Today, the people of Scotland are voting in a referendum to decide whether or not Scotland should be an independent country. Canadians have experienced this twice before – once in 1980 and another time in 1995. The parallels between the 1995 Quebec vote and today’s referendum are uncanny: in both cases, the “No” campaign was expected to win. In both cases, the “No” campaign was left to a less than inspiring leadership. In both cases, near the end of the referendum, there was a surge of popular support for the “Yes” campaign. In both cases, the leadership at the national level severely underestimated the potential for the “Yes” vote. And in both cases, there were last minute desperate rallies on the part of the “No” campaigners, with national prime ministers and national opposition leaders alike coming together to plead for the future of the greater country. Whether the 11th hour pleas will succeed in moving enough Scots over to the “No” side we do not know. We will find out tomorrow.
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