Alex Bell said he spent two years considering the Scottish Government's official blueprint for independence, due to be published in November.
Writing in the Guardian , he said the SNP leadership has so far relied on winning hearts without enough focus on the "profound" assessment to win minds.
"The campaigns to date have been a tedious parade of union flags versus saltires, of pop identity about caring Scots versus heartless Tories," he wrote.
"By insisting on something particular to Scotland and contrasting it to the UK, Salmond has denied a crucial truth about the debate: Scotland's problems are common to the developed world, and the questions for him are the same as those for David Cameron and Ed Miliband."
There is still time for the Government to acknowledge the wider issues, he suggested.
He said: "A smaller unit of Government, given the chance to start over, might have a shot at reinventing the sustainable state - which would be of value to all."
Scottish Labour's constitutional spokesman Drew Smith said: "This is a devastating intervention from someone who was at the heart of Alex Salmond's plans to break up the United Kingdom.
"We all expect the Scottish Government to bring forward a real White Paper which sets out a blueprint for a new country and answers all of our questions. It would appear that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon are instead planning a vague list of options which keep Scots guessing until after polling day. No wonder Alex Bell and many others don't want to be anywhere near this hopeless strategy.
"Tired, tedious and playing the same old songs - this is why more and more Scots are turning away from Alex Salmond's broken ideology."