Anyone who has played poker - even a friendly game - knows you don't show your opening hand and then bluff with draw cards.
As the Enbridge pipeline rift grows between Alberta and British Columbia - with the provinces' leaders fueling acrimony rather than seeking middle ground - Premier Christy Clark needs to realize she played her environmental hand when she gave B.C.'s regulatory authority to the federal government.
You can't sit in full view of the table, pull some new cards out of your sleeve, and expect the other players to accept them as part of the original deck. Despite giving up her province's environmental review process, Clark keeps trying to bring that card back to the table.
Her only real environmen-al card is the public outrage in B.C. - and while that card has been effective in making Prime Minister Stephen Harper back away from the table a bit, Alberta Premier Alison Redford can easily counter with her own province's outrage against B.C.'s environmentalists.
And besides, that card is actually in premier-in-waiting Adrian Dix's hand.
If she wants to sway Redford and her Albertans, Clark needs to come up with some economic cards. For instance, there is a growing demand within Alberta to have the Athabasca tar sands at least partially refined within Alberta's borders, so that any pipeline would carry value-added product, both in terms of price and the intrinsic value of creating jobs for Albertans.
For B.C., that would at least mean a slightly better environmental outlook, as a synthetic crude oil spill would be significantly less damaging than a mess of bitumen.
Instead of bickering and back-biting, the premiers of two provinces that could have so much in common should be spreading oil on troubled waters . but only in the figurative sense, please!