In the first devolution referendum we were offered nothing more than a glorified county council - yet Neil Kinnock and friends scared the electorate off with visions of a Welsh speaking Albania, and we lost our chance for a generation.
In 1999 we were offered a slightly better model, but this time the Kinnockites were not so successful in their scare tactics, and despite general public apathy, the case was narrowly won.
After two terms and no sign of any uniformed linguistic enforcement squads the Senedd has been generally accepted as an integral part of our society, and even the unionist Conservative party have dropped their opposition to devolution.
As the Senedd has progressively increased its powers it has also gained in credibility, and the battleground has moved significantly. In 1987 we were offered a choice between nominal devolution or the unionist status quo. Today the choice is between a more powerful legislative Parliament or maintaining our limited Assembly. Nobody is seriously advocating abolishing devolution.
However, by the time the third referendum is called I expect that the battleground will have shifted again. Independence will have been raised as a viable option, as will the establishment of a federal UK – many people who today oppose a parliament will then find themselves actively supporting one in order to counter the growing movement for independence. Nobody will be supporting a toothless Assembly.
A few more years down the road and I expect that Wales will have become a fully autonomous state within a federal UK – and that the final choice will be between Federalists and Separatists.
Evolution and not Revolution will deliver Independence.
We just have to give it enough time.