Just a thought running through my head right now: When does ideology trump principle? Are there people who exist for whom principle always trumps ideology? Lets look at some examples:
Mayor Rob Ford smoked crack. Two news organisations, one reputable, the other less so, ran a story in which their reporters saw and described said video. There was considerable fallout from the story even before today. Several staffers resigned from the mayors office, presumably because they were privy to conversations confirming that Mayor Ford smokes crack. Other staffers stayed in his employ. I presume that all of Mayor Ford’s staffers shared his professed ideology about nonsense such as the “gravy train” and “streetcars and bikes get in the way of my drunken SUV escapades”. Yet some staffers quit, even prior to the eventual vindication of the reporters who broke the story. There must be a measure, even within Conservative circles, whereby principle trumps ideology. But not for all. Some are sticking by the crack smoker come hell or high water, in spite of the literal months of lies that followed this story. For those people, ideology and loyalty to the Conservative brand must trump all forms of principle.
Stephen Harper said for years that he would only appoint Senators who vied for their positions through elections in their home provinces. Look it up. Yet, when push came to shove, he balked and appointed more bagmen, backroom cheats, and failed candidates to the upper chamber than any other prime minister in history. The point in time where he balked was when his minority government was in trouble, facing the possibility of a non-confidence vote. He appointed so many crooked backroom boys that the fallout will be felt for years, even after the current debacle fades into the background. His ideology and devotion to the Conservative brand trumped his espoused principles about having a non-elected upper house. And now he is reaping what his ideology sowed. I would argue that Harper almost never lets principle outrank ideology, based on many of the things he said while in opposition which he has completely turned around on now that he’s in power. I’m not sure exactly how to describe his ideology, aside from generally saying “government bad, private sector good”, although that’s admittedly a gross oversimplification.