberations to the contents of the treaty that was put before them. At the time of the referendum, the Netherlands' centre-right coalition government, led by Jan Peter Balkenende, was suffering a period of unpopularity as it tried to push through cuts in public spending, and there was widespread disillusion with the country's political elite." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_European_Constitution_referendum,_2005
I picked those examples because it is a more clear case then deliberating whether some populist politician got elected to punish the establishment, or maybe indeed to his voters the program was indeed realistic and reasonable.
The problem, that I would like to tackle is the following - voters see a government that in their opinion seriously underperform. Possibility to elect another mainstream party with a not-so-different program seems not specially tempting. There may be also a problem of some undesirable changes that may be beyond blamed politician (either caused by long term changes or external factors), the voters do not bother analyse such minuscule details carefully; they just want to punish the person is in charge for not fixing the problem.
And then a referendum comes (on absolutely unrelated stuff), and they finally have a chance to say this guy in charge or whole political class a big "NO".
Could there be a method to satisfy voters bloodlust ( ;) ) in some way that would not derail unrelated projects or replace already not specially professional establishment with even less competent populist? Some way of punishing politicians and calming down before relevant election / referendum? Or maybe some way to avoid the whole problem in more creative way? Or maybe such few derailed project should be just accepted as collateral damage?
(Assume contemporary tech level; country neutral answer; just something that generally could work in a Western democracy. If there is a way to solve it then I would presumably have to put in the background of my story.)