Is the United Kingdom headed for the history books? And what could it mean for Quebec?

The Quebec separatists are taking inspiration from the Scots and are licking their chops, trying desperately to regroup to once again try to sell their version of Fantasy Island.

They are just beside themselves with delight and visions of their promised land.

Take a listen to this bit of brilliance from Sol Zanetti, the leader of separatist Option Nationale.

His message to the Scots on Quebec's experience is that “Voting no, it gave us the worst of both worlds. In what universe is this a good deal? Saying yes is painful but it’s the right thing to do. Vote no and you will be the laughing stock of the world.”

Ay yi yi I can just see the Scots falling over themselves to vote yes after that gem.

Clear question, but many undecided

There are some things we have in common with the Scottish experience and it's my guess that if we ever go down that road again, the rules here will have to change.

In Scotland, the yes side was leading in a handful of public opinion polls after trailing for years.

In 1995 with five days to go before the vote, the yes side in Quebec held a six point lead in public opinion.

Canada responded with 11th-hour concessions and promises of powers for Quebec.

The U.K. is also attempting its own Hail Mary pass offering new responsibilities for Scotland within the union.

Like in Canada 19 years ago, there are debates about currency and debt and who owns what.

It has the potential to be very messy.

And it's clear, that like it was in Canada, the federal authorities are nervous.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien, four days before the vote on national television in 1995: “The country they want is not a better Canada, it's a separate Quebec. Don't be fooled.”

British PM David Cameron this past week: “This is totally different to a general election. This is a decision not for the next five years but for the next century.”

Huge Differences

The push for Scottish independence is in many ways an economic and political one, while in Quebec it's always been based on ethnic nationalism.

Scotland voters have a clear six-word question; while ours in 1995 and in 1980 were long and complicated and designed to be confusing.

Quebec and Canada also have to deal with the legitimate claims from our natives and that is not the case in Scotland.

What is worrying is that if there is a yes vote next Thursday, it will be like poking a sleeping bear here.

The separatists will spin everything they can into their propaganda.

Many say that the April 7th election proved that the fight for Quebec separation was a generational thing, but never underestimate the resilience of the separatists.

Furthermore the Scots are allowing 16-year-olds to vote, which is something the PQ would love to see here.

On October 30th it came so close: 54, 288 thousand votes, although later we would find out that voter fraud skewered the results.

As Chantal Hebert and Jean Lapierre point out in their important new book, we were so unprepared for what might have happened.

I hope we never have to make that choice again.

At least for our sake, and maybe theirs let's hope the voters in Scotland show the same wisdom.