I've taken it upon myself to rebuild the Ideology system... it'll redo all the traits and eventually galactic events as well.
1) Remove the "good VS evil" dichotomy. The three branches will all have moral ambiguity and represent more nuanced ideas.
2) Each chain, if pursued, will have great benefits (duh) but will also include minor penalties.
3) Relatively balanced chains.
4) Removing the color coding (which creates a bias) and hiding the exact results of ideology events. Obviously events repeat and you will be able to figure it all out, but I hope to make the decisions harder. If I can I may even randomize or have split bonuses (decisions that contribute to two ideologies instead of just one).
5) Most likely making basic Ideology Buildings universally available from the beginning, allowing player's to produce their ideology points without relying on events and colonization. Allbeit more slowly.
The three Ideological edges that I'm considering right now?
Egalitarianism, Materialism, and Survivalism
AKA: Collectivist, Capitalist, and ... Militarists?
A conservative minded empire like ancient China? Mostly going to focus on the Egalitarianism with a dose of Survivalism.
The Roman Republic? Materialist Survivalists
The European Union? Egalitarianism and Materialism (sounds weird but it just means they are balanced).
Not saying its perfect and I welcome suggestions, but its a good springboard for something better than "Good, Evil, and Reasonable People".
Currently I've started on the Egalitarianism Chains and have two:
1) Cultural Diffusion: Trade Bonuses, freighters, influence, and a little diplomacy. Minor Gross Income Penalties.
2) Intellectual Pursuit: Scientists, Spies, Research at the cost of Morale (networking your people to process data while they sleep? Sure!!)
PS: Removing the color-coding on all these icons is a bit of a chore lol...