In the spirit of Iain Macwhirter's old-skool journalistic spadework, we've been doing a little of our own. There's been a lot of talk recently about a "rigged" referendum, with the Unionist parties demanding that the SNP pose only a single question on independence in the poll – insisting that that's all they have a mandate for, rather than also including a question on Full Fiscal Autonomy. But a quick look at the 2011 SNP manifesto suggests otherwise. As early as page 3, the manifesto says the following:
"We will bring forward our proposals to give Scots a vote on full economic powers through an independence referendum." (our emphasis)
That seems to us to fairly clearly allow for an interpretation that would include a devo max question. After all, with full independence the qualifying word "economic" is redundant – an independent nation has ALL powers, not just economic ones – so what else could those three words mean other than also offering the Scottish electorate the choice of full economic powers (aka Full Fiscal Autonomy) within the UK, as well as that of complete independence? It looks very much like the SNP worded their manifesto commitment very carefully to keep their options open, and the protestations of the Unionist parties that they only have the mandate for a single question on full independence would appear to be without any basis in fact.